Soldiers Line Up to Buy New Camouflage Uniforms



Army-OCP-1200x800In the first week of the July 1 rollout, soldiers have been standing in long lines to buy the Army’s new camouflage uniforms in record numbers, according to Army Air Force Exchange Service officials.

Army Combat Uniforms in the new Operational Camouflage Pattern are now available at Military Clothing Sales stores at 20 locations and “demand has been exceptionally high, with the exchange reporting first-day sales in excess of $1.4 million,” according to Debra Dawson, spokeswoman for the Army’s Program Executive Office Soldier.

The Mini Mall at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, sold $300,000 worth of the new camouflage uniforms on July 1, according to store manager Dave Dingwell.

“It has been a great turnout,” Dingwell said, adding that most soldiers at Bragg have been buying the ACU coat, trousers and patrol cap since they know they can wear the current T-shirt, belt and boots until 2019.

The Military Clothing Sales store at Fort Benning, Georgia, sold $85,000 worth of the new OCP uniforms on the first day, according to store manager Donita Nobles.

“The customers are really excited about being able to buy the uniforms,” she said.

Soldiers at Benning are mostly buying the coat, trousers, patrol cap, and the T-shirt and belt in the new Tan 499 color, Nobles said. The store does not currently have the new coyote brown boots.

More Expensive ACUs

The new ACUs are a little more expensive than the current ACUs in the Universal Camouflage Pattern. Uniform items in the new camouflage cost $46.73 for the coat, $46.07 for the trousers and $8.10 for the patrol cap, according to Fort Bragg store officials.

Uniform items in the current UCP cost $41.86 for the coat, $42.43 for the trousers and $7.41 for the patrol cap.

In addition to Bragg and Benning, the new camouflage uniforms are available at stores at other installations such as Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Stewart, Georgia; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Lewis, Washington; Fort Drum, New York; Fort Carson, Colorado; and South Korea.

Beginning in August, the new ACUs will be available at 28 more installations including Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Knox, Kentucky; as well as stores in the Washington, D.C., area such as the Pentagon.

Beginning in October, the new ACUs will become available at 63 installations such as Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Fort Lee, Virginia; and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

The goal is to have every soldier outfitted with OCP camouflage uniforms by Oct. 1, 2019.

Army senior leaders selected OCP after the service completed its exhaustive Phase IV camouflage effort in 2013.

The service launched the effort in 2009 to find a replacement for the current Universal Camouflage Pattern, a pixilated pattern known for its poor performance in Afghanistan. It involved years of testing multiple patterns in a variety of operational environments.

In addition to a new pattern, the new OCP ACUs will feature several upgraded features based on soldier feedback, according to Army officials. Some of the improvements include a zipper closure to replace the hook and loop flap closure on the shoulder pockets. The collar will be more of a fold-down design and no longer have the hook and loop collar extension. Internal elbow pad and knee pad pockets have been removed, but the reinforcement will stay.

The OCP ACUs will also feature a new Tan 499 T-shirt and belt, as well as coyote brown boots. But during the transition, soldiers can wear the current sand color T-shirt, belt and boots, Army officials maintain.

The Army plans to produce all equipment items such as body armor, packs and pouches in OCP, but until that happens, soldiers will use existing stocks of UCP-patterned equipment in training scenarios, Army officials say. They will also be authorized to use equipment printed in the Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern.

Soldiers who deploy on real-world missions, however, will receive uniforms and equipment printed in OCP, according to Army officials.

— Matthew Cox can be reached at

About the Author

Matthew Cox
Matthew Cox is a reporter at He can be reached at
  • JCitizen

    “Soldiers who deploy on real-world missions”; welcome to the real world OCP – we didn’t know you were in it!

    • Docduracoat

      All other camo patterns, BOW DOWN TO YOUR OVERLORD-MULTICAM!
      (ocp being Multicam lite)
      Multicam marches on toward total world domination!
      England and Australia paid Crye to have their national camo changed into Multicam colors.
      Even Denmark abandoned green Flectarn for Multi cam.

