Massif Rocks!

Some Not-So-Straight Talk From CSA GEN Odierno On OCP

In a recent interview with the Army Times entitled “Straight talk from Odierno on uniforms, women in combat arms and PT tests” Army Chief of Staff GEN Ray Odierno answered a few questions regarding the Army’s impending switch to OCP as the principle camouflage pattern, ending 10 years of use of the so-called Universal Camouflage Pattern. His answers were rather interestingly worded.

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Q. You expect the transition to the Afghanistan uniform?

A. I think the testing tells us that’s the best uniform, but we have not finalized that decision yet. You know that I usually don’t avoid questions, but it’s contractual, so I’ve got to be careful of what I say.

Ultimately, his comment’s support what I’ve been saying for months now; the US Army is adopting the Operational Camouflage Pattern.

However, I find two things funny about this article. First off, just weeks ago the Army Times published an article stating that the US Army wasn’t going to switch patterns.

The second thing is the very comment from GEN Odierno. He is speaking as though OCP (Crye Precision’s MultiCam) were a finalist in the Phase IV Army Camouflage Improvement Effort and the solicitation is still in source selection. OCP wasn’t, at least not as a candidate. It was however, a baseline pattern that the candidates were measured against. Additionally, Crye Precision was a finalist with a family of patterns that are quite similar in geometry to OCP. According to my sources, the Crye entry “won” the tests but due to ineptitude on the part of the Army no winner has been officially announced. It’s very important to point out that these are not the same thing.

Now, by even GEN Odierno’s admission, there is a law in place that restricts the individual services from introducing new camouflage patterns. It would seem that the years and millions of Dollars of development by both Government and Industry that went into Phase IV are now for naught.

“Congress has ordered that we can’t develop any new systems,” Odierno said. “Well, we have two, right now: the one that we’re wearing every day, and then the one that we use in Afghanistan. So, what’s the next step in how we transition? When do we start? Now, we want it to be as cost-neutral as possible.”

Instead of adopting a family of camouflage patterns for arid, transitional and woodland environments as planned in Phase IV, the Army is now set to forego the woodland and arid environmental patterns in order to field the solitary transitional OCP. It’s a compromise caused by inaction that has turned the most comprehensive camouflage study in history into no more than a report on a shelf. And while OCP is a fine pattern, the Phase IV winner performed better, offered more options and came with an inexpensive enterprise-wide license to print as much as they need. The make-it-up-as-they-go plan to transition to OCP on the other hand is more expensive and leaves the Army with a less advanced transitional pattern and no specialized patterns for desert and jungle.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing personally against GEN Odierno. But had the Army announced their winner when originally planned (June 14th), this all would have been water under the bridge. But instead, they hemmed and hawed themselves into a corner. It’s a situation that will cost them more to get less.

68 Responses to “Some Not-So-Straight Talk From CSA GEN Odierno On OCP”

  1. HOLLYWOOD319 says:

    Go figure. I’m also going run under the assumption that it will not be “if you got it, wear it” either.

    • GreenEyes says:

      Ray, just get them the Camo that works. It is an embarrassment that the Army is this STUPID for this long that it is damaging Advisory work with 3rd world Nations. ACU’s are Retarded and so is some Leadership that has stood blindly by the sidelines and just ignored common sense solutions. To all the SGM’s who made dumb azz excuses- ACU friendly identification purposes- retire. Better Senior NCO’s are needed than you. You have not advised on anything- you just said “Yes Sir” and collected a pay check = a worthless NCO. Go Wear a reflective PT belt as a civilian.

      Ray, just change the Camo to Multicam or US4CES and be done with it. The longer time goes by, the more stockpile of this worthless ACU is stored in warehouses = more wasted tax payer money for a failed camo pattern that does not work.

  2. USMColdawg says:

    Contractual? OCP? Well, the reporter should have him answer more questions on the topic and why the announcement was taking so long.

