Afghan National Army mountain clearanceThe Senate passed Wednesday evening a bill that includes a provision that effectively blocks what was expected to be the Army’s announcement of its newest camouflage pattern to replace the Universal Camouflage Pattern.

Language inside the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2014 restricts any service from introducing a service-specific camouflage pattern and requires the Defense Department to start wearing a join camouflage pattern by 2018. The bill now heads to the White House for President Obama to sign into law.

Before the Senate’s vote, the Army confirmed it was continuing work on adopting a new camouflage pattern. There have been reports that the Army has settled on a new pattern and had plans to announce it earlier this year before lawmakers started questioning service chiefs about the service-specific camouflage patterns and their costs.

William Layer, an Army spokesman, said the service was focused on adopting MultiCam — the pattern worn by troops in Afghanistan.

“This appears to be the most effective uniform and is effective in a variety of scenarios that we’ve reviewed. We expect that we’ll make a decision soon on whether we adopt this uniform for the entire Army,” Layer said in an e-mail to Military.com.

Earlier this year, the Army concluded an extensive, four-year camouflage improvement effort. Some test community officials maintain that the 2004 adoption of the UCP was a mistake that could have been avoided, saving the Army billions of dollars on uniforms and matching equipment.

Two separate studies performed by Army scientists from Natick Soldier Systems Center, Mass. — one completed in 2009 and the other in 2006 — showed that the UCP performed poorly in multiple environments when compared to other modern camouflage patterns.

In both studies, MultiCam, a pattern popular with Special Operations Forces, outperformed UCP, the pattern the Army adopted nearly 10 years ago.

With the passage of the camouflage provision, it’s unclear how the Army will proceed. Service chiefs are cognizant of Congress’ frustrations with the money spent by the different services for the different camouflage patterns. It’s not unique to the Army. The Air Force and Navy have had their own problems to include the Air Force’s old Tiger Stripe uniform and the Navy’s current blueberry pattern.

Of course, the Marine Corps started the trend in 2002 with the introduction of MARPAT that included the Marine Corps symbol sewn into the uniform. Since then, a certain level of pride has grown with the service-specific camouflage and there are many troops, especially Marines, who want to keep them separate.

{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

ARSE December 19, 2013 at 12:33 am

UCP, making stone cold killers look like the computer nerd from band class, since 2003. Might as well have issued them jeans and pocket protectors. MARPAT should have been used service wide, and multicam was a great choice as well. But nah, let's just throw some dudes out there in grey pajamas, no one will notice.

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Forrest December 29, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Maybe I am just a Retired First Sergeant but my thoughts are, worry more about the service members and their families and less about what uniforms you need to put them in before you put them in harms way. Since 1977, I have seen the Army uniform change about 5 or 6 times. None of them have changed the heart and pride of the service members that defend our country today. Stop wasting money by changing uniforms every several years and make sure that the Armed Forces are compensated for their sacrifices.

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Mark-the-music-guy January 30, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Hey, Arse…some of us computer nerds from band class are your battle buddies, whether you like it (or know it) or not! And don't get me started on how many times those "band geeks" kicked the living poop out of OPFOR during any number of FTXs! (Musicians have to do all that mil-crap AND be able to whip off a B-flat major scale at a moment's notice, you know!)

Other than your music-hating, computer-geek-loathing rhetoric, you're spot on. MARPAT or multicam would have been the best choice for our new pajamas.

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mpower6428 December 19, 2013 at 12:39 am

People blame the Marines for starting this charade, and maybe they did but, they didn't take it too the budget busting black hole of stupidity that the army "fashionista's" have achieved.

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majr0d December 19, 2013 at 2:20 am

The Army has deservedly taken tons of crap for their poor decision. It has never let up. As for spending money, what were they supposed to do? Send troops into battle dressed as the Spartans from 300?

No doubt ACUs were bad and in all likelihood soldiers were identified because they wore that uniform instead of a shared pattern. We've shared common patterns for half a century except since '03 because of the Corps' hubris. So yeah, let's hold the Army responsible but who in the Corps is responsible for getting soldiers killed because they couldn't share a pattern after 50 years of borrowing the patterns the Army created and shared without a peep?

If the shoe were on the other foot there would be cries of bloody murder.

BTW, it's the Corps that started the fashionista craze and even blocked the Navy from issuing AOR1 widely because it looked too much like MARPAT. http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/insight/2

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MB556 December 21, 2013 at 3:11 am

majr0d, you are so far off on this whole thing its comical. The services did not share a camouflage pattern until the early 1980s. The Marine Corps adopted ERDL in the early 70s while the army was still sending troops into combat in the pickle suit. Then army developed woodland and it was so similar to ERDL that the Dept of the Navy told the Corps “you will move to woodland to save money”. economies of scale etc etc.
Blaming the Marine Corps is ignorance. The army started their billion dollar goat rope of developing UCP about a year before the Corps started working on MARPAT. The Corps sent some senior scout snipers to Natick where they tweaked the colors and the ratios based on their knowledge of what works in the real world. Then they pretty much just applied those colors to the templates of Canadian CADPAT and Wahlaa, new camo cheap.