      Do not forget that camo both hides and provides identification.
      Everyone around Israel uses various camo patterns, so the IDF uses solid olive green.
      One look and you can tell friend from foe.
      Now we will only be able to tell Marines from everybody else.

      • Timbo

        Wouldn’t that be an upgrade from the days of everyone wearing woodland camo? I don’t know that friend/foe uniform identification is quite as big a deal as you are making it out to be.

      • Flippy

        Britain, not England…

        • Amorphous Blob

          The UK, not Britain…

    • tker

      i still like the 91 choc chip c ammo,, the large collars could be turned up to protect neck

  • JohnD

    Well, at least,this camo pattern looks like it works! The gray stuff sure didn’t after millions of dollars wasted on testing, purchasing and buying all the new matching gear which will be redone so they all match! Remember the BDU debacle? You would get pieces and parts in clothing sales with different sizes offered! It,took several,trips to,get a complete BDU issue and that system worked well for years! Change for the sake of change is stupid and costly! Surprised the Pentagon staff wasn’t outfitted first but the Generals all look complete since,they got,first,grab thru their aides shopping for,them!

    • JCitizen

      Good argument. My Dad said that the Germans were constantly changing their patterns during World War II, I imagine this put a lot of pressure on Nazi manufacturers for supply. He did say it was hard to find the enemy; he was in the Air Corps, and even airborne patrols had difficulty finding them. My armor buddy said they generally didn’t find them until they accidentally ran into them during patrols. Generally both sides were so surprised they both ran without firing a shot! HA!

  • Lance

    Yeow $100 dollars for a uniform, that government cost control for you. I’m glad to see the grey go for some decent earth colors though.

  • Paralus

    It would be poetic justice for higher brass and everyone at PEO and Natick to be forced to wear UCP until 2019.

  • guest

    What is wrong with OD green? The last war we fought and won, was wearing OD green. It served the military well almost half a century.

    • VTGunner

      So did M4 Shermans, P-51’s and M1 Garands. I guess this means we shouldn’t try to implement something better just because somethign else worked fine 70 years ago

      • Bruce

        New ≠ Better. 90% of the Army rarely (if ever) needs camouflage, so why not use OG-107 as a common uniform, and just issue combat arms units, and deploying troops with the camouflage they need?

        • Riceball

          Because it’s easier, and probably a lot cheaper, to just produce one field/utility uniform type and just issue it to everybody than to have to procure 2 different uniform types, one of which only gets issued to certain units/people. This means that the camo combat uniform will cost a lot more because you won’t get the same economy of scale, plus it would also be likely that many combat troops probably won’t get theirs until late in their deployment, if at all; just look at all of the people wearing woodland BDUs during Desert Storm to see how well special, situational issue uniforms works.

    • dasiststuppid

      Amerika won in vietnam? what?

    • Paralus

      It doesn’t work as well.

      and it especially doesn’t work in NIR, IR, etc. either.

  • C. LaFreniere

    I saw a SFC wearing the new OCP at the BX a few days ago. I noticed the new T-shirt he was wearing looked more like the green in the pattern than the tan 499 which is a brownish color. He told me that this is what they are selling at FT Benning and referring to it as coyote brown. I wonder if a mistake was made by the vendor because that shirt was not tan 499.

  • Sgt Heart

    If you are in the field yes you need camo(all wars) different camos. If you work on base should your camos look like a flight line–pots and pans if you work in chow hall–trucks and tanks if you work in maintenance. I was in the security forces and my camos didn’t look like a F15.

  • Tigger

    I still can’t believe that an army makes their soldiers buy their uniforms. If you have to supply your own uniform you should be able to wear whatever you want (sarcasm, for those that couldn’t tell).

  • Old Grunt

    Guess I’ve been out too long, but when I did my time we were issued uniforms. Why the heck should our troops have to buy their own gear? The only damn thing I like about paying taxes is taking care of the people who are taking care of us, and they for damned sure should not have to buy their own uniforms. WTF?