  3. pyronaute says:

    With all due respect to soldiers (and the bureaucrat generals that lead them) growing up as an Army brat of sorts, and a R.O.T.C. participant in college, I have witnessed the U.S. Army uniform devolution first hand. The Army has been ‘uniform dysfunctional’ for decades. For example, why did they abandon the all tan summer uniforms in the early 80’s? Why was the BDU pattern camouflage ever regarded as ‘universal’? (Designed for use in battle against the Soviets in Eastern Europe, and possibly on the Korean peninsula-epic failure in Grenada-subsequently forced upon the Marines who already had utility uniforms suited to their primary mission and anticipated areas of operations.) Remember the stupid looking, dysfunctional utility ‘baseball’ cap in Vietnam; and pinhead General Abrams’ hatred of the ubiquitous, but environmentally appropriate and popular boonie hat because of its ‘un-military appearance’?

    From what I’ve seen of it, the current Army dress uniform ensemble looks more like what I would expect municipal police officers to be wearing than dress uniforms befitting one of the world’s preeminent fighting forces. And then there’s the black beret debacle, another sordid chapter in the Army uniform saga.

    An O-5 friend, who’s last active duty billet before retirement was as XO of The Infantry School, privately shared his disappointment with the abundance of ‘Velcro’ on the ACU when it was being field trialed (too noisy in a tactical environment). Now, after nearly 10 years of field use, it can be construed that it was never the optimal colors/shading ideally suited for the terrain and foliage of the primary theater of operations in which it would be first used operationally. (Science trumps common sense? BDU, ACU; are clever acronyms more important than form & function?)
    Meanwhile, the Marines have maintained their dress uniform tradition (even though ‘Summer Service Charlies’ were abandoned along the way-was that from Army pressure?) and have devised a cleverly appropriate variety of combat/utility uniforms in distinctive and rationally developed patterns suited to the various operational environments in which Marines are, or may be, deployed.

    The current controversy and strife over Army combat uniform camouflage pattern(s) is really not that surprising. In the last 30 or so years, far too much time, energy and revenue has been squandered in the pursuit of a fantasy ‘universal’ combat uniform camouflage pattern. How many soldiers have been maimed or mortally wounded during this endless war because their ACU failed to provide optimum concealment either visually or audibly? Their spilled blood is on the hands of the bureaucrats, lobbyists, consultants and contractors enriched by taxpayer money in the process of developing and delivering inadequate combat uniforms to our valiant soldiers. In my never to be humble opinion, the soldiers deserve better than that which they have received.

    • Riceball says:

      Just as an FYI, BDUs & ACUs are not camouflage patterns, they are uniform patterns. BDUs were printed primarily in a woodlands pattern but commercially available in a wide range of patterns, ACUs are issued in either UCP or OCP and like BDUs are available commercially in other patterns.

      • majrod says:

        Riceball – you are absolutely technically correct but many folks refer to the patterns by using the uniform’s acronym.

        • straps says:

          …and they would be as wrong in doing so as people who refer to “cement” interchangeably with “concrete” when talking to civil engineers or construction people.

    • majrod says:

      You don’t know your history. You are reciting a lot of misinformation.

      The BDU woodland uniform was never considered universal and we haven’t devoted 30 years of effort to developing universal camo. It’s a decade’s worth of misplaced effort. Still a waste but not 30 years.

      The use of BDUs wasn’t “forced” on the Marines. ERDL stocks were simply exhausted. It’s the same reason SF went to BDUs. Not developing a lightweight uniform was a real mistake and we wore OG107s until lightweight BDUs were fielded.

      When it comes to the dress blue Army uniform, love it or hate it. It has actually been in use as much as the traditional Marine Blues. It was just restricted to primarily officers and dress events out of the public eye.
      http://www.army.mil/symbols/uniforms/history.html
      http://www.collectorsquest.com/uploads/blog/2012/06/usmart-620×523.jpg

      The biggest reason this sort of misinformation flourishes is the Army is pathetic when it comes to teaching its history unlike the Corps that devotes weeks in basic to teaching theirs and places a much greater general emphasis in reiterating and documenting it.

      • Aaron says:

        Dress Blues were not restricted…they were just not required to possess by the majority of the Army. Although if we’d kept to the M-1872 Dress or the M-1902 Dress we wouldn’t be having discussions about how crappy our dress uniforms look.

        • majrod says:

          Blues were always required for officers. “Restricted” is probably not the best word to use but besides not requiring enlisted to have blues the blues were always restricted to most formal of occasions keeping them out of the public and most of the soldier’s eyes. Often when I wore blues in the 80’s and 90’s I was often asked what branch it represented.