You know what else? Mulitcam existed before UCP also. Natick tested multicam against UCP and multicam won every single test against a pool of competing paterns. UCP finished last or next to last in every test. Still the army forced UCP into production because it was the only pattern in the pool developed in-house and they did not want to pay Crye Precision a royalty. Caleb Crye then offered to halve his asking price. Big Army still refused.

The people responsible for UCP need to be fired and possibly prosecuted. It is one of the most shameful wastes in recent DoD history. If someone did the math on the costs of UCP, then the costs of re-equipping with multicam and pretending its an afghanistan specific camo, then adding in the cost of the current camo program it would have been orders of magnitude cheaper to just pay Caleb Crye his royalty 10yrs ago.

It’s criminal

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majr0d December 21, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I'm not comical. You just don't know the history.

The pattern worn by Marines in the Pacific was a US Army pattern and was actually issued to troops in Normandy (2AD off the top of my head but don't quote me). It was withdrawn because the Germans were renown for wearing camouflage and there was a concern for fratricide. WWII was a couple of decades before Nam.

Further we also wore Army developed "willow" pattern and duck pattern helmet covers in Nam BEFORE the Army developed ERDL.

As for the which camo program is older MARPAT vs. ACU, you are factually incorrect. The Marines initiated MARPAT April 2000. The Army initiated ACUs Jan 2003. Check out p5 http://www.gao.gov/assets/650/648951.pdf

The camo wars started in the Corps. Attempting to rewrite history doesn't absolve anyone of responsibility. The Army is by no means blameless and has succeeded in taking the issue to unseen heights but dueling camouflage over egos started in the Corps and has been the driving force in creating eight different patterns. If you want to talk costs, what's the cost of an American soldier's life? Denying the best technology, weapons and tools of war to a fellow service is criminal. It is one team one fight right?

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mpower6428 December 21, 2013 at 5:59 pm

" Denying the best tech, weapons and tools of war to a fellow service is criminal "…. talk about over statement. you act as if the Marines are single handed responsible for the draw down in Afghanistan and Iraq.

You're right about me though, I don't know a whole lot about this affair. other then the ungodly amounts of money the " ARMY " spent putting our troops into ashtray colored (confederate grey) uniforms that attract attention like a crossing guards reflective vest.

with your permission sir… ill hold my own council. Putting your history lesson aside, the Marines selected a pattern without breaking their own "budget" much less the "national defense" , fashionista's though they may be.

DocAceZ December 27, 2013 at 4:31 pm

mpower6428, wow you are correct!

Now do you know why "they didn't take it too the budget busting black hole of stupidity that the army "fashionista's" have"? Because the MARINES are a tiny force, the smallest of all of them. Their financial needs and manpower requirements are eclipsed by the U.S. Army's (the biggest of all three). Your statement is a moot point at best – common knowledge if you will. The army's costs are bigger because they are BIGGER. It's simple logic it appears you do not possess. You must be a Congressman.

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Acquisition Guy December 19, 2013 at 3:28 am

Have you ever seen the Taliban or any Middle East insurgents? I have–and here's what they wear–cheap Chinese made slippers, two dollar rag garments, and a hat. Some carry some cheap, used cell phones. The good ones carry cheap Chinese or Eastern European made $90 AK-47s. $200 bucks for all their gear tops!

Ever see our guys? I have–and here's their kit–about $20,000 worth of weapons, clothes and footwear, kelvar helmet and goggles, Night-Vision, radios and computers that are networked, and ballistic plates front and back.

So, why are they fighting us to a draw or better?

We obsess about gear but the generals needed a strategy to win. More gear won't deliver that result. Leadership will.

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Joshua December 19, 2013 at 3:37 am

Fighting us to a draw or better??? Are you kidding me!!! Let me guess your part of the 507th or have never seen the tactics these guys use and how they still get beat over and over.

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allwet December 19, 2013 at 9:30 am

Spoken like a true beany weenie."Ever see our guys?" …hell yeah , they stick out like sore thumbs because of the last camo choice…..roll eyes.

Did you really post that?

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Martin M December 19, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Acquisition Guy’s point isn’t wrong, but it draws the wrong conclusion. Because the enemy doesn’t spend a fortune on gear, it can field a larger force. Western forces, on the other hand, spend an absurd amount of capital on gear, weapons, aircraft, satellites, armor, bombs, missiles, etc. As such, it has little left over to put more soldiers in the field. This leads to the development of doctrines that are less than effective. The cost of individual gear is just one item in a long list of problems that are part of a larger whole.

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Mud Marine December 20, 2013 at 12:35 am

In Vietnam we only had Green Utilities and a regular cover. ??? Does the Tally Man have all these problems with what he wants to wear ? Naw,… just throw on some old clothes and go fight.

