Tactical Tailor

US Army Camouflage Improvement Effort Update – US Army Awards Contract to Crye for OCP – MultiCam Is Now Your Principle Camo Pattern

Recently, we surmised that the US Army was going to abandon the Camouflage Improvement Effort and adopt the current issue Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern (OCP) known commercially as MultiCam and worn by troops serving in Afghanistan. According to the Justification and Approval (J&A) published yesterday by the Army Contracting Command on Fed Biz Opps, a contract was in fact awarded to Crye Associates on September 24th, 2013 for a license for OCP. Furthermore, according to details in the J&A, OCP will be the Army’s principle camouflage pattern for the “…” Unfortunately, the PDF left out a few key details like what OCP actually will be used for. But, based on what I am hearing, it’s for all US Army, regardless of unit of assignment or operating location. Meaning…goodbye UCP, hello OCP.

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I’ll add additional credence to my assertion that this is the Army camouflage by citing paragraph 8 of the J&A.

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While the J&A discloses that a license was contracted we still have no DoD contract notice to determine the exact value of the contract. However, we do know, based on the J&A that the value is somewhere between $150,000 and $650,000 which is much lower than the street value of this contract. But the exact estimated value has been redacted in the online announcement. Currently, no contracts award notices are being issued by DoD due to the shutdown so this is odd that a notice was not issued in September. I am quite interested in seeking what the Army paid for the license as they were getting three patterns (that the Army insisted in needed for readiness) for a song under the Phase IV contract. By licensing OCP, the Army (and by extension DoD) gets just one, albeit true, universal pattern.

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At this point, the Army has not announced the cancellation of the Camouflage Improvement Effort but based on this information, I’d say that the fat lady is backstage warming up. They all but tell the four finalist vendors for Phase IV, that is over as they’ve chosen an alternate course of action.

So not with a roar, but a whimper, the US Army announces their new camouflage pattern. Let the run on everything MultiCam begin!

Update: A couple of points here. This COA means the Army will not be purchasing rights to a family of patterns. Although, I’ve never been a fan of the multiple pattern requirement because it’s a logistical nightmare. Additionally, the Phase IV finalists haven’t been notified one way or another. The Army had no issue with halting the Individual Carbine program so I’m not sure what the hesitation is here. All of the companies have stiff armed multiple opportunities to sell their patterns to other customers pending the Army’s decision so this is costing them money. However, do not expect to see some of these finalist patterns available commercially for a variety of reasons. There are many in industry watching what the Army is doing here and taking cues about participation in future programs.

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261 Responses to “US Army Camouflage Improvement Effort Update – US Army Awards Contract to Crye for OCP – MultiCam Is Now Your Principle Camo Pattern”

  1. This Gentleman says:

    Well, all our allies from Europe to the commonwealth are rocking some variation thereof so why not us considering we started this craze.

    Besides cant wait for the USAF to outdo the RAAF with their own version of multicam…

  2. Hopper says:

    at least they didn’t do something surprising

  3. ME says:

    Ah, yes, leave it to the army to pay more for less. I wish I could believe this was an interim solution leading into the adoption of the Crye Phase IV pattern, since SSD said it was compatible with OCP, but I know the army better than that.

    Like someone else said, now the whole world knows that Kryptec, US4CES, Brookwood and Crye’s new pattern are all significantly and measurably better than regular OCP/Multicam. So, we’ll be left wearing the substandard uniform while everyone else gets a chance at at something better.

    Thanks for staying classy, Army.

    • Sal says:

      This is a clusterfuck :(

    • Cpt P says:

      How does everyone know those patterns are better?

      • Sal says:

        Because they Army pretty much admitted it. SSD can elaborate.

      • Greg says:

        One of the reasons of C.I.E. was to find something that would outpermorm Multicam.

        • Sal says:

          Which they did. There is no credible excuse as to why the Army is not picking any of the finalists. Like SSD said, this seems to be yet another case of inaction as a course of action by the Army.

          • Mac says:

            Agreed. One of the only explanations, besides just being cheap (not like we really need a new PT uniform, completely revamped online training classes, etc.), is the Congressional mandate in the not so distant future.

    • Paralus says:

      Amen.

      Big Army screws up again.

  4. ME says:

    Oh, and this makes me sad that the army diverted my unit’s OCP issue mid-deployment to another unit. No free OCP clothes or kit. Sad face.

    • MikeP says:

      If this is true, then it’s on its way, rest assured. Unless you’re an officer – because then you’re paying for that shit.

      • SSD says:

        Way back in the old day, we enlisted scum paid for ours as well. It’s coming. Don’t be surprised. It’s why they give you a uniform allowance.

        • ME says:

          I remember buying my BDUs as a private quite well. Unfortunately a third of the army’s going to have 5-8 sets of free OCP, and the rest of the army is going to buy themselves their sets.

          • SSD says:

            Why is it unfortunate? But, they were issued FR uniforms. The ACU is made of 50/50 NYCO and you can certainly looks the uniforms and tell the difference. I have a funny feeling that the FRACU will not be the Army’s garrison uniform.

  5. Haha I kind of figured this would happen.

  6. Norbis says:

    Works perfect for the USMC. They adopt the winning family, put an EGA on it and end up with a better family of patterns unique to them. Years, lives and millions of dollars later the Army will want something that performs as well as the USMC pattern. Wow, the SoA, SMA and DoD never cease to amaze me. Better go get rid of tattoos and sideburns while I dig out multicam ACUs. Any word on boot color?

  7. paul says:

    Well…at least I can still use my Multicam kit…But really, not a surprise coming from Big Army.

