It appears that the House of Representatives aren’t the only ones who want to hold the US military’s feet to the fire regarding their myriad camouflage patterns. The Senate version contains the following language which, while not exactly like the House’s Enyart Amendment, it is definitely in the same vein. Naturally, if it makes it through the remainder of the legislative process, any differences such as the Senate’s stipulation that an individual service (ie the Marines) can’t restrict their pattern’s use by the other services. At any rate, this ought to wake the Army up and get them to announce their camouflage decision before one is foistered upon them.
Subtitle F—Other Matters
Revised policy on ground combat and camouflage utility uniforms (sec. 351)
Section 352 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (P.L. 111–84) required the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the performance, interoperability, costs, logistics, and patents involved in the services’ combat camouflage and utility uniforms. In April 2010, the GAO reported that since 2002, the services continued to develop unique combat and utility uniforms. The committee notes that prior to 2002, the services wore the same pattern and family of combat camouflage and utility uniforms. The GAO found no performance standards for specific combat environments, no criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of camouflage patterns, and no requirements for the services to test interoperability between their uniforms and other tactical gear, despite the DOD establishing a Joint Clothing and Textiles Governance Board in 2008.
The committee remains concerned that until this year, the Department of the Navy chose to equip its sailors and marines with different types of combat uniforms, providing significantly different levels of protection in combat environments. The GAO recently identified that the DOD’s fragmented approach to developing and acquiring combat uniforms could be more efficient, better protect service members, and result in up to $82.0 million in development and acquisition cost savings through increased collaboration among the military services.
The committee continues to strongly urge the secretaries of the military departments to explore additional methods for sharing uniform technology across the services as they develop their combat and utility uniforms. The committee continues to believe that combat and utility uniforms should incorporate the most advanced levels of protection and should be available to all men and women in uniform, regardless of the military service in which they serve. Accordingly, the committee recommends a provision that would direct the Secretary of Defense to reduce the separate development and fielding of service-specific combat and camouflage utility uniforms in order to collectively adopt and field the same combat and camouflage utility uniforms for use by all members of the armed forces. The committee notes that the recommended provision would also restrict any military service from preventing another military service from authorizing the use of any combat or camouflage utility uniform. Additionally, after the date of enactment of this Act, each military service would be prohibited from adopting new designs for combat and camouflage utility uniforms, including uniforms reflecting changes to the fabric and camouflage patterns used in current combat and camouflage utility uniforms, unless the services adopt a uniform currently in use, all services adopt the same combat or camouflage utility uniform, or the Secretary of Defense determines that unique circumstances or requirements justify an exception to the policy.