      • pyronaute says:

        Thank you for the corrections, but with all due respect, I did not claim there was a 30 year effort to develop a universal camouflage pattern; I said ‘ In the last 30 or so years, far too much time, energy and revenue has been squandered in the pursuit of a fantasy ‘universal’ combat uniform camouflage pattern.’ and I stand by that. I realize there were other camouflage patterns in use by the Army during the ‘Woodland B.D.U.’ era, but woodland camouflage arguably the dominant pattern in use but all branches of the US Armed Forces for more than two decades. I don’t profess to be an expert in these matters, simply an interested observer who has always been intrigued by the variety of military camouflage patterns in use throughout the world since some clever warriors realized the strategic & tactical benefits of battlefield concealment. As a taxpaying citizen, I want the warriors defending our nation to be the best equipped (including camouflage combat uniforms) on the battlefield, and in garrison; and if it’s not asking too much, I want the best value for my tax dollar. I fear that the development and selection of combat uniforms has not been exempt from the waste, fraud and abuse of government bureaucracy of which we have grown far too accepting. If the Multicam based O.C.P. uniforms are going to solve the combat uniform problems of the Army, then I support its adoption. I have no dog in this hunt except my tax dollars.

        I still think the ‘black berets for everyone’ is silly, and the new Army blue dress uniform (for summer wear) is tacky.

        • majrod says:

          I’m all for saving money which is why the Army tans and Marines summer charlies were discontinued.

          You did call BDU’s “universal camo”. E.G. “Why was the BDU pattern camouflage ever regarded as ‘universal’?” BDU’s were adopted in the early 80’s, 30 years ago. Woodland BDU’s were never a universal camouflage.

          As for berets, I agree though the service cap has not been discontinued. ASU’s for summer wear are tacky? I see them all the time around Ft. Benning. I guess it’s a matter of taste and getting used to them. The beret just doesn’t do anything for the look though. These are matters of taste.

          I took issue with your characterization of the Army being uniform dysfunctional but I understand better now that you’ve admitted you don’t know much on the subject and why decisions were made.

  4. 32sbct says:

    This reminds me of the kid who tries everything he can not to tell Dad he scratched the new car. Just announce it and move on. Whether they make a big announcement or a soft launch its going to get press coverage. The truth is, most people just don’t care about what uniform the Army wears. The press will play it up and in a few days no one will remember it.

  5. mouse says:

    After reading the updates regarding the Army Camo Improvement Effort if the Army has already chosen to go the Multicam then the question becomes what are they waiting on in order to announce the winner. If it is because of the new National Defense Authorization Act are they waiting to get acceptance from the Department of Navy (the USMC does fall under the Navy) or having read a little blub on the USMC working on a MARPAT transitional pattern is the Army waiting for the USMC to create this pattern to adopt it. This would be a lot easier because you already would have buy in from the USMC. Hopefully they collective pull their heads out of their four point of contact.

    • majrod says:

      Or all the branches could look at the result of the Army test and adopt a pattern that no branch “owns” (minimizing the infantile & insecure ego factor), is supported by tons of data and is already paid for by the taxpayer…

  6. ME says:

    Like it or not, this is how the new army is going to work. All this does is further erode any trust our senior leadership thought they had.

    I’d like to see SSD do an interview with the chief on this.

  7. Paralus says:

    If you’re explaining in front of an audience, you’re losing.

    Odierno is losing this one.

  8. Steven S says:

    Couldn’t the Army go to the Secretary of Defense and pitch the winner of the CIE for adoption of all branches?

    It’s not like the SecDef will get a lot of flak for adopting the winner of the CIE. It’s based on the largest and most extensive camouflage study in history to back it up.

    Hell, I could see this working in his favor. Him being known as the one who stoped the camo nonsense.

    • SSD says:

      Pressuring DoD into a single camouflage pattern would apparently destroy the will to fight of one of our services. Their actions tell us they have no esprit de corps unless they look different than everyone else. Gone are the days of substance. Now, it’s all about symbolism.

      • Baldwin says:

        Having different service combat uniforms is a valid and time honored concept. There have been a number of folks on many blogs commenting on how we all have worn the same combat uniform since WW2. Not true. The different services have always worn different combat uniforms (and duty uniforms, and dress uniforms, etc.).

