GORE

US Army Camouflage Improvement Effort – A Soft Launch?

I’ve heard lots of rumors concerning Army camouflage but late this afternoon at AUSA I was approached by several soft good companies that they had been informed, off-the-record, by a Government source close to the program that the US Army would indeed adopt OCP as its camouflage pattern. The source of this information is very reliable. Apparently, the companies were informed to help assuage uneasiness in the industrial base.

The source confirmed that the Army was unwilling to make an official announcement at this time due to the federal government’s current budget woes. The party line remains that it just wouldn’t look right to give the appearance of spending money so recently after the shutdown.

However, according to the information received by SSD, the Army will eventually make an official announcement and plans to begin fielding OCP to new accessions beginning in FY15 with uniforms for the rest of the force starting in FY16. According to the source, the reason for the delay is that the Army plans to tweak the colors in the pattern slightly. Interestingly, the source also claimed that the Army would have access to the woodland and arid environmental patterns as well.

When asked about the time gap until the new patterns are fielded and the requirement for the Army’s incumbent UCP, the source answered that analysis indicated that there were enough uniforms already in stock or on order to support the force except for some odd sizes based on current demand models.

I’m glad to hear that there are some moves being made behind the scenes but I wish the Army would just cut the cloak and dagger and announce a plan. Purchasing additional ACUs in UCP is just a waste since they plan on replacing them. Make the announcement now and speed up the timeline.

70 Responses to “US Army Camouflage Improvement Effort – A Soft Launch?”

  1. ocd+dpms says:

    Is there any possibility that the color tweaked multicam was actually the transitional entry?

  2. thelastglidertrooper says:

    CRYE WON YAY !!!!! I was hoping for kryptek but hey anything better than ucp

  3. hodge175 says:

    So by this I will be in UCP till Octoberish of 2015? So two more years of UCP?

    • El Guapo says:

      Looks like kids at Basic will start getting them in Oct 2014 and out to everyone else in Oct 2015, but as a lot of us already have OCP uniforms I’m assuming they’ll allow us to use it stateside in late 2014.

      One more year of GravelPat? FML…

      • hodge175 says:

        I can see a very different outcome, based on how this program has been run so far. Unless the Army says ” if you got them you can wear them” which I don’t see happening here is what I see.

        By the time they are to field uniforms in 2014 to new recruits, Congress will have passed the law requiring all services to be in one uniform by 2018. I don’t know if that means fielded by 2018 but I don’t see it. So I see the Army saying we wanted to field a new uniform but congress is blocking it.

        In comes the USMC, they are not going to just accept the Army’s results of the camo trials and are going to be kicking and screaming…so start a whole new Camo test program, the new pattern will be selected after years of more testing. Then then fielding begins which will be on a two year time line like it is now, faster for the smaller Marine Corps, but I see the Army in Gravelpat till 2018 at the earliest

        • Chad720 says:

          Another issue the Marines will have a hard time going a long with on top of the camouflage is the uniform itself. The ACU cut/style uniform is horrible. Marines don’t love the MARPAT uniform just for the pattern but we love it for the uniform as a whole. The cut, functionality and quality of the uniform.

    • straps says:

      …if you source through “conventional” channels, or are stuck in a unit where nobody gets to dump UCP until the fatties and freaks of nature can get outfitted…

      There will be G.O. commands out there where the flag pole is co-located with the smallest functional element that will micromanage it, as some far-flung company-sized element with a Supply NCO who just PCS’d from KYLOC will flip a unit overnight ‘cuz he still knows People.

      In the vast middle is folks who will make it happen on their own time, dime and perseverance, and work next to an O-6 who can provide the top cover.

      I’ve been That Guy who showed up one day in next week’s uniform for WC to 6-color (I don’t even want to admit what I paid for my rough-out boots), WC to 3-color (mostly because my feet were baking in the black boots), 3-color to UCP (freedom of movement in a unit I was TACON to) and UCP to OCP (because UCP sucks). I was also That Guy who was wearing his WC on 30 April 2008–the last day it was authorized for wear.