  8. Mike Perry says:

    The spent billions of dollars on the UCP back when multicam was already available. Now, millions more later, and lots more wasted time, they decide it is the one hey need. Talk about disfunction.

  9. Chris says:

    It isn’t surprising at all. I don’t recall if this was a COA in the improvement effort, but it should have been. More importantly, it’s a 90% solution that is already partially implemented which represents a very significant performance increase over the existing patterns for the USA, USAF and the non-SW elements of the USN. The USMC, as usual, did their own thing and looked at for themselves at the detriment of the other services.

    • Lawrence says:

      That’s because the Marine Corps doesn’t subscribe to the same levels of stupidity and wastefulness that the other branches do. We do have our own issues but we don’t waste time and money nearly as bad as the rest. We also want to look different due to the fact on multiple occasions in the past we have saved Marine lives but making it obvious we weren’t your average Army push overs…

      • Cpt P says:

        That doesn’t save lives. In boot you learn not to act as an individual but as a team. That is why pogue marines and infantry marines both wear the same uniform. The corps decided to be individuals and everyone paid for their dysfunction by trying to one up them on the level of stupid.

        • Cesar Medina says:

          Dysfunction? I don’t get it. How could the inaction of the Army become the USMC’s fault?

          • Sal says:

            The Corps started the whole “camo wars” nonsense by throwing a bitchfit when the Army requested permission to use MARPAT.

      • Glen says:

        Lawrence,

        You’re post is a fail.

      • James007 says:

        Ok, Lawrence… You just exemplified what assumptions mixed with lack of history on this topic looks like. Do me a favor and read the entire last years’ worth of post by SSD on this topic. THEN… Make a comment, OK?

        And for the record… Marines looked real different when they drove light-armored, amphibious vehicles into the heart of Baghdad. You guys took much heavier casualties than necessary. I know. I was there (in my Bradley Fighting Vehicle). Go play Army vs. Marines with your little green plastic toys. Adults are talking about grown up stuff.

  10. Aaron says:

    Wow…nothing but a surprise. Great way to be dumb Army.

  11. N/A says:

    Well, at least US4CES will be cheaper. I really would have bet my money on those guys getting the contract, but oh well.

    • SSD says:

      I would be surprised if it is made available.

      • Mike Perry says:

        You think there’s still a chance this could involve three patterns?

      • N/A says:

        Why is that? I thought that whoever lost the contract had the option to manipulate their pattern on the open market.

        • SSD says:

          Technically no one has “lost” the contract. The Army’s inaction has left everyone hanging.

          • Sal says:

            SSD, if the Army doesn’t “officially” cancel the program, would the competitors have any right to sue?

            • SSD says:

              I’m not a lawyer but my opinion is that they will have no recourse if the program is cancelled. However, the Army can’t then turn around and pay one of the vendors for their woodland and desert variants.

              • Sal says:

                Sorry for the late reply.

                What I mean is if the Army keeps the finalists in perpetual legal limbo by acting as if the program was cancelled yet not formally cancelling it, would the finalists have any standing to sue?

  12. Freeman says:

    Bullshit! Stupid Army as usual. Makes me sick.

  13. CAVstrong says:

    My question is since we don’t know for sure that they’ve cancelled the improvement program how do we know this isn’t a stepping stone to adopting cryes patterns?

  14. Norbis says:

    So is this going to be the transitional pattern and we will still see the desert and woodland variants as needed?

  15. Matt says:

    Actually, I think this makes a lot of sense for the Army. OCP is very popular in Afghanistan, and works suitably well across many different environments. Is it the latest and greatest camo pattern? No. But it’s not bad; in fact, far from it.
    Like a lot of things, it comes down to money right now. IMHO, I believe the Army can’t justify buying an a completely new wardrobe, plus kit, when it already has a large volume of uniforms and gear on hand. This is a cheaper solution that still achieves the desired effect.
    Two caveats: 1) SOF are still going to use whatever pattern they want. But conventional forces aren’t SOF, and OCP works just fine for their mission requirements (riding around in MRAPs; dismounted overt patrols; etc). 2) Other branches already use this pattern as well in Afghanistan so why wouldn’t they consider adopting it?

    • Thomas says:

      I totally agree. I’m seeing people complain about this but truth of the matter is with these knuckle heads in DC we are lucky to be getting paid. If this COA saves money then they should roll woth it. It just makes sense. They have already fielded it to a great deal of the Army and Guard.

      As for the actual pattern, it has proven itself in combat situations. It’s not the latest and greatest thing ever created but it is worlds beyond the GayCU pattern. I’m sure there will be another evaluation in the future when it is economically feasible.

      • SSD says:

        It doesn’t save money. It is the embodiment of “inaction as a course of action.”

        • majrod says:

          Well said/described SSD.

        • That Guy says:

          How exactly do you figure it doesn’t save money? Well more than half of the combined Army (that would be AC, RC, & AG) already have almost a full issue of it. There are already stocks of it, maybe enough to finish the issue to those that haven’t gotten it. Do you have any idea how much it costs to produce, distribute, & issue and entire Army’s worth of uniforms & equipment? Research the whole ACU fiasco and it will tell you exactly how much money it costs because that’s how much was wasted on those uniforms (and that includes a big fancy testing & competition phase to replace uniforms that all of us trigger-pullers were perfectly happy with). The only way using OCP would not save money over adopting one of the other patterns would be to not adopt any new patterns and stick with the grey-man garbage. I don’t know what you do for a living, but I run around in the bush getting shot at and shooting back for a living and myself and everybody else like me are perfectly happy with the OCP and said so when the Army decided to waste money doing another Camo competition.

