Army Taps Scorpion to Replace UCP

2004072705bThe U.S. Army is going to dust off its old Scorpion pattern as a replacement for its much criticized Universal Camouflage Pattern.

I ran a story about the selection this morning on I have been told that Sgt. Major of the Army Raymond Chandler III is quietly telling all of the senior sergeant majors around the Army that the service’s new camouflage will be Scorpion — a pattern similar to MuliCam that was developed for the Objective Force Warrior program in 2002.

The Army has been considering replacing UCP with Crye Precision’s MultiCam — a pattern that has demonstrated consistent performance in multiple tests and was selected in 2010 for soldiers to wear in Afghanistan.

But Army officials balked at MultiCam’s price tag. They didn’t want to pay for “printing fees” the company receives on MultiCam — a small figure that amounts to about one percent of the 20-percent price hike uniform companies want to charge the Army for MultiCam, according to Caleb Crye, the owner of CP.

Army officials even tried to buy the rights to MultiCam. Crye told the Army it would cost $25 million if the service wanted to buy the rights to the pattern, which would essentially put Crye Precision out of business, he said.

So with that option off the table, the Army is now going to use Scorpion since the service has owned it for the past 12 years. The pattern is very similar to MultiCam because Crye developed for the OFW program.

MuliCam’s appearance is slightly different for trademark purposes.

There are images and a few swatches floating around the web, but it’s hard to tell what Scorpion will look like until its rolled out officially. And there’s no telling when that will be.

Look at the swatches of both patterns below. What do you think?

Here’s a swatch of Scorpion:











And here’s a swatch of MultiCam:












About the Author

Matthew Cox
Matthew Cox has been a defense reporter since 1998 and is an associate editor for He traveled to Afghanistan and Iraq numerous times from 2002 to 2008, covering infantry units in combat. Matthew was an infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division.

43 Comments on "Army Taps Scorpion to Replace UCP"

  1. Looking at the two swatches you would think Scorpion was faded/sun bleached version of Multicam.

  2. So the army owned it for 12 years then why did the idiots go with the ACU as camo since it didn't work!! What a waste of money and putting a big target on our soldiers since they were only camoed while laying on a gravel,driveway or standing against a concrete building of which few are in Afghanistan or Iraq!! Some one needs to go to jail over this waste of billions of dollars in uniforms and gear!

  3. Also why would,they buy the Crye Multicam when they had this pattern in the works?? Who is running this crap a total,idiot??!!

  4. Pete Sheppard | May 23, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Reply

    I would also like to finally see the person responsible for UCP identified at least. By now though, they are probably in some equivalent of the Witness Protection program.

  5. Be Happy!! We have a new smoke grenade in our arsenal and at last the troops will be clothed in more or less effective camo duds.

  6. Multicam appears to have much more depth and three deminsional compared to scorpion. In other words multicam is more effective. Since big army can't do it right, they chose the least superior of the options – what else do you expect? Could have been so much better in so many countless ways. I'm going to go read Col. John Boyd now…..

  7. We used BDU Woodland for over twenty years. Why not stick with that since we already own it. ACU was clearly a mistake, and while I think Multicam is very good, money is still a problem. I would rather return to BDU, and keep more soldiers in service, as opposed to reducing the size of the Army to go with a new pattern. Clothes don't protect this nation, boots on the ground do.

  8. Any discussion of cost savings is absolutely ludicrous. Who owns the pattern has no bearing on the financial dynamics, simply because whoever prints the cloth will still ask for a high price. The expense is not in the royalties or license fees paid to Crye, it's at the mill. Compounding the issue even further is the fact that you will be required to switch kit out. So if anyone talks about the cost savings in this decision, I'd say show me the numbers. Take a look how much has already been spent in the process of deciding. Where is the return on investment? I'd say to the Army keep Multicam and put the dollars to work on something that will give you an incremental return on that investment.

  9. Black0psTactical | May 24, 2014 at 10:35 am | Reply

    You get what you pay for… and agree with 'Close enough for Government'! The government will pay $100 dollars for a toilet seat though!

  10. Throw in a few vertical slugs of RAL 7013, maybe add some Ranger green to the palette, and be done with it.

  11. Sooo, the military paid Crye to develop a camouflage pattern. Crye took it added some superflous spots and sold it as something new – depriving royalties from the military and thus the taxpayer. Ingenious!

  12. Matthew Cox do you have a pic of what this version of Scorpion W2 is gonna look like?

  13. Any word on when it will be on shelves in Military Clothing Sales? Would love to stop wearing this crappy UCP

  14. WTF really this multicam is going to become just like the ACU in a few years they should’ve just went with US4CES they have every camo for very environment

  15. Desert tans worked so well in AFG that you could barely see us moving on the flight line. It was also a lighter weight which helped in the heat. We had to give those up in 09 for the grey ACU which shows up very well in the desert and mountain terrain. Uniforms kept changing and each time I deployed I received a different uniform and had to finally tell the supply folks to stop giving me the crap. None of it matched! Worse part of it is that each service has their own style. Stupidity in the DOD equals taxpayer blues.

  16. Too many uniforms Army different than Marines, Navy has some ugly ass blue garbage and Air Force has another pattern. Standardize on one for all forces and save us taxpayers some money.

  17. Zach Pilson | May 27, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Reply

    The article should also show a swatch of the Universal Camouflage Pattern so readers could compare all three.

  18. Oh boy, a new way to waste more money. Eff the taxpayers.
    General: What did you do before you came to Supply?
    Supply Officer: Toilet Paper Engineer, Sir.
    General: Were you good at it?
    Supply Officer: Yes, Sir.
    General: Well, you should have stuck with it, because you are a cluster eff as a supply officer.