        Marines didn’t join the Marines because they wanted to look like soldiers. Soldiers didn’t join the Army because they wanted to look like Marines. Marines and soldiers are the best at what they do because they ARE different. So being and looking different has it’s practical value. Stop getting wrapped around the axle over what doesn’t matter. The problem is the waste of time, money, and effort.

        The enlisted folks did not create the problem(s). The fault lies squarely on the shoulders of the general officers and various department secretaries endorsing such ill advised crap. And now it is even more reprehensible because of their mismanagement and complete lack of common sense, the Congress has seen an irresistible opportunity to look important and has gotten in on the fiasco.

        To quote(misquote) some one else, “How is it that we even call ourselves a superpower?” For chrissakes, we can’t even figure out what we’re gonna wear to the war!

        • Norbis says:

          I didn’t join the Army to look like anything. I joined the military and Army over USMC for various reasons; what I look like wasn’t one if them. Put everybody in the same patterned uniform and equipment as needed. Choose the best performing patterns. The end.

        • 10thMountainMan says:

          I’m with SSD on this one. Save your esprit de corps for your dress uniform. Combat uniforms are all about utility. The Marine Corps existence in it’s current form is already a nod to their storied history and tradition.

          I honor the courage, professionalism, and history of my brothers in the Corps. Sweeping sentiment aside however, there is no practical reason to have a second, smaller, and less equipped land Army.

          We have a large offensively capable Marine Corps because of the place they have earned in the American imagination, not because they have unique utility. Stay as useful as possible and try not to let your sentiments about yourself get in the way the greater military improving its combat effectiveness.

        • majrod says:

          You are factually incorrect and either simply don’t know or purposely passing on misinformation to excuse the inexcusable.

          We have more often than not shared major components of our uniforms across the branches for centuries. Yep, we’ve had our differences but the obsessive compulsive tendency to want to be “unique” in all ways is a recent development.

          When it comes to camouflage we have half a century of history of sharing patterns that abruptly stopped when the Marines copyrighted their pattern.

          Here’s a link to how the Old Breed and the Old Old Breed emphasized their differences (note, there was a time Marines wore patches on their combat uniforms). http://www.collectorsquest.com/blog/2012/06/09/us-marine-corps-shoulder-sleeve-insignia/

          If you want to really educate oneself on the history of the current camouflage fiasco read this well documented article. http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/insight/2013/05/12/1-pattern-of-waste.html

          Oh and FTR, officers have been at the heart of the fiasco but NCO’s aren’t innocent. “The main concern for the Marine Corps when it comes to other services testing our patterns is that they don’t exactly mimic them,” said Kent, who is scheduled to retire June 9. “The MARPAT design is proprietary, and it’s important those designs are reserved for Marines. We just need to make sure each of our designs is unique to each service.” SGMMC Kent
          “Marine pattern tests high as combat uniform, but top enlisted leatherneck objects” By Lance M. Bacon and Dan Lamothe – Saturday Jun 4, 2011 9:06:19 EDT http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/06/army-marine-corps-clash-over-camouflage-060411w/

          • Stan says:

            For someone who is so clearly concerned with being everything being “factually correct and not spreading misinformation” I was shock to see you use the incorrect abbreviation for Sergeant Major Kent. It’s not SGMMC it is SgtMajMarCor. Maybe you were just quoting an article that made that mistake, but still you should have edited it to be “correct.” And you do know the SgtMajMarCor is just an enlisted advisor to the Commandant right? His opinions are not policy statements.

            And your claim that, “obsessive compulsive tendency to want to be “unique” in all ways is a recent development.” Isn’t really completely true, but it is not complete wrong either. The mixing of major uniform items has been fairly common in war zones or during times of very tight budgets where it’s better to have any hat or any boot than go without, but in peacetime it hasn’t been as common as you imply. If anything the drive for full unquestioning standization that is something recent starting in the late 1950’s / early 1960’s. The services have always had different and “unique” uniforms, emblems and many times even weapons. For example, the Navy/Marines only started following the Army’s lead on small arms when 30-40 Krag was in service. Many times even different parts of the same service had “unique” uniform items. For example the branch colors/emblems that were common of U.S. Army uniforms or the unique field gear designed to fit the different need of that branch.