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Mud Marine December 20, 2013 at 12:40 am

One more thing,… why don't we leave the "Field Uniform" in the field, and have our Military dress in their Class A Uniform for off base wear. Seems like a little instilled pride wouldn't hurt the morale part, there is a certain pride in wearing the Service Uniform with your ribbons when on leave or travel.

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fact275 December 20, 2013 at 1:49 pm

The Tailban have not been defeated not because they fight on the cheap but because they have sanctuaries and sustenance in Pakistan. American military history will teach you that when this is the case (Korea, Vietnam), full victory is never possible.

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Martin M December 20, 2013 at 4:56 pm

The TB have not been defeated because they have conviction, while [elements of] their enemies quibble over camo patterns and drool over shiny toys. War and conflict are are a part of their populations daily routine, whereas it is only headlines in the West.

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Alamanach December 20, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Look to history beyond America, then. The British experience in Malaya was a remarkably successful counterinsurgency effort. These things can be won. We could even win in Afghanistan, and I say that as a guy who has spent years in Kandahar, living outside the wire. You are right that the Taliban's resources in Pakistan give them some huge advantages, but it doesn't make them unbeatable. I have seen whole communities wrested from Taliban control, and shift permanently to the side of GIRoA; it can be done. Most Afghans don't want the Taliban, and will gladly resist them, but they need the right kind of support. Our side has done a poor job, overall, of providing that kind of support.

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Dustin December 22, 2013 at 12:28 am

Fighting us to a draw or better?? Get your head out of your ass. They outright lose every engagement with out people. They have repeatedly attacked with superior numbers, positions, knowledge of the area and a lack of limiting regulation just have never over run a single base or outpost. They haven't even beat us back, when they reclaim an area it's because we've secured it and we move on. Those weapons and gear allow us to completely decimate them at every turn regardless of the odds while taking minimal casualties. How about I keep my body armor, lasers, NVs and optics; you can go fight in a robe and sandals with a cheap AK. Have fun. Or just keep your idiotic opinions about things you clearly no nothing about and have no business commenting on.

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Tired of deploying! December 26, 2013 at 1:45 am

What would allow the U.S. Military to actually "win" Afghanistan is to get rid of the stupid rules of engagement we are held to! I can't shoot someone that has been shooting at me for the past hour because he runs into a mosque? Are you freaking kidding me? Or I can't shoot him because I lost "eyes on" when he ran around the corner, and when I get there he is the only one around? Seriously? If someone could please clone General George Patton, or someone with the balls to speak out and say, "F*#^ this, let's win a war!" this could have been over in 6 months! The problem is the "let's be their friend and win them over bleeding heart assholes that keep tying Soldiers, Airmen, Marine, and Corpsmen instead of letting us do our jobs!

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Darius137 December 19, 2013 at 4:04 am

The Army *knew* this was coming and instead of pushing forward with their delayed-delayed-delayed decision despite having all the information from the camouflage improvement effort YEARS ago, they held out until just past the deadline, then said "You know what, everyone in NATO and in SOCOM uses Multicam. We developed it, studies show it works, and we're going to stick with UCP because we're incompetent and not to mention retarded in politics".

Fudge the Army brass is stupid, and care about their political careers instead of troops because after they get out they know they'll become advisors in some company continuing CEO excellence of an old boy system.

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jh December 19, 2013 at 7:58 am

Now everyone is wearing camies, military, police and gov agents of course. Almost EVERYONE respects the military and not so much the other groups. The other groups do not need cammo, regular uniform would do, and there presence is usually supposed to be known. Every set of fatigues means a different thing. If they came out with a new police or dhs cammo pattern no one would want to emulate. The only reason this would be good to do is if your making a huge police state in which all dept and braches look the same. It will appear like martial law until the Cammie wearing cops are replaced by another dept wearing the exact same uniforms.

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W_R_Monger December 24, 2013 at 7:26 pm

that is exactly how they "remold" our society. a little change here, a tweek there and soon what was once abnormal is normal and exceptable. the same goes for the color of authority. we will soon be living in a quasi police state and before the end of my life it may well be a full blown police state. part of that is the exceptance of ways of life that refuse to assimilate into the American norm making the American norm the errant path. also with this comes the expectation that there is a drug for every ailment, every bad feeling, every creative thought.

when we forget how to hope we learn how to fear…

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moondawg December 19, 2013 at 9:16 am

Issue everyone but the Navy Marpat and have done with it. The wet Navy can go back to their dungarees which served as a good shipboard work uniform of many decades and wars. If land bound Navy personnel need cammies, they can wear Marpat like everyone else. That way money is saved, the uniformed services are uniform and those that need it have an effective camouflage uniform. All the surplus cammie uniforms of different patterns and hues, will be a boon to various civilian agencies, and the homeless. .

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majr0d December 20, 2013 at 2:07 am

I agree with a common pattern but actually from the latest testing ('08 I think) the Navy's AOR1 & 2 is the most effective pattern that's fielded.

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MB556 December 21, 2013 at 3:20 am

There is nothing magical about AOR camo. It is vertically oriented MARPAT with one color register changed in each pattern. The AOR green camo looks ridiculous in A-Stan. Multicam is way better.