    • Destro

      Solders today get a clothing allowence, did you get a clothing allowence?

      • Tigger

        No way would your clothing allowance have covered the number of different uniforms I had and how often I went through them. For me though it’s the principal of the matter; that someone should devote years of service and give up some of their freedoms (because living on base is not the same as off base) to defend other people’s freedoms (potentially at the cost of their own life) and be required to pay for their own uniform to do that! I’m not American and I don’t pretend to understand your system, but soldiers should not ever have to pay for a uniform. Especially a combat uniform!

  • Gadgetguru

    “The customers are really excited about being able to buy the uniforms,” she said.

    No we are NOT excited about being able to BUY the uniforms. We are excited to get rid of this worthless UCP and wear a decent camo pattern.

    I think that if they are going to change the complete uniform, at least issue us two sets, a pack of t-shirts, and a pair of boots. The clothing allowance, even four years worth, isn’t going to cover everything (four uniforms, 2 pairs of boots, t-shirts, belt, PC, etc.).

  • Preston

    Soldiers don’t make much money. Asking them to do all of this out of pocket , and it will be required… That’s bullshit. When you go in you get a couple free uniforms and boots etc. They should make that standard issue when ever they change the dam uniform, which they’ve done several times since I’ve been out. Pay dirt wages and then extort money out of them so they can dress correctly… Glad I’m out.

  • Dale Shepherd

    I find it appalling that soldiers have to buy their new uniforms. When I deployed to Afghanistan as a Civilian LEP in 2011 I was given a complete Multicam system , new M-4 etc. When I got to Bagram, I felt out of place. Regular army was wearing digital and carrying old M-16’s ( although after seeing qualms at Benning that was a stretch). Army should just change all combat soldiers immediately. The other 2/3rds of the army “administrative ” can wear khakis and polo shirts. Then we will have no identity problems.

    • Hernando

      But then the REMFs won’t feel like they are in the ‘real’ Army. Just like the beret. With what just one Bradley costs I imagine the Army could outfit every combat unit with the new uniform. Besides the OCP sure looks like a set of BDUs after 2 years use, when they faded.

  • gambit1337

    I t must be the young and either just plain stupid cause the army will soon issuing the things with in a rear so why shell out your hard earned money? I guess seasoned soldiers just know better! lol

  • SAM

    I for one, will happily pay out of pocket to got out of those ridiculous ACU pajamas. I have hated the ACU since they took my BDU uniforms away. I just hope that you can lift a casualty by the pockets without them tearing. It sucks when you have a casualty with a pelvic injury that you are trying to stabilize and the pockets rip. I pray for a durable uniform this round.

  • Husker Vet

    I think making enlisted pay for uniforms is bad. When I was in , the enlisted were issued uniforms for free and could “DX” any item that became unserviceable and get a fresh one. Officers got a 1 time uniform allowances but after that we bought our own as it should be, since the pay was higher.
    Army needs to start issuing uniforms again to all enlisted soldiers. It is unexcuseable to make EM’s pay even given the paltry clothing allowance. As other posters have said, it is never enough.
    Why make a troop have to decide between going to the commissary to feed his family or having to buy a new uniform item. Everyone knows that no matter how much you stretch your dollars, is never enough.
    Thank God they got rid of the awful black beret and went back to the patrol cap.
    I never understood why the Army did not just do a “reversible” pattern uniform like the WWII Germans had. Winter on one side and spring summer (or Autumn) on the other side.
    No, we have to waste money on someones bonehead ideas only to end up back where we began basically with a uniformm that looks similar to the Woodland BDU ‘cept with fancier pockets and lots of velcro.
    The dress blue pants for a Class A uniform is another dumb idea.
    Why is it thatthe Marines an Navy always look so wel dressed in thier dress uniforms and our guys always look (through no fault of their own) like they left home not knowing how to dress themselves. The USMC and Navy dress uniform has not changed in decades.
    The more things change the more they stay the same

  • Kyle

    The new uniforms are ugly