  19. Rotate one of the images 90 degrees, and the two are nearly the same except for the brightness.

  20. Mark Wahlberg | May 27, 2014 at 11:29 pm | Reply

    I still can see that young person wearing a Camo suit, I will definitely still see him even if he is standing behind foliage from 1/2 mile :D

  21. Do one in woodland colors and one in desert colors. And go back to an od green uniform for daily use. You only need cammies in the field..

  22. None of this stuff works. It could be neon orange and work just as good!

  23. SeniorVoterVeteran | May 28, 2014 at 8:19 am | Reply

    We aren't seeing the patterns under different lighting, nor, infrared viewing.
    Testing results of the MilSpec. ? no, not that, either! Classified!

    So, GIGO.

  24. Camo clothing for some is great for others sit serves now purpose. Sailors on board ship? If you can't see the ship you will not see the sailors on it. Sgt Major, stop being political and do what is best for the troops not your career.

  25. Jim Greiner | May 28, 2014 at 8:58 am | Reply

    Also it was my understanding that all the services were supposed to adopt the same pattern for additional cost savings. Haven't heard whether the other services are on board with this. Another gigantic waste of money is each service with a different style uniform and camo pattern. Maybe we just should've went back to old OG jungle fatigues, they would adapt themselves to most any environment on earth.

  26. The pattern matters, colors matter, IR matters…… but only to guys and gals that need to be camoflauged. SOF has the funding and ability to change with technology and environment, the average Soldier does not. Our vehicles, generators and footprint prohibit us from every being stealthy again in the “big Army”. Lets get over patterns and go back to a simple solution….. OD greens, that are breathable, durable and less expensive.

  27. Go back to BDU's for woodland, DCU's for desert, burn the beret, And I would actually be on board with having a garrison uniform then wearing camo in the field, something you can iron and starch and boots you can polish.

  28. When all of you Army active duty and vets feel bad about the changes back and forth with Camo uniforms, just take a deep breath and say "it could be worse, it could be Navy"… now THERE is a uniform disaster of major proportions!

  29. Since we are getting rid of ACU, can we do the same with the dress uniform known as ASU? I really hate that clown suit, especially with Jump Boots. I feel like a South American police commander from a B movie. Remember when the Army was GREEN?

  30. Thunderhorsellc | May 28, 2014 at 11:43 am | Reply

    It seems to me that if we withold the preposterously huge payments to greedy Tribal Warlords in Afghanistan who do not like us anyway and / or other such payoffs, we could purchase the best camo for our troops.

  31. Yellow Devil | May 28, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Reply

    I've deployed three separate time with the Army, twice to IQ, once to AFG. Each time I wore a different uniform.

  32. I’m retired after being an officer in either the Air Force or Army for 25 years, so I’ve seen a lot of bureaucratic brain farts in both services. One of the worst was the concept of the ACU when the woodland and desert BDU were both working fine for their respective environments (the later desert post-chocolate chip pattern in particular). I consider myself lucky to have retired just prior to the ACU getting issued and never owning a set. Anybody who isn’t colorblind and has more than two brain cells could see that the ACU doesn’t blend in with either a woodland or desert background. Neither of these new patterns are much better, both looking like the old woodland with a little less green and more tan.

    The Army bureaucracy has been in denial for ten years and seems to continue to be, and you can practically hear them yelling, “You WILL NOT see the soldier who is wearing this uniform, and THAT’S AN ORDER!!!”

    Let’s face reality: we’re not going to get a camouflage pattern that works in both woodland and desert until the Army buys the rights to the Hogwarts Invisiblility Cloak or develops a man-portable Romulan Cloaking Device, i.e. never!

  33. The Scorpion Pattern Looks Terrible !! It is already faded

  34. So when do we get it?

  35. More BROWN shades are needed in the Scorpion pattern. Hunters have found browns are virtually universal for good camouflage so you now see fewer greens in hunting patterns lately.

    You may be in a green forest but the forest floor (where you are 99% of the time) is shades of brown.

    Perhaps if ALL US armed services chose the same camo pattern, as Congress has asked them to do, the cost of Multi Cam would be more palatable.

  36. Hooray! The cat's out of the bag. Now can we move on to another US Army soup sandwich/Good Idea Fairy topic? Frankly after 3-5 years of this circle jerk I'm ready for another topic.

  37. if you look at the pictures, it looks as though they are the same, except one is flipped upside down and the other is at a different resolution…just sayin thats what I see!!!!

  38. Ranger Rick | June 7, 2014 at 2:17 am | Reply

    I wonder how much in excess of $25M the Government spent to take us down a rabbit trail only to circle back to something similar Multicam? We should have exercised expediency, paid cash on the barrel head and have had done with it. And no more silly individual branch patterns. Oh, and one last thing – get rid of Velcro for buttons!

  39. Captain America is in charge. :)

  40. The Russians have something that looks a lot like both MultiCam and Scorpion, Not sure why all branches of the military dont go back to having the same uniform. They could keep what ever stile they wanted but the color and pattern should be the same. Just a thought though.

  41. I have never figured out why the Navy changed from the dungarees to the blue acu's a mile away you can't really tell if anyone is on deck or not. Especially during General Quarters, where it was only the watch crews on deck.

  42. The scorpion is what my mcu's looked like after a couple of weeks in Afghanistan. What a waste.

  43. Rich McKinney | July 3, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Reply

    I remember an old Beetle Baily cartoon from the 80's"
    Beetle: You see those guys in the PX with the camoflage uniforms?
    Killer: Yes.
    Beetle: Doesn't work does it.

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