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majr0d December 21, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I don't believe in magic and am not for any pattern. I'm a worldwide effectiveness proponent.

The problem with Multicam is we won't be fighting in Afghanistan forever and selecting a pattern focused on Afghanistan when we are supposed to leave next year seems a step backward. Testing said AOR was more effective worldwide than Multicam.

Selecting Multicam because it's good in Afghanistan is the age old mistake of fighting the next war like the last one.

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TxMedRgr December 21, 2013 at 7:10 am

moondawg, how will be see the homeless if they are in camo? Camo will make it hard for them to pan handle on the corner.

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John D December 19, 2013 at 9:21 am

Maybe all services should adopt the marine camo since it is effective and inservice. Maybe the Army should go retro and adopt the Khakis as the Class B uniform since it is inservice w/ the Navy! The Blues w/ white shirt really looks impractical and stupid like the UCPs!! The Class B Khakis were issued when I came in in 1977 and looked good, had history and were cost effective, blues being so expensive to wear everyday. Get with it Army!! The Generals are not always RIGHT!!

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moondawg December 19, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Khakis were a summer and/or warm weather only uniform. In winter Greens were worn.

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Jason December 19, 2013 at 9:26 pm

The Army did go retro, you can't get more historic than back to the roots of the service and nation with the blues. We've had the dress blues forever, but wasn't until now to make it the standard class A uniform. A lot of people seem to complain that they don't look like army uniforms because they aren't khakis or the pink n greens etc. If someone from the civil war were alive today, they'd laugh their way to the grave at these statements. I do agree that the blues are expensive, I bet they could make lighter/cheaper pants for day to day desk work.

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Bruce December 19, 2013 at 11:38 am

OCP (Multicam) has already been introduced, so is expanding it's issue service-wide really introducing a NEW service specific camouflage?

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straps December 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Conventional Navy's implementation of AOR (into the NWU patterns) is an example of how badly military bureaucrats can handle the most basic decisions. Marines are allowed to whine about brand identity, NSWC tells Big Navy that NWU will have to be rotated 90° from AOR (thus negating most of its effectiveness) or what–they'll stomp their feet and cry? Assault the Pentagon?

Let the Marines keep their legacy, millennial patterns (funny how they're not so passionately defensive of MARPAT Woodland, a pattern rejected by MARSOC in favor of old school Woodland–on the shaky premise that they want to be visually indistinguishable with the forces they partner with–WC is good but it doesn't make you a foot shorter), put everyone else in the Multicam family. Army, Navy and Air Force get to bury their bad decisions, and we can do what we've always done with Marines–give them their own sparsely populated sectors where they can operate alone without imperiling "differently" attired attached elements.

Or, as an even GREATER cost-saving measure, talk to the Canadians about a wider implementation of Kramer's "__4CES" (it's no longer US4CES, apparently–CANSOF is implementing it) pattern. The Canadians, after all, have been one of our most reliable and tenacious allies. Then again, most of our other allies (Aussies, Kiwis, Brits, Danes, yada yada yada) have gone to Multicam variants. But again, teh Marines REFUSE to be outvoted, or consider the merits of newer research.

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MB556 December 21, 2013 at 3:09 am

Im not married to the idea of MARPAT. I think what makes it unique to the Corps is that the colors were chosen and tested by guys who's lives depend on effective camouflage. Then once the pattern was selected an online survey was available that asked questions about features of the uniforms. You logged in with you SSN on NIPR and went through all the options and voted. Things like pocket bungies, velcro vs. button, angle of slant pockets, pocket locations, etc etc were up for vote by every Marine from E-1 to O-10.

Than is what makes MARPAT an effective uniform is the input of over 200,000 Marines on the features we wanted and knew would work.

The army didn't do that and they had the ACU's shoved down their throat by desk jockeys. How many soldiers would have voted for the stupid velcro that wears out in a month or the ridiculous color or the dumba$$ zipper?

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Scott December 28, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Well said. I was privy to the MARPAT survey and development process as a Navy Corpsman stationed with MC units from 1998 to 2004. The Marine Corps actually listened to input from the fleet. Such input resulted in the decision to put the sleeve cuff button on the inside to keep it from getting caught on camo netting, and another decision to make the trousers of a heavier weight than the blouse to increase durability. That's attention to detail! I remember when it rolled out at the base exchange at Camp Lejeune. They couldn't keep it on the shelves and the lines went out the door. When has any service seen such enthusiasm for a new uniform? I can certainly tell you, that didn't happen with the rollout of Navy blueberries which had buttons breaking off in bootcamp. The Marines should be proud of the way they did it. It's just too bad the other services didn't follow their example.