  4. Abn says:

    If they field uniforms to new Soldiers in FY15, that is October 2014 – one year from now and – IMHO – that’s when they’ll say buy out of pocket if you want.
    I think this way because why would IET Soldiers run around in a uniform DS’s aren’t wearing. Pay out of pocket will come before FY16 – October 2015.

    Once again, just my opinion without Army fuckery logic.

    • pbr549 says:

      Drill Sergeants would get the new uniforms issued before the first cycle of trainees revieved the new uniforms. One benifit of being a Drill Sergeant.

  5. Sal says:

    So they’re adopting crye’s woodland and arid patterns as well? At least it’s better than just using multicam.

    I still think that US4CES was the better pattern. Hopefully the Army releases the test results at some point.

  6. Aaron says:

    Stupid.

  7. MAC says:

    Any chance the folks with OCP in the closet will be able to transistion earlier? Two more years of poor training walking around in the woods in light grey uniforms is a greater disservice to the troops then anything else.

    • straps says:

      That’s on your CoC.

      Your CSM’s point of reference for freelance transition will be the doofus who shows up for work in a Tru Spec top he got off eBay and a faded set of ratty-ass, crotch-blown pants he got from a surplus store off post ;).

  8. Army Doc says:

    Any chance you can release the results now sad?? :-)

  9. 32sbct says:

    So the Army is going to tweak the colors on OCP? I guess the purpose of that is to render worthless all of the existing stocks of OCP. Is there no end to this stupidity? And why would it take another year to start issuing the new uniform when OCP is already in production? I’ll only be in uniform until May 2016. I hope I don’t have to retire wearing the dreaded UCP.

    • straps says:

      Upside to all that “experimental” fielding is that it’s FREEEEEE. Might get collected back up, might not.

    • Sal says:

      IIRC Crye’s transitional pattern was very similar to OCP. It’s very possible that both colors are compatible with each other.

  10. CavalryDave says:

    FY15 makes me think they are waiting till after we close OEF to issue out the new uniforms. Delaying the newer OCP and continuing UCP for appearance is merely a continuation of a 5 billion dollar mistake. And Roger.

  11. CavalryDave says:

    FY15 makes me think they are waiting till after we close OEF to issue out the new uniforms. Delaying the newer OCP and continuing UCP for appearance is merely a continuation of a 5 billion dollar mistake. And Roger.

  12. Wallzy says:

    If Congress decides that there is to be one type of camo for all services, the Army and Air Force should wear the Transitional Multicam but let the USMC wear the Arid and Woodland Multicam versions to keep their desired “different appearance” from other services while simplifying logistics and cost.
    Just my 2cents.

    • Sal says:

      Fuck that.

      Why should the other services sacrifice capability because the USMC brass are primadonnas?

      • Greg says:

        True. Let everyone wear whatever camo scheme they want, but atleast take something good that the Corps might consider. If not, then so much for a “Joint” effort.

        • DanW says:

          Here’s my vote:

          The Army, Air Force, and Navy wear OCP’s or whatever the new camo is.

          The Marines go back to OD greens so they can feel special.

      • Wallzy says:

        I don’t mean letting the USMC have exclusive rights to wearing the Arid and Woodland. Everyone from Air Force, Army to Marine could pull any of the 3 patterns from stock but at least in garrison the Marines could stand out by wearing one of the different patterns over the Transitional to separate themselves from the Army look. In theatre everyone would than wear what matched the terrain no matter what service you were.

  13. majrod says:

    If we are just going to ignore the test WHY did we do/pay for a test?

    • Sal says:

      IIRC the article said that the Army will have access to the woodland and arid patterns too. So in a sense phase IV wasn’t a total waste.

      • Paralus says:

        Which article? I don’t recall anything mentioning woodland or desert patterns versions of OCP/MC.

        this OCP/MC, not anything else until we see different.