          • SSD says:

            Yes, I actually do know how much it costs. In fact, when other reporters want to know about those kinds of things they actually ring me up and ask about them.

            • That Guy says:

              Than you know that it would be an even bigger waste of money for the Army to accept & issue yet another pattern only to have it canned by the congressional mandate for all Services to assimilate don’t you.

              • SSD says:

                That’s a POV. But based on that same POV the prudent thing to do would be to only purchase UCP until the Congressionally mandated Camo pattern comes down the pike as there is more invested in UCP than OCP.

          • Engineer says:

            I’m pretty sure most of the SSD staffers spent quite a lot of time getting shot at by a myriad assortment of enemies that we’ve never been officially at war with. As for what they do now, they bring us very insightful news and commentary on the way things are.

    • Mac says:

      So what happens in the next war when it’s in an environment where OCP doesn’t do so well and we’re not conducting FOB/COP centric COIN fights?

      Talk to 7th Group guys about how well OCP works in jungles. I’d bet it doesn’t work so hot in heavily green temperate rain forest either…..guess what potentially hostile country has a lot of that?

      We could have adopted the new uniforms and run OCP as the TA50 pattern.

      • Stuart Neilson says:

        The British Jungle experience is that it works very well in jungle due to the mottling of light and shadow. Dark colours tend to show up as dark blobs. British DPM meant for jungles where always much lighter than standard woodland. http://www.ebay.com/itm/BRITISH-ARMY-MILITARY-TROPICAL-JUNGLE-COMBAT-JACKET-LIGHTWEIGHT-/380738823919

      • Buckaroomedic says:

        OCP works great here in Germany

      • That Guy says:

        Gee, I don’t know. Won’t you enlighten me? Maybe, Korea? Yeah, I’ve been there too. Back in the BDUs days and what I found is that my older, faded uniforms with less distinct patterns worked better. Just like Stuart say’s the Brit’s found. The OCP WAS tested in jungle environments. And for the record, I’m not advocating a “single pattern” policy. I think that is stupid and short-sited. What I am saying is that in the near future, the budget environment being what it is and the fact that Congress just told the DOD to consolidate the patterns down to one universally used pattern (or family of patterns), the OCP works better than the UCP, well enough for now and WE HAVE IT – less money spent until the final decision is made armed forces wide.

    • James007 says:

      Matt, you have made a wise statement, my friend. I agree with the point you are making, here.

  16. This guy says says:

    Is there still going to be a change in boots?

    The political reality this is the cheaper solution in the interim and possibly longterm. It keeps all of the OCP on hand from being wasted. It’s a step in the right direction.

    One thing to ponder. Do we really know how much the Phase IV patterns outperformed OCP? I mean using the GOV’s data and not the info Guy Kramer put out.

    • SSD says:

      All of the patterns outperformed baseline in picture-in-picture testing. It’s how they downselected to 4 families.

      Among others, MultiCam was a baseline pattern. Remember, MultiCam is over 10 years old. The candidate patterns are much newer including Crye’s.

      • This guy says says:

        My point being is if they only marginally outperformed OCP then why make the switch. Say for instance on a scale of 1-10 OCP is a 7 does it then make sense to adopt a pattern that’s an 8.

        I guess I’m trying to justify why the Army possibly went the route they did.

        I’m just glad I won’t have to wear the abortion that UCP is anymore.

        Now we just need a wear date.

        • SSD says:

          The reason to make the switch to one of the Phase IV camouflage families? One is performance, the other is fiscal responsibility.

          The Army articulated a requirement for multiple patterns. Now, it won’t have access to those and will have a capabilities gap.

          Additionally, the Army could have taken this COA in the Summer of 2010 when it was initially proposed. It didn’t. Think of all the time and money wasted in purchasing UCP clothing and equipment over the past 3-plus years.

          Regardless, we have been informed by multiple sources that the Crye candidate patterns were the top performer. It makes absolutely zero fiscal sense to purchase OCP when you can three patterns that perform better for the same cost or less than they are going to pay for OCP. By the way, the Crye Precision candidates are strikingly similar in geometry to OCP/MultiCam.

          As a loyal SSD reader, you already know that all of the Phase IV candidate patterns were evaluated on their performance while used with OCP PPE.

          • That Guy says:

            It DOES make fiscal sense because those other patterns are not already in the inventory and fielded to the vast majority of the force. Having spent millions more on OCP already, you think it somehow makes fiscal sense to shit-can it and go completely new? That is the exact same thing that has stirred up the hornets nest about the UCP. The Army picked it (though it tested lower than several other patterns and was the loser of the soldier poll), 5 yrs later determined it didn’t work in AFG, 2 more yrs later determined it didn’t work anywhere and are canning it. So you are saying the Army should waste that much more money again canning an already fielded pattern that DOES work?

          • majrod says:

            “that Guy” – you aren’t getting that it costs just as much to buy x camo pattern that might be better than more of the existing y pattern. Y pattern eventually wears out after so many years which is one of the criteria for how the Army elects wear out dates.

            Your thought process makes sense if we switched every piece of old gear out at one time vs the phased issue we go through with every piece of kit.

            • That Guy says:

              You not getting that I’m saying the OCP is already fielded to 90% of the Army. If the Army chooses a new pattern right now, has it produced & fielded, and then the new tests that Congress mandated come out and the Army’s pattern is not the one chosen – did we not just waste another cubic shitload of the American taxpayers’ money?

              • SSD says:

                But it’s not. Soldiers have not been issued ACUs in OCP. And 90% of the Army? I think not.

                DoD has spent somewhere between $5B and $10B on UCP. It hasn’t invested near that in OCP and the money it has spent is heavily in FR clothing. That isn’t intended for garrison wear.