            • majrod says:

              Ref the Corps Sergeant Major. I was just listening to a Marine LTC but you were wrong also. The acronym is SMMC http://www.marines.mil/Marines/Ranks.aspx.

              The SMMC’s comments ARE policy statements and I would never characterize a senior NCO as solely and “advisor”. Maybe you think it’s different in the Corps but I doubt the Corps would afford less trust and authority in its NCOs than the other services. BTW, it was SGM Chandler that let the cat out of the bag about OCP and SSD was among the first to break that story.

              Ref “obsessive compulsive tendency to want to be “unique” in all ways is a recent development.” The word “all” means something. You need to go back a bit further than the Krag-Jorgenson when it comes to common weapons.

              Sorry my penchant for accuracy bothers you. I correct myself also. Nor do I play favorites.

        • Sal says:

          And yet only the USMC has outright refused to share a pattern because of some bullshit “symbolism”.

          Name any other time where the other services refused to share a pattern because they wanted to be different.

          • Stan says:

            I guess it just like soldiers getting upset about random people using the SF and EOD emblems. Would you be in yelling about “bullshit” symbolism if a non-Army organization wanted to adopt the 82 AB division shoulder patch or the SF emblem as it’s offical symbol? I doubt it.

            The Marines designed MARPAT to be a uniform unique to their service so there isn’t anything wrong with them “refusing” to allow non-Marines to use it. Much like there isn’t anything wrong with the Army saying you have to be in a division or a special unit/MOS to use those unique emblems.

            When Army partisans cry out about the “injustice” of the Marines refusing to allow the Army to use MARPAT it just makes them look weak and undermines the real arguement. (The need for a standard US land pattern) No reasoned person is going to buy off on the asinine idea that if the Army really really wanted something just like MARPAT it could not have done better than UCP.

            • Sal says:

              We’re talking about camouflage you idiot. You know, the thing that is supposed to hide people and unlike patches and emblems, can mean the difference between life and death for the wearer.

              How the fuck you can equate a strictly utilitarian thing like modern camo to patches and emblems is beyond me.

            • Steven S says:

              Stan, patches and emblems is a different subject.

              For the Marines to deny a fellow service the use of something that can give a significant edge in the battlefield just because they want to be unique is ridiculous. If you do not understand that then I don’t know what will.

              Also, I wouldn’t go so far in saying the USMC designed MARPAT. That’s disrespectful and a discredit to the Canadian scientists and developers who made CADPAT TW. You may not know this but it takes a lot of effort to infuse a texture matching micropattern.

              All the Marines did was take CADPAT TW and recolor it and rebrand it as it’s own.

              • Sal says:

                Using Stan’s logic, companies shouldn’t adopt best practices from their different divisions because doing so would demoralize the division that started it.

              • Kory S says:

                Why do you guys blame the Corps for this? The Army would not have adopted MARPAT anyway’s they wanted a single pattern not two (4 if you count arctic and urban) because they are a much larger force the logistics didn’t allow it. Also The Navy did not use MARPAt but they didn’t make something that was horrible like UCP they made a pattern more effective in some cases than MARPAT. Also why should every branch wear the same camo they do different jobs sure riht now it’s basically the same but this is not a conventional war. The AF does not need two patterns all they need is one transitional in my opinion. But the Marines need more for more specific environments they are in combat operations that require camouflage alot more than the AF or Navy (not including SF). And the Army is too large for multiple patterns they need one pattern for general issue and smaller stocks for specific AOs. Keep the geometry the same but change the colors and you cut costs down. Just my two cents.

            • Dont Lead Em So Much says:

              Stan… how does that foot taste?

      • Stan says:

        Well, well, well… So more of SSD’s anti-USMC bias rears its ugly head.

        So let me see if I get this straigth. In SSD fantasy land the fact the U.S. Army, a organization with about 30/31% of the Defense budget, made such a mess of it camouflage programs since about 2004 or so is because the U.S. Marines (About 4/5% of the Defense budget) are too mean? To me that sounds very much like the excuse of a shameless Army apologist and not a reason analysis of the situation.

        Did the UCP even