    • hodge175 says:

      The same way we paid for the carbine tests that wasted how much R&D funds and was canceled at the final phase

      • Steve from the Army says:

        Given the two scenarios canceling the carbine tests was the right choice to make no decision for once. The army chose the m4a1 as the army-wide rifle and worked on improving it while running another program to replace it. Someone called BS and they declared all replacements a failure IOT divert the funds to the improvement. Both would have been cool but not reasonable.

    • James says:

      It wouldn’t be the Army unless we waste money!

  14. Atom Smasher says:

    BULL SH*T! I NO LONGER BELIEVE ANYTHING THESE HAPLESS, COWARD, STAR WEARING F*CKERS SAY ABOUT PLANNING OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS. WE ALL KNOW THAT THE BRASS IS TOO CHICKEN SH*T TO LEAD THE FORCE OUT OF THIS MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR RABBIT HOLE THAT IS UCP.

  15. James says:

    Tweaking the colors? God help us, if it’s back to slate gray and foliage green I might as well show up to work in an OD green, polka-dotted clown suit. I’d at least blend in better.

    Anyhow, all those millions down the toilet finding the best camouflage for the Army just to go back to a pattern that should have been fielded 7 years ago.

  16. bulldog76 says:

    lets just all adopt some ww2 german pattern and mod it a lil bit

  17. Mick says:

    Is this some sort of weird back door way to pick a phase four winner?

    “We’re going with multicam, but going to tweak the colors… Hey, how ’bout that? It now looks just like Crye’s phase IV submission. Just a coincidence. Oh, the army will have access to woodland and arid options from phase IV, too. Just a coincidence. Nothing to see here, move along.”

    Unless the army is being super clever, and this is a way to allow them to use all the existing OCP stuff, then “tweak” it into the phase IV crye. That way, they’d be able to keep all the OCP from Astan for training and whatnot, then upgrade to phase IV through attrition… Nah, makes too much sense, that can’t be it!

    Hey 32 sbct, you in WI? I was 1-128 Inf in OIF, 2005.

    • Greg says:

      No matter how they “tweak it”, Corps still won’t take it and we’ll be back to another improvement effort in no time. Primadonnas always mook things up!

      • Steve says:

        Yes, blame the Marines, not the army for this continuing sh*t storm. Question, if the army had done their homework the first time around and not wasted millions, would this even be an issue?

        I am guessing it wouldnt be. What brought all of this to the forefront was the huge waste of money by the army on a pattern they knew to be sub-standard.

        Strange how the Naval services got this right and not the worlds premier land army.

        • lev says:

          wait a sec, I though the USMC was the world’s premier land army…………………………………………………………………………………………..(hey…thought I’d make you forget about camo drama for a sec)

        • Blaster says:

          yeah yeah yeah, let the flaming begin. Everyone and their mother knows that if the corps had just let everyone else use their patterns we all would be wearing them. It would have been cheap, effective, and this whole debacle would have been averted. I hope the vaunted marine corps feels super special considering that UCP probably cost lives. Feel better now? The marine corps wants to stand out so damn bad but aren’t we all supposed to be brothers? Aren’t we all supposed to be fighting for the USA and our families? The corps turned this into a damn fashion show. Then when all of the other services pleaded them to adopt MARPAT the corps sat their and said NO! We own these colors! Like a child on a playground. But momma…. I don’t want to share…. It’s MINE!!!!

        • Greg says:

          If the coat fits! Who exactly started this “I wanna look different” bull$hit in the first place? Not the Army, AF or Navy. The good lord even sees thorugh that tom-foolery! There is NO need for any 1st world military to run around in nearly ten different camo’s just to do their job! Theres no doubt that people are fully aware of the cash being blown on the inefective UCP, just to be replaced with something else that won’t function anywhere else besides A-Stan. But they are also aware of the ones who started this camouflage mess from the get-go. You know? the guys who donned MARPAT in order to either brand themselves as the “real” heroes. Or because it was something new and improved. If the hero thing isn’t true, then why not share it? But if you bring up the the whole “to look different” argument like always, then that only further proves the “hero” point!