                OCP is great, but how about the Army does what it set out to do and field a family of camouflage patterns? Otherwise, it has wasted three years and millions in Military R&D dollars and an untold amount of industry’s IRAD monies.

          • Mac says:

            That Guy,

            It’s not the same as UCP, testing was never completed (started, but not completed from what I’ve read). For these patterns there is actually testing and data to support the switch.

            So you’re saying we should waste another $16 million and ignore the test results?

            • That Guy says:

              No, read my full commentary instead jumping to conclusions and playing follow the leader with SSD. I’m saying go with what we have right now because Congress just told the entire DoD to go back to one shared pattern or series of patterns. Save the test results for THAT process and hopefully (I’m sure the powers that be will ignore this point but hey…) save a few bucks in all of the follow on testing. I said stick with OCP FOR NOW because it DOES work and it is ALREADY fielded to the vast majority of the force. People keep replying to me like nobody has OCP and they need to do a gradual fielding to one DIV at a time. The issue stocks are already out there, at each TO&E post, 90% of the entire force (give or take) already has it – the argument that it would take just as much time to field it is invalid. By the time the Army procured and started a gradual fielding of a new pattern, it could have been shot down for whatever the future holds as the DoD pattern.

              • SSD says:

                All the Army had to do was act and announce the winner prior to 1 October. Then, it would have been an existing pattern and the Army would have been in a position of strength by having chosen the most comprehensively tested camouflage in history. Talk about influencing the joint forces decision.

  17. Josh says:

    I’m not as surprised or as outraged as some of you on this forum. I see nothing wrong with the selection of OCP since it has proven to be effective in Afghanistan, and has been selected as the pattern for the British Army. I assume that the army has possibly adopted the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality with this decision. The quicker I get out of ACU’s the better my soldiers and myself will be.
    I just cant see the Army spending more money on a pattern that could possibly replaced again in years to come due to Congress.
    I will assume that the other patterns will be evaluated once again when the other branches of service will be required to wear one. Then, maybe, just maybe, the millions of dollars of research and development will be justified. You never know, maybe the Marines will like the us4ces and we can all go to that pattern years down the road.
    Until then, I agree with the decision though it not being a permanent one, but a “good” one.
    One last thing, I think the Government should go after the Individuals, that decided to select the UCP pattern and try to recoup some of the 5 Billion dollars that was spent on UCP. It’s only fair.

    • SSD says:

      I agree that I am glad something is being done but I am singularly unimpressed by the lack of leadership displayed in this process.

      Additionally, I am more than a little unhappy that all of the work done in the current evaluation will be for naught if the other services ask for a “recount”. Imagine going through this whole process yet again in a year or two to show the Marines that there are in fact, better patterns out there. What a waste.

      • Jimbo says:

        Unimpressed by the lack of leadership in this process? Nothing surprises me about our leaders anymore. We have more Generals on sexual assault/harrassment charges than you can shake a stick at. Almost every Army Times these days has “toxic leaders” plastered somewhere on the cover. I for one am glad they picked something and the UCP are going away. Lives have been lost because of that stupid camoflauge and I for one would love to punch the son of bitch that came up with it in the face. I’ve said it before. As someone who has used OCP for years in many different environments, I know it works. It works in the woods, it works in jungle and it works in the desert. I know because I’ve got them on right now. There will always be something better but it works and it works well. All of us have screamed for the Army to fix the camoflauge problem for years and now it looks like we can shelve the ACUs. I’m not complaining that OCP was picked at all. I’m very satisfied.

    • That Guy says:

      Points to Josh & Jimbo, none to SSD. I’m not saying SSD is wrong that there are better patterns out there. I’m saying he is trying to play baseball in a football field. The OCP works, it works very well. The UCP does not work in any shape, form, or environment. We mudsloggers & dogfaces wanted it gone and we wanted it gone bad. We all said just give us the OCP, it’s already here and it works. The only waste of money I see is them having run testing & competition anyway. Oh, that and the AF & Navy insisting they needed their own patterns too. But a lot of that is the USMC’s fault for starting this shit in the first place and then refusing to share the MARPAT with any other Service. But I digress. BLUF: The OCP works, the UCP does not, the OCP is already fielded, the other 4 patterns referenced are not. Finally: As Josh stated, whatever pattern we have in the immediate future may be gone when, inevitably, brand new testing is done from block one (yes, waste of money – re-use test data from the USMC & Army testing), and they put all four Services back into the same uniforms. My only hope is that they will actually listen to the Grunts & Operators who actually need the uniforms functionality on the job this time.

      • SSD says:

        There’s a reason we refer to guys who swing a football bat as “that guy” and you’ve definitely chosen the right name.

        Your entire rant is based on ignorance.

        Take some time, read what’s been written. When you are done you’ll understand why you are making noise and not sense.

        • MED says:

          Well said; thank you.
          I’m surprised you’re still responding….

          • Jimbo says:

            How is his entire rant based on ignorance? I, as a warfighter, the ones who truly count in this whole thing, say he’s spot on. It’s not the critic who counts, but the one who stands day after day in the arena, in the fight, in the blood, killing and watching people die. That’s what this all boils down to. In my opinion, his “rant” is spot on from the ground perspective. To say otherwise or to say it ignorant shows a disconnect between those who do and those who don’t get it done. OCP works, I’ve used it for years in combat. When was the last time you and your guys wore OCP in combat and tasted the dust of war SSD?

            • SSD says:

              Jimbo that is one of the most foolish things I have ever read on SSD. I don’t care if that guy single handedly retook the White House after a terrorist takeover. He doesn’t know what he is talking about. It’s that simple. The worst part is, all of the info that would educate him on how off track he is, is located right here in SSD.

              • That Guy says:

                Please SSD, please for love of god, I’m so helpless here. Please oh please shore your hard-earned wisdom with me that I may see the light! Seriously, tell me, exactly, in fine detail, where the ignorance of my statements lies, because I read your whole article, I’ve been here (in the Army) since this whole camouflage changing fad started with the Corps going digital, and I voted against the UCP when I first saw it, I saw it glow in the dark in the states, and then spent 45 minutes absolutely burying my SAW gunner who didn’t have DCUs because he was to cherry to have ever had them issued and when the moon broke out of the clouds his damn UCP glowed anywhere the moon hit through the palm fronds covering our SKT hide. So no, I know absolutely nothing about effective camouflage. I’m just a window-licker waiting for the gubmint short bus. I watched my entire platoon snaking it’s way up a mountain in Kunar and the only person I couldn’t see was our JTAC because he had OCP while the rest of us were still sporting UCP. SO tell me again how I’m spouting ignorance and don’t what I’m talking about. Sounds to me like Jimbo & I might be the only ones who DO have a clue.

                • SSD says:

                  OCP is great. The problem is, the Army has access to something better, and it won’t cost them any more.

            • Sal says:

              So you’re fine with the Army issuing you an inferior pattern? Look, multicam/OCP isn’t terrible, but it’s certainly not the end-all be-all of camo (particularly when viewed with NVDs and thermal sights). SSD can correct me if I’m wrong, but all of the phase IV transitional patterns met or exceeded multicam while the woodland and arid patterns significantly outperformed it in their respective environments. There will be areas (particularly in the pacific) where multicam will be less than optimal.

              And here’s the kicker: it would have actually been cheaper to procure the phase IV patterns than multicam because of the one-time royalty vs Crye’s per item royalty.

              As for the “but we have tons of OCP stock already” argument, that only applies if the Army was gonna do an immediate one for one replacement instead of a gradual phase in.

              • SSD says:

                There’s Sal, swinging for the fences!

                Only one thing we still don’t know. What the license for OCP looks like. Otherwise, spot on.

                • Jimbo says:

                  Sal, what I’m saying is that I’m fine with getting what you call an inferior pattern because I have used that inferior pattern in multiple locations and it worked fine. I don’t consider it inferior. No matter what camo is/was picked, there will always be something that is better. Development will always be going on for that next better widgit. I will be jumping up and down to get rid of the UCP. I worked my tail off at Camp Mackall and was there when the Army switched to UCP. A student was never able to hide again. They glowed in the woods. Even when filthy the pattern completly sucked. Here in Afghanistan, there are videos we’ve found of on Taliban phones of US troops getting shot up pretty bad in the mountains. Two videos come to mind and the US troops had on UCP. They stuck out like sore thumbs and it appeared on the videos that they sustained KIAs because of it. SSD, love the site and checked it for years, but to call my supporting a fellow Soldier who agrees that OCP works foolish proves my point. You are being the critic. That’s ok though. We all have our opinions. I still thank you for all the work you put into this site and keeping us up to date on the happenings of the industry that produces things that keep me and my guys alive.

        • That Guy says:

          I did fella, and I picked “that guy” because I knew I was going against the “newer, cooler” bandwagon on this one. I’ve seen the other patterns. I’ve used them in the woods myself. They do work. I’d even say some are better than OCP, but the OCP WORKS and it’s here. You’re calling me ignorant because I’m a Grunt on the ground in AFG right now. Or would I be ignorant because my company finally got it’s OCP halfway through our tour here last time around and we all saw for ourselves the difference. It works and it’s here. That’s what I’m saying. You people want to jump all over me because I said it doesn’t make sense to jump on another pattern right now if Congress is just going to force us to change again? Are you the same people that wanted Velcro all over our uniforms? What about zippers & mandarin collars? Did you want those too? For Christ’s sake, you’re crucifying me because I said wait to make a change until this whole congress thing pans out? Seriously? That kind of makes me question your professional background & knowledge. I’ve worn BDUs all across the States & in Korea. I went from DCUs to UCP in Iraq (and kept wearing my DCUs but by your current logic I should have gone with the newer stuff because the DCUs weren’t perfect), and then I transitioned from UCP to OCP in AFG. I’ve worn my OCP, ATACs, Kryptec, and few others out hunting. I got it, there are better patterns out there. I never said there weren’t. I said the OCP is here, fielded to something around 90% of the force already. Rather than spending another 5 million or so dollars fielding the new family of patterns (which I DO agree with having – there is no such thing as one world wide pattern, and never said I did not) only to have it potentially shitcanned after the next round of trials, as mandated by Congress (and whether we like it or not, we have to listen to them) – save the money now and use what we have that has proven effective in the field because we have no way of knowing where the chips will fall when it’s all said & done.

  18. Seifer says:

    R.I.P.

    US4CES

  19. Hodge175 says:

    While it is nice to finally be moving away from the UCP to Multicam, the real story here is about the FRAUD, WASTE and ABUSE once again in another Army trial the in the end gives us nothing.

    Are these trials anymore just a gimmick for Staff Officers to validate there positions and find a place to hide out in the Pentagon? So we are now adopting a pattern that was beat by patterns from the same company, and will also cost us more for one pattern when we could get 3 patterns cheaper.

    How is this a win?

  20. Army Doc says:

    Could this move be to get the troops out of UCP while the whole Tri-service camo debacle is working itself out? Perhaps if they had adopted the CIE winner now then it would have somehow not been eligible or the other services would have resisted adopting it? So instead they are getting the army out of UCP and into something that will be compatible down the road (aka less wasted money) and will now begin the long process of convincing the other branches that they should all adopt the CIE winner together when the time comes for a common pattern?

    This is probably just me grasping at straws in the hope that big Army is not this ridiculous!

    • Deadeye says:

      …& to piggyback on the Tri-service angle, how will this impact the common cammo decision of 2018? How much of this decision was driven by the dual effects of sequestration & drawdown of forces?
      – fellow straw grasper

      • SSD says:

        I believe that initially, the Army blamed their delay in implementation of a plan, any plan on Sequestration. Now, all of a sudden, as you can see in their justification language, they are all on board with proposed Congressional direction to adopt a common pattern.

        Of course, this half-baked COA by the Army may result in another round of camouflage testing at the joint level.

        • Engineer says:

          The important question is whether these same patterns would be submitted in such a joint test, or did these companies spent valuable time and money on developing something for a force so enamored with risk aversion and CYA it puts SHARP bullet points in our OERs/NCOERs

  21. Joshua Respecki says:

    Time to FOIA for results of the trial. Then just put “army chooses most expensive and poorest performing choice” on a few covers.

  22. ODG says:

    I am neither shocked, nor surprised….I hate to be that guy but, I told you so…..

  23. TM says:

    So there will be no desert variation?

  24. Guy Cramer says:

    Remember the HBO movie “Pentagon Wars”.

  25. This guy says says:

    Is there anyway where we can read the entire text of the document? Several paragraphs are cutoff and left with + sign indicating more text but no way to read the text.

    • SSD says:

      It’s Saturday. What do you think the answer to that question is?

      • This guy says says:

        Touchy? I didn’t know if it could be read elsewhere or not.

        • SSD says:

          Not touchy. You should be “that guy”, that’s all. I just don’t believe you thought about your question before you wrote it. Don’t you think we would have published more if it were available?

          The info was heavily redacted. It looks like they don’t want many details out there.

          If the data was published at 320PM on Fri afternoon as a .pdf by the Army and we wrote a story about it at 8 AM on Saturday how do you think we’d get additional info on the weekend? We didn’t sit on this and published as soon as we could.

        • This guy says says:

          Never mind, that’s what I get for skimming the article in the first place.

  26. Dan says:

    F-22, F-35, EFV…. At least this ime the money was wasted on something productive. The results are known, eventually something will be done with them, but OCP is an excellent all around solution. Now, if this becomes “official”, how long will the turn around be?

    • Guy Cramer says:

      OCP (Multicam) did not break into the top 10 patterns for either Woodland/Jungle or Desert/Arid http://www.hyperstealth.com/camo-improvement/index.html

      • Dan says:

        When I said excellent I was comparing it to UCP. I read all of your articles Mr. Cramer, I am well aware that it is not a be all end all solution. US4CES and all the other families definitely performed better than OCP alone, but if the decision is to use 1 pattern, then a transitional pattern makes sense. Once again, anything is better than UCP. In retrospect, I wish I could remove “all around” from my previous comment, but hindsight is 20/20.

        • Jimbo says:

          Dan, I’m with you man. I’m on my seventh tour Afghanistan and I’ve operated down South and out East. Whether it’s the green zones in Nanhahar, the mountains of Kunar or the open desert in Khakrez, OCP works and it works well. I have watched my guys many times, as we’re moving along dismounted which is what we do, and been impressed with multicam.

  27. Matt says:

    Wow someones got sand in there V

    • Sal says:

      Can you blame him (or any of the competitors)? The Army just wasted years of everyone’s time and money only to (once again) shitcan the entire program.

    • Paralus says:

      if Multicam or the Crye patterns are indeed the best, I would be singing its praise from the rooftops.

      But this isn’t about the Crye patterns being the best, this is about Big Army failing to lead by simply going with an easy out so they don’t have to make any tough decisions. It’s the same stupid behavior that stuck them with UCP fer chrissakes. Big, lazy, mediocre and wasteful is what the US Army leadership represents today.

      I can only hope somebody leaks the test results and it reveals what kind of stupidity and cowardice lay behind such a lame decision.

  28. Paul says:

    Finally. Can we now get on with our lives and stop wasting so much time (and bandwidth) on the subject of camouflage?

  29. Jon says:

    I’m interested to see more on this topic in the next few days. I’m curious if there is continued talk on changing the color of boots, t-shirts, and if there’s any possibility of totally removing velcro from the uniform.

    • SSD says:

      Velcro ain’t going. Boot vendors were told to expect a color change. Unsure on T-shirts.

      • The Bald Monk says:

        Why change the color of the boots?
        What are the possible color choices for the boots if they do change?

        • Jon says:

          Well I’m in favor of changing the boots and the t-shirts. I always thought they were too light anyway. Also, I was rather hoping to totally ditch the velcro, but maybe that’s something further down the road. Hopefully, we can only make progress from here on the future of uniforms and some lessons learned finally stick.

      • Strike-Hold says:

        The British “MoD Brown” (or whatever its official name is) looks pretty good as a boot color.

        • Chris§ says:

          We get issued up to 10 different types of boots for the field, they are not all Brown but the majority are as Black doesn’t work with Multicam. Desert Combat, Desert Patrol, Temperate Combat, Temperate Patrol and Cold Wet Weather. You get a choice of 2 different styles of each zone depending on what suits your feet best. My kit locker is beginning to look like Emelda Marcos’s wardrobe especially since we aren’t dumping Black ones for Ceremonial but the manufacturers are mostly top draw – Altberg, Meindl and Haix

          http://www.altberg.co.uk/product/mens-defender-combat-boot-mod-brown-uk-military-issue-boot/

          We have the advantage over here that we TEND to equip with the best available. Not merely the best available that happen to be produced in the UK and are not penalised by a UK equivalent of the Berry Act. That said Altberg are probably the best temperate boot around and are produced in the UK.

  30. Lucky says:

    Any idea when we might be adopting these, i.e. wear out date for ACU? And will we go to Tan 499 for boots and skivvie shirts?

    • SSD says:

      The Army hasn’t even made an actual announcement. All of the substantiated info we have came from leakage from contract documentation.

      • Lucky says:

        Ahhhhhhh, ok. God I really hope they make that announcement soon! I would like a uniform that actually works, and PTs that are improvements over what we have.

  31. hodge175 says:

    It would be nice if the Army would say, if you got them wear them. Soldiers will be buy Multicam just to get out of UCP.

    My question for SSD, I don’t really feel like digging back through all the past articles right now, but since we are not picking the winning family of patterns would it not be cheaper to go with AOR1/AOR2. How did it do against Multicam, better I thought, plus we get two patterns and don’t have to pay for rights to the pattern correct? So in the long run would it not be cheaper?

    • Cap'n Drew says:

      Smarter people, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Multicam outperformed AOR1 and 2. That’s why it was selected to become OCP. Almost anything is better than UCP, but I really don’t understand the rationale behind this decision.

      • SSD says:

        Consider it a nondecision. They didn’t choose anything new, they just kept doing what they were already doing.

        • Philip says:

          Can you imagine if some PV2 told his 1SG he chose to do nothing while in a compromising situation on the grounds that inaction is still an action?

  32. SGT Rock says:

    There’s gotta be so damn many blowjobs going around in Washington right now it must be ridiculous.

  33. CCW says:

    Any idea what the total cost of the Camo Improvement Effort was too the Army? Funding to Contractors, testing, etc? In the grand scheme of Army procurement is this is a signifigant cost? The Army spends LOTS of money on procurement efforts that go nowhere (see FCS, Crusader, Comanche). Understand the readership is of SSD is focused on individual equipment, but if they want to get upset at the Army, look at the money “wasted” on big programs. Efforts are canceled all the time for politics, budget, technical risk, legal challenges, etc. Money invested is only one of many factors weighed. As for industry, Big Boy rules…

  34. Axe1477 says:

    Sorry if this was asked and answered but is there any chance that the Army will try to make OCP/Multicam restricted like AOR1/2?

    • Engineer says:

      The cats been out of the bag for 10 years, probably too late for that now.

    • SSD says:

      I am very sure that the license was for nonexclusive use meaning that the Army will be able to have anyone print OCP without paying for the pattern by the years like these done in the past.

      I don’t think you can put the MultiCam genie back in the bottle.

  35. Engineer says:

    SSD,

    Do you know if they still intend to make some sort of announcement at AUSA?

    • SSD says:

      That’s a great question and unfortunately, I don’t know the answer. Let’s cross our fingers.

      • Strike-Hold says:

        I would hope that you have just forced them into having to actually make an announcement – even if its just to acknowledge that MultiCam is in fact the new OD.

  36. jjj0309 says:

    Not big surprise. Great news for gear whores like me, we saved a lot of money thanks to Army. No more fancy full gear kit for new camo pattern.

  37. Monte says:

    A great time to spend more money on uniforms and duplicate equipment. The Army changes uniforms like little girls change their dresses.

  38. Cimg says:

    So now what will the USAF do, be the lone grey camo wearing service or follow suit and go OCP. Or go full retard with a blue variant of multicam.

  39. Orion307 says:

    Thank God for technicalities and the Army not interested in newer and more advanced concealment patterns.

  40. Paralus says:

    The subtitle should be:

    “BIG ARMY FUCKS UP AGAIN”

    They spend money like are printing it themselves.

    It is time to fire the generals. The institution that is the vast majority of the General officer corps is a monument to mediocrity.

    Lay them off, reduce the number of billets by 70%, promote Colonels to the remaining billets. No ticket punching, no branch rivalry, no outmoded traditions, no brown-nosing, no softlanding at defense contractors. Fire them all and start anew.

    • lime85 says:

      100% agree. We can dream can’t we?

    • Buckaroomedic says:

      Agree 100%. The “Cold War” warriors have totally screwed the modern military. The only consolation is that most will retire soon.

      • majrod says:

        How is this the Cold War’s fault?

        Way to break faith with previous warriors. Let’s hope we don’t remember when we’re fighting for you to get the same pensions and benefits.

        Karma buackaroo…

  41. bulldog76 says:

    *facepalm* good job army good job

  42. lime85 says:

    SSD, I don’t know the answer, maybe no one does, but is this in any way tied to the Quadrennial Defense Review?

    • SSD says:

      That is a valid question and my answer is no. That would mean that they had their stuff together on this and they don’t.

  43. bman says:

    Anyone want to bet someone upstairs is assuming the Navy wont give up the AOR cammo and that if the Army really truly needed those specific environments covered, they would just go with it? Still doesnt settle the whole issue of performance based on he results but its a thought. They have just gone with the AOR universal since it performed better Multicam way back when.

    • SSD says:

      No…that is an invalid theory.

      AOR 1 & 2 were both used as baseline patterns during the evaluation.

      Additionally, there is no “universal AOR” Several patterns were produced but nothing was ever locked down.

      • JBAR says:

        To me AOR II looks like a transitional pattern. It looks like a very washed out set of woodlands. Add to that their own washing out and getting brighter. I know they do not have much (or any) brown in them, but the color os very light. I have sot seen how they perform in woodland or jungle areas, but it would seem to me that they would be too light. I always thought AORII was really the transitional pattern and that they would come out with a darker set similar to MARPAT. Maybe that is the key. It would be too similar to MARPAT and get restricted.

        • SSD says:

          It’s definitely not a transitional pattern and was developed specifically for a quite verdant AOR.

  44. bman says:

    You always shoot me down…

    I could have sworn one of the studies Guy Cramer cited showed Universal or transitional AOR beating out Multicam. I believe it was one where Guy was making the case that digital is better. Also, just to clarify, I know they were baselines. My idea is that perhaps the Navy wont give up their new patterns to go with a “joint” pattern and since the army went with multicam which was a baseline, they might figure they will be the team players and wear what the Navy wears if they have really had to. I know its not likely. Its just too difficult to justify what they are doing.

  45. JBAR says:

    The reasons that I can tell for the adoption of OCP/Multicam are:
    1. The fiscal crisis would have created too great of a public backlash for adopting a new set of camo uniforms that the politicians and upper military did not want to deal with. I do not think that would have been able to justify the idea and expense of it even if it is not really a great expense.
    2. They know that the the joint service uniform mandate is down the road, so they want to just take the easiest option and at least get our Soldiers out of UCP into something safe (which is good) that is already being issued.
    3. I am not sure about the reasoning for holding off on the test winner7s camo sets or a playbook for using the current camo test winner (rumored to be Crye’s submission?) for a set of uniforms and gear. Maybe they just knew it would be further waste just for a few years and that the other services would not pick the same winner if the Army picked it now.
    All in all, it seems to stand that the Army was able to get out of UCP, and the option for a better, and combined, uniform is on the way.

    • Sal says:

      It still doesn’t make sense. Regarding your first point, the Army’s still gonna need to buy new clothing and PPE; printing them in any of the four finalist patterns won’t be any more expensive than doing it in multicam. In addition, the Army wouldn’t have immediately replaced all existing stocks of OCP with the new pattern; they would have done a gradual phased replacement just like with ACU (and pretty much every other piece of equipment/gear). Besides, which headline looks better:

      1) Army equipping forces with more effective camo
      2) Army spends millions to develop better camo; decides to use existing pattern instead

      Regarding your second point, the Army should actually be enthusiastic about this. IIRC the Army is the single largest customer of camo patterned clothing and gear. When you combine this with the fact that whatever phase IV pattern they chose would’ve had tons of testing and analysis behind it, the Army would’ve had significant amount of leverage over the other services.

      • JBAR says:

        I am speculating their, not my, possible decision making reasoning. My reasoning would be to incorporate the test findings into the mandate as the unified services’ uniform(s). This will end the problem once and for all. Stop messing with people’s lives. Get the war fighters the best gear, do it right, and do it now. Where are the decision makers on this? It is the very best opportunity to end the madness. If they are withholding the current test`s best performer, they may be keeping is as a contender to use in the future, or continue to push around the other services and politicians. Issuing it to the Army before letting the other branches have a say, will really piss people off by the Army basically saying use our stuff. Politics and hurt feelings abound.

        With the mandate looming, and a current fiscal crisis, they probably needed to pick OCP as a stop-gap until the joint camo findings are concluded (which will be an interesting fight). It would actually increase costs to go with the current “winner”. The buy-out of the camo is cheaper, but print 3-4 different sets of gear and uniforms equals more gear/uniforms equals greater costs. They would need to start producing the other color variants to have ready to deploy. So, instead of one set, OCP, being stored up and used fir all areas at this point (that I am aware of), it is the best fiscal decision.

    • ME says:

      No one in the beltway army cares about a “public backlash” because most people in the public don’t give a hoot about camouflage or about the relatively miniscule amount the army is spending on this. More likely, the “public” would actually support this.

      What the beltway army cares about is the media backlash, which would lead to faux congressional outrage at the bloated, inept and wasteful DoD.

  46. Roger says:

    In rereading this I’m not so quick to reach the same conclusions. Paragraph seems to indicate that this is primarily for Afghanistan. We will still have soldiers there for several years and they will need uniforms. If the Army is going to adopt Multicam, they will need the 2 companion variants. I hope you’re right about this.

    • SSD says:

      Explain your line of reasoning.

      • Roger says:

        Paragraph 5:
        Reason for Authority Cited: To provide combat uniforms to personnel deployed to Afghanistan ………. As a short term goal to provide an effective alternative to the UCP and to conduct a limited validation……….

        • SSD says:

          First, read all of para 5; you’ve quoted out of context. It is there to give a historical perspective. Then read all of para 8. Explain the last sentence if this action does not impact the US Army Camouflage Improvement Effort.

      • Roger says:

        Paragraph 5 says that the reason for this is to supply uniforms for personnel in Afghanistan, and also testing for a replacement to the ucp and a limited validation.

        • SSD says:

          Is this one of my buddies messing with me? I face palmed myself so hard it actually hurt.

          You are seriously paraphrasing and also, once again quoting out of context.

          One more time. Read the entire paragraph. Notice it says “the 2009 Supplemental Act”? That is for historical perspective. It’s why OCP was selected in the first place.

          Then, go back to para 8.

  47. Bill says:

    This is all excellent news! Just one question remains. When can I burn my UCP ACU’s? Please let me know as soon as you hear SSD!

  48. Troy says:

    AOR2 only works when it is wet. Way too bright.

  49. Brett says:

    $5 billion dollar fashion show.

  50. Oderus says:

    Sadly the Army’s planning is about as fucked up as these peoples’ responses.