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Scott December 28, 2013 at 4:09 pm

I like that you mentioned Kramers' US4CES. Given an assumed bias towards his own product, his website (hyperstealth.com) puts out compelling, evidence-based, information that no other competitor even mentions. Does Multi-Cam work at night against an enemy equipped with Gen III night vision optics? Does US4CES as Kramer claims? I'd like to know what the Army concluded from its research. If my understanding is correct, the Navy AOR patterns were the baseline for the competition. In other words, make your pattern this good or better. So I'm not convinced Multi-Cam will ultimately emerge as the winner from the existing patterns, although Kramer suggests it is the best of the current patterns for "transitional" zones like those in Afghanistan. Navy AOR, preferably with the pattern running horizontally like MARPAT, may wind up winning.

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Lance December 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Shows we should have never left woodland and 3 color desert BDUs in the first place shows off more Army Brass stupidity.

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Colonel G December 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Let's see if I get this right: UCP is a acknowledged failure and costs precious lives. The army says it now has a proven replacement that will save lives. Congress wants to punish the Army (and perhaps all the services) and says no – stick with the acknowledged failure. No one at the top has the guts to bring this to a logical and positive conclusion. And all this from the greatest nation and military force on Earth. It's still morning, but I need a drink.
SOLUTION: (after having a drink) Since we must copy other nations uniforms e.g. the beret, let's do as Straps suggest and copy the Canadians, after all they started the whole thing.

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moondawg December 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Are we still the greatest nation and military force on Earth? Or do we just spend/waste more money than any other nation and military? How long has it been since the U.S. and it's military took on a first rate nation and military and actually won?

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seans December 19, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Name any nation that could pose a true challenge to the US military if we fought by WW2 rules. If the US military ever got let off the leash, and didn't have to worry about Civcas it would roll over anybody.

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Dustin December 23, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Iraq was the 4th most powerful military in the world. We left them with 2 fighters and a trail of burnt bodies. And yes we actually won, whole handily.

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Shadoe722 December 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Bottom line…..what ever the budget ends up to be and the Big Bang for the buck to accommodate all the services.

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Virgil_Hilts December 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Wow…THIS has really stirred up a SHEET-Storm. From the Article:
"Language inside the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2014 restricts any service from introducing a service-specific camouflage pattern and requires the Defense Department to start wearing a joint camouflage pattern by 2018. "
So…who here does NOT believe that this will start all the in-fighting over again?

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W_R_Monger December 24, 2013 at 7:42 pm

some congressman has a friend in the garment industry and has just handed them their contract of a lifetime…

just follow the money, that's how most decisions in DC are made nowadays.

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steveb December 19, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Once more, looks like all options are back on the table. Here we go again!

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Kaos-1 December 19, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I’m speechless . Millions , if not billions of dollars wasted all for a “our uniform is better than you’re uniform” cat fight . On top of all the brass being nothing but political brown nosers , the administration and congress have just about destroyed our nations military. Thank god I got out when I did .

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robertabbott December 19, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Is camouflage really effective anymore? Armies don't fight the way they did circa World War II, Korea or even Vietnam. Did the enemy utilize such uniforms in Iraq or Afghanistan?

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Kurt Kimble December 19, 2013 at 11:20 pm

First of all the Army should of never went away from BDU's and DCU's. The ACU pattern was a mistake from the get go. They served us well and are still being used in other countries. Come on, ash grey color? Once again the military higher ups taking orders from politicians who should but out. Maybe we, the Army, should take a lesson from the Marines for once.
The Muliti-Cam is great, we love it, but the Army will find a way to screw this up also. Waste on waste and we no lose our pay and benefits to cover the cost of this foul up.
Where did are leaders go ? Where they even there?

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Juanito Grande December 20, 2013 at 9:10 am

Service-specific field uniforms are "feel good necessities" & represent a tremendous waste of resources which could be used elsewhere. What are our decision makers' priorities? Where is leadership? (Foolish questions.)

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WolfMurman December 20, 2013 at 10:25 am

Apparently many aren't aware, or have conveniently forgotten, that right from the beginning of the development of MARPAT, the Army flat out told the Marine Corps that black wasn't a color found in nature, and went their own way to develop their own, failed, digital cammo….sans any black coloration. As usual, the Army attitude was that the Army always knows better than the Marine Corps. Wrong! That was billions of wasted Army dollars, and perhaps wasted lives ago. Now….the Corps is taking flak for staying their course. Never mind the smoke and mirrors, and the tap dancing……lay the blame where it is deserved. Right at the feet of the stubborn Army leadership and their "superior than thou" attitude that they've always had toward the Marine Corps. I don't believe I even need to comment on….blue cammo clad sailors. Semper Fi

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majr0d December 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm

If you track the conversation back to the beginning you'll find an NCO who was a model for the uniform said black didn't occur in nature. It was not an official position of the Army. In fact working at the Infantry battle lab at the time it was explained to me that black of all colors catches the eye the most when it moves. Only woodland MARPAT and AOR2 of our eight issued patterns use black. There must be a reason the majority of patterns don't use black.

You want to "talk" responsibility and "attitude" but you avoided the Corps' decision to not share its pattern after half a century of borrowing other branches camouflage patterns. No doubt ACUs were bad and soldiers were identified in combat because they wore that uniform instead of a shared pattern. So yeah, let's hold the Army responsible but who in the Corps is responsible for getting soldiers killed because they couldn't share a pattern after 50 years of borrowing the patterns the Army created and shared without a peep?

If the shoe were on the other foot there would be cries of bloody murder and the martyrdom of the Corps.

BTW, it's the Corps that continued that "attitude" even blocking the Navy from issuing AOR1 widely because it looked too much like MARPAT. http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/insight/2

The Army deserves all the crap it gets over ACU/UCPs but Marines should be the last to point fingers and definitely not take an approach that highlights their own hypocrisy.

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MB556 December 21, 2013 at 3:17 am

Like I said early. Multicam pre-dates UCP and it contains no black. Further more it bested UCP every single time. I was in AFG in 2009 when an army unit (a BN from 1st ID if I remember right) was deployed with UCP-Delta. It was an ACU where they had replaced one of the shades of gray with coyote ban. This was early 2009 so if you think about it that means the Army internally acknowledged that UCP was a failure at least in late 2008 because that BN had everything in UCP-D. That doesnt happen overnight. By the way, UCP-D still looks like an embarrassing clown suit. google it if you've never seen it.

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majr0d December 21, 2013 at 12:33 pm

No doubt and don't disagree. You know what beat UCP AND Multicam in the '08 tests? MARPAT… http://www.scribd.com/doc/19823845/Photosimulatio

The Marines reiterated the Army couldn't use it and that after half a century of borrowing Army patterns…

“The main concern for the Marine Corps when it comes to other services testing our patterns is that they don’t exactly mimic them,” said Kent, who is scheduled to retire June 9. “The MARPAT design is proprietary, and it’s important those designs are reserved for Marines. We just need to make sure each of our designs is unique to each service.” – SGMMC Kent
“Marine pattern tests high as combat uniform, but top enlisted leatherneck objects” By Lance M. Bacon and Dan Lamothe – Saturday Jun 4, 2011 9:06:19 EDT http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/06/army-marine

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Riceball December 23, 2013 at 6:08 pm

We all know that the Corps has previously used Army developed camp patterns in the past but of those times that they have, how many of those times were actual cases of borrowing and how many were a matter of being told that if they wanted camo then they'd have to use what the Army does or what they've developed? Regardless, the Corps really should have been ordered to make MARPAT available for the entire military and should have been made the replacement for the old woodlands and 3 color desert patterns. If the Army still wanted the ACU instead of the MCCU or if the Corps refused to allow the Army to use that then that would have been fine. Let each branch have its own uniform pattern but it has to all be in the same camouflage pattern(s) & same fabric(s).

darrell March 5, 2014 at 10:37 am

Wrong. The Marines have offered up MARPAT numerous times but the Army wanted their own. Proof: in fact, the offer is still on the table and the army still refuses. The USMC did it right again and that seems to bother you.

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DBM December 20, 2013 at 11:04 am

The army has a long history of screwup uniform procurement. With the change over to BDU's thearmy in its wisdom decided to make a desert camo soon to be called chocolate chips that was designed to fight a war in the deserts of the southern Soviet Union. The result was we stuck out like sore thumbs in Saudi and Kuwait while the Brits in Kaki's were almost invisible. They fielded Lightwieght BDU's which when washed the first time came out of the dryer looking like you'd been shot with birdshot. If you snagged it on anything the uniform would rip to a point of unrepairability. The idiots actually used female 71L's setting in airconditioned offices at the Infantry Hall (BLD 4?) to test the uniforms!

Everything else they got after that was worthless. The guys incharge of these programs are morons that waste billions every year.

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Dale December 20, 2013 at 11:53 am

First of all the MC patented MARPAT so no other service COULD use it. Second they added the EGA in the pattern to insure no other service would want it any way. Now all thse MC lovers say that everyone else should just wear MARPAT Talk about the tail wagging the dog.

There was nothjing wrong with BDU's I wore both the first version starting in 85 and later the LW version when it came out and it was not as "fragile" as the above poster says. Maybe "choclate chips" were a mistake but there was nothing wrong with the tri color version that everyone wore in both Afghanistan and Iraq for years.

I never really understood the idea behind "Aquaflage" there was nothing wrong with the circa 90's version of utilities which were far more durable/functional and for that matter better looking than "dungarees" or everyone wearing "nametaped" blue coveralls.

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denny004 December 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm

How does the MC patent a design? What are they going to do sue?

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moondawg December 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm

They can demand royalties for every uniform produced for someone else, and get them.

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R Schneeman December 20, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I just got censored on here for wishing ya'll Merry you know what. We have truly reached the very situation I thought I served 8 years against!

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W_R_Monger December 24, 2013 at 7:57 pm

I am very heart broken to hear that.

Merry "You Know What" to you as well R Scheeman!

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ted December 21, 2013 at 4:31 pm

The Navy got the 'blue berry', the bluish NWU to save money. When a sailor falls overboard, the ship's captain knows he'll never find him, so they steam on, not wasting valuable fuel circling, looking for the sailor. (Smile).

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ted December 21, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Even though I am retired Navy, I really like the MARPATs. We should all go to that uniform. God forbid, though, we ever fight a jungle war again; then back to the woodland. In Vietnam, we all wore the same uniform, GREEN…so why do we all have to have a different working uniform?

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Flynn Phillips December 25, 2013 at 10:19 am

Im with you Ted.Green worked well in Korea.

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10thMountainMan December 22, 2013 at 11:28 am

Soldier Systems Daily has a very detailed account as to why this article is incorrect. http://soldiersystems.net/2013/12/20/2014-ndaa/

The cliff-notes version is that the legislation has so many loopholes as to make it an empty gesture. I tend to give SSD deference with regards to this issue as he has been on the forefront of reporting on the camouflage improvement effort.

He maintains the Army is going forward with transitioning to Multicam for the entire force. The political climate has caused Army leaders to avoid making a big announcement. They will quietly produce a policy change within the next year authorizing OCP for garrison wear.

Quite honestly the top brass is deluding themselves if they think it won’t become news if they don’t do a press release. I never doubt the ability of the top brass to delude themselves however. Either way I’m eagerly awaiting the change.

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IronV December 22, 2013 at 11:31 pm

I say again. This whole issue is a red herring. A complete waste of time. And utterly bogus for Congress to be getting involved at such a granular level. The amount of money saved on this doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

Wanna save some real money? Adopt a UNI-form for the entire military. All branches. Identify the individual services by shoulder tabs on both service and field uniforms… Hmmm. Guess the money saving idea doesn't sound so good now, does it?

Now. Can we talk about something, you know, IMPORTANT?

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Plains December 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm

no need to have a cool pattern, uniforms change every few years, and they are expensive. It ain't fair to the troops to have to purchase the new cool uniform every enlistment. We have effective camo, that should be the goal. Decent boots, and lightweight stuff, cool don't win wars or save lives, effective does. How about spending the money on a .30 cal rifle that kills people and has penetration on targets. Enough with the politics, we've seen the disaster with the 9mm pistol.

Seems the goal is to borrow and spend money, exactly what the financiers want.

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4BlueStars December 25, 2013 at 5:10 pm

What, ANOTHER New camo pattern? Really? I thought these guys had it figured out the LAST TWO TIMES.
And while I'm at it, WHY oh WHY does the Navy NEED a camo pattern at all, to say nothing of a DARK BLUE one?
To make you harder to find if you fall overboard?

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rawhide December 25, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Camouflage is unnecessary in most cases. Going back to the old sateen uniform would work just as well in most scenarios. The Army UCP looks like pajamas and allows the fat slob officers at the Pentagon to hide their beer bellies. The Navy in blue camouflage looks just plain stupid. What? We're afraid of snipers shooting them off the decks of ships so they need to be blue and blend in with the grey of the ship? The Marine summer MARPAT looks just as ridiculous as the Army's UCP. The Air Force wearing camouflage is as ridiculous as the Navy. Most of the Air Force never even gets in-country let alone in a ground combat situation. Give me a break!! Go back to the old green sateens for everyone but the Navy, who should stick with dungarees, and keep the old jungle or woodland stocks in war reserve in there's ever a need for them. Walk around the corridors of the Pentagon any day and just see how stupid our uniforms have become. I

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Joseph Abraham December 25, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Speaking of the Army wasting money… I would like to further point out that Structured Self Development, a promotion required software program, is a botched abortion attempt to teach young soldiers basic Army lessons. The Army is mired in waste and they just can’t get the Generals to pull their heads out of their ass and start making changes.

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Danny Ross December 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Funny, I managed to survive 2 tours in Vietnam as a combat engineer – '66-'67 and '69- '70 – with no camo at all. And people were regularly making an effort to harm me with rockets, mortars and booby traps (that's ied's for you kids). At first I wore regular fatigues ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/24736216@N07/5160278… pretty close, but with subdued Army patch, name tag and rank). As these wore out we were issued jungle fatigues, same color, but with more pockets ( http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?… ). I liked the blouse but not pants so I kept trading for more fatigue pants as needed. IMHO, the camo fetish of the services began with SF wearing tiger stripes and the regulars feeling left out. The idea that the Navy or AF needs camo – apologies to SEALS, SeaBees, AF FAC's, and other people who actually can see their enemies – is ridiculous. As for saving money using a one-type-fits-all camo, that's likely BS. The services order such huge quantities of uniforms, making each order unique should be no problem. How many types of clothing does Walmart carry without a problem?

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rockstone56 December 25, 2013 at 9:41 pm

MARPAT was/is copyrighted by the USMC so that is why other services cannot just use it and MC Commandant would not release it for use by other services in the early years of its use. That was when the army and air force went out on their own. And it was in Army Times last week that the DOD is paying a user fee to the Canadian company that owns the rights to Multi-Cam patterned uniforms and equipment for every set of uniforms and other OCIE issued in that pattern. That is outrageous and expensive. Been paying that fee all along and it just now came out. Shame on them for charging the US govt and shame on our govt for paying it. No reason everyone cannot wear the same uniform while BOG!!!

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Erik December 26, 2013 at 1:08 am

Finanlly some intelligents on Capitol Hill. I’m sorry pride it not enough to avoid fratricide, I saw this comin years ago, it’s about time.

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sean hayes December 26, 2013 at 8:20 am

Jesus Christ is Lord!

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Perry the Platypus December 26, 2013 at 8:33 am

Ironically most of the focus turns to the effectiveness of uniforms, tactics, RoE, etc… reality is that it's all about the money and politics. The billions of dollars that go to equip our modern soldiers are going to the pockets of the large corporations which design and produce it all. In turn they are making sure the politicians who support them are back in office. They are also making sure we still have a war to fight.

Tactically, we are still in Afghanistan because our leaders need an excuse for us to be in the Middle East to give us a base to watch over our interests… I digress, none of it matters, because we are a part of a system which has placated the masses into a false sense of security and selfish ambitions.

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john December 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm

First of all I believe that there is really no universal camoflage. The closes thing that comes to it is multi-cam. Second, having two or three different camoflages for various environment doesn't work either. Simply because of your gear that you wear won't blend perfectly with one of the two uniforms. Also light desert camo would not work well at night. It would highlight you. Lastly, camoflage is really obeselete these days because of Infared capabilities. Not to say all of our enemies have IR capabilities, but let's face it you can buy it on the civilian market. Maybe we should find a way to make IR camoflage because that would be what is needed on the battle feilds of the future. Olive drab, tans, darker greens and a tad of black should be in the new camo pattern.

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Guest December 26, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Sometimes I do wonder what the Army is thinking. I was in for 22 years (enlisted & officer), so many changes it got a bit silly. When we got the BDU's the tag said DO NOT STARCH. Guess what? We were told to starch them. Fast forward to the 1st Gulf War, we went over with black brass, (as an 03), some 06 didn't get saluted, so we had to go to the rank brass that shined in the sun, guess what, when we hit the desert that brass went into the pocket. Think all branches should use the same one.

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Victor December 29, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Merry Christmas to all!

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ZombyTed January 3, 2014 at 8:02 pm

I have full faith and confidence the politicians involved will choose the worst option, completely free from lobbying.

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Lee January 29, 2014 at 8:48 pm

So… the value of a "UNIFORM" uniform for the uniformed services was beyond the grasp of our military leaders?

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majr0d December 21, 2013 at 10:40 pm

" Denying the best tech, weapons and tools of war to a fellow service is criminal "

Overstatement? No, if you think about that statement it's pretty on target. I'd condemn any branch who did that. and it has nothing to do with the foreign policy decision of leaving Iraq or Afghanistan obfuscation aside.

The Army spent too much on the couple of million it spent developing UCP and should be held responsible for the bad decision (as should the Corps for its). I'm blind when it comes to holding organizations to a standard.

Speaking of overstatements "budget breaking" IS one, The equipment itself, vests, uniforms packs etc. were going to be bought anyway in ACU, Multicam or whatever pattern the Army chose. The key remains it was repeatedly forced to pursue a different path because for the first time in our history a Branch chose not to share with another branch a technology it had been borrowing for 50 years. You can sugarcoat it or plain avoid putting any responsibility on an organization out of blind loyalty but it remains accurate.

Your welcome to your own opinion, just not your own facts.

BTW, if you are really concerned about the budget you'd be a lot more concerned about what caused eight patterns and why services that fight the same bad guy in the same place have to have different equipment from head to foot. Absent that supposed concern it seems like branch bashing for the fun of it and I believe in karma…

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mpower6428 December 22, 2013 at 8:48 pm

OK…. let me take your response paragraph by paragraph…. OH WAIT, I don't need too.

I will simply sum up.

Do you really think the US Army would condescend to wear a US Marine developed camo pattern for the next 15-20 years….??!?!? IMHO that is wear the trouble began.

as for the rest… obfuscation, overstatement, making up facts…? I will admit to it but, YOU FIRST.

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majr0d December 22, 2013 at 11:37 pm

The Marines have worn Army patterns without issue for decades. Granted the Army never made an issue of it (and there lies the lesson). There is no reason the Army couldn't/wouldn't do the same. We're dealing with much less ego here.

I can't admit to a sin I didn't commit. Your inability to has much more to do with the same type of ego that started this whole mess.

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Riceball December 23, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Iirc the Army had originally looked into adapting MARPAT before the whole UCP fiasco but the Corps denied the Army permission to use even an unbranded version. This is where I feel that the blame on the Corps, which it rightly deserves, ends and the blame on the SecDef begins. It's at this point that the SecDef should have told the SecNav to order the Corps to allow the Army, along with rest of the US military, to use at least an unbranded version of MARPAT.

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majr0d December 23, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Riceball – very reasonable common sense positions.

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