          • This guy says:

            OCP will work quite well in other locales outside of Afghanistan.

            • Greg says:

              I forgot about Pakistan, or the rest of Central Asia. Aside from that place, it’s pretty much an “In-between” camo. Another UCP that just won’t cut it State side, S. America, Asia or Europe 95-100%. The argument is that it’s too tan/brown for a typical American or European forest, and not enough tan to work on dunes. Given that Multi-cam is better than grey UCP. The way the army is going, it’s just another UCP that looks better.

              • Paralus says:

                Yep. that’s exactly right. It’s a chickenshit cop-out by the twits with stars on their collars that shows how gutless they are and how they are willing to make yet another multi-billion dollar error.

              • This guy says:

                No pattern is perfect. However, OCP is light years ahead of UCP. If it acts as a transitional pattern then it does that very well.

  18. m5 says:

    Questions, questions…

    Will the Army release the results of the study? When? If not, are they classified or would a Freedom of Information Act request help? SSD, how about making one?

    Was the choise of OCP (a reference pattern in the study) based on the results of the study? Or what?

    Is the ‘tweaked’ OCP actually Crye’s transitional competition entry?

    Are the OCP in woodland and arid patterns Crye’s competition entries in respective categories?

    According to rumour, phase IV was very close between the four downselected contenders, except for one area, possibly NIR. Were Crye’s patterns really the ones that excelled in the area that set the contenders apart? (Rather than US4CES, as one might expect, if it actually was NIR which set the contenders apart.)

    In the 2003 camo study, there were (just) four transitional patterns. One of them was Crye’s Multicam (originally named Scorpion). Multicam finished 3rd out of 4. The color palette of Multicam has changed slightly since then. Current OCP is actually current Multicam. Back then, the Army chose UCP from outside the competition. Does the history repeat itself: study dismissed, and OCP chosen on some other grounds?

    Was the 2003 study essentially flawed? Or is ‘All over brush’, the winner in 2003, a better transitional pattern than any of the current contenders? Or did the slight color palette change really make a big difference for Multicam?

    Or is this all just another big f*k up?

  19. Mike says:

    Well, as much as I think UCP doesn´t work and should be replaced, isn´t it odd that once again the misconception of a universal camouflage seems to prevail ?

    Wasn´t all the CIE fuzz about the fact that there is no such like a universal camouflage ?

    Yes, MC works in many environments. But if you´ve tried it in real woodland or even jungle you´ll see it´s not universal at all.
    Finaly its not a distinctive US Camouflage anymore as countries around the world have issued it already.

    However,
    seems once more a lot of money was wasted for the CIE, if the introduction of MC would just be the final result.

    History repeats itself

  20. JEFF says:

    SSD, any chance you could release who was actually found to win Phase IV?

  21. Daniel says:

    Something I noticed but no one ever mentions is that the FR OCP is quite a bit more brown than 50/50 NYCO ripstop Multicam. Does that play into any of this?

    • Sal says:

      IIRC that was to meet NIR requirements.

      • Daniel says:

        Which version is Guy Cramer using in his comparisons? FR or NYCO? Appears to be NYCO to me. In most of his pictures it seemed to be the pre 2010 MC to boot.

        • mcs says:

          He actually did some testing of the pre/post 2010 MC, both NyCo, in response to soldiers indicating that there was a difference in what he was originally showing with his experiments and what they were seeing with their NVDs. It was because of the different versions of the pattern, as was subsequently addressed.
          link: http://www.hyperstealth.com/baseline/

  22. This guy says:

    Money and politics have led to this.

    It’s probably actually smarter and cheaper at this point to burn through existing OCP stocks until they are spent up as the “color tweaks” happen during production runs of new uniforms. My guess at this point is the “color tweaks” will tweak it right into Crye’s transitional pattern which if true means the reported Phase IV winner gets fielded. It was discussed in the article that the woodland and arid patterns would still be available. End result Phase IV winner gets fielded, tons of OCP stuff doesn’t get thrown out, and all the US4CES fan boys are butt hurt.

    Even if OCP replaces the transitional pattern in Crye’s Phase IV submission as long as we get the other two patterns we will still be better off.

    At the end of the day most all of us can agree that the day to burn our UCP kit can’t come fast enough.

  23. Angry Misha says:

    I’ll say it again, the “MARINE CORPS WILL HAVE NO CHOICE”

    They can try and DENY that its superior, however, MARPAT was one of the baseline patterns that the Crye patterns were evaluated against and found superior. It’s called “SCIENCE”. Even the “Illustrious” Guy Cramer has proven this ad nauseam since July. And Guy, please for the love of God, refrain. We understand.

    They can get ANGRY and throw a temper tantrum about how they’re “America’s Team” and have “kept the wolf at bay for 238 years” (as of this November 10th).

    When they that this bill is on the cusp of becoming a “Law” they’ll realize that “S#!T just got real” and they’ll attempt to BARTER by either; a) Utilizing the same “gray goods” (i.e. fabric) the new uniform is made out of but print their pattern on it, or, b) Maintain the same “Cut” of the current MCCU but issue it in the new pattern.

    Then, the bill with become a LAW and the Marines will become DEPRESSED. There will bound to be much crying on the internet, the halls of the “Puzzle Palace” and “The Hill” but alas… it’s gonna happen.

    Finally, although “They don’t think it be like it is but it do” the Marines will begrudgingly ACCEPT the change.

    Instead of fighting the inevitable, the Marines should “..jump on the team and come on in for the big win”, in that, they should start influencing this now.

    In my opinion, there is NO NEED for Velcro or pockets on the sleeves of the MCCU or ACU blouse/jacket. In all actuality, they are “work uniforms”. I would suggest that the Marines start pushing for a “Working” blouse/jacket with the same cut as the current MCCU sans the pockets on the sleeves. Then the Army and Marine Corps can issue every Soldier/Marine 4 sets of the “Transitional” tops and bottoms as well a 4 “Combat” or “Field” shirts that are Non-FR versions of the USMC FROG and US Army Combat Shirt. And speaking of the Army Combat Shirt, if you’re being told that it’s against regulations to wear it for training… you’re being lied to. Just don’t wear it into the dang exchange, DFAC or off post. This solution will provide for a common uniform that will allow Marines to still wear rank on their collars when in garrison, the army can have plenty of real estate to sew on patches and officer branch. And honestly, if I was calling the shots for the Marines, I’d dump name tapes and go back to ironing on an EGA and “USMC” on the left pocket.

    Finally, the Marines should start pimping their Plate Carrier and Pack as a “Service Common” solution, because, let’s be honest, the Soldier Plate Carrier System and MOLLE large suck.

    Have no delusions of grandeur, THIS WILL happen. For the majority of its “Modern” existence, the Marines and Army have worn COMMON uniforms and used COMMON equipment. The M1 Helmet, ALICE, BDU’s and PASGT were used across the board. But the issue was that they were all run by THE ARMY.

    So in short, if the Marines don’t get on board NOW this will be just one of many things that will get rammed down their throats by LAW and the Army will be the one calling all the shots.

    Plus, I think that Multicam is akin to the USMC WWII Pacific uniform and would be a fitting tribute with an EGA on the chest. Not to mention the fact that it’s more effective than MARPAT.

    And to whoever suggested that the Corps be issued 2 sets of the woodland and 2 sets of the arid so the Marines could be “different”…. Choke yourself.

  24. 65th Infantry GI jose says:

    AMEN…you just gave my cranium a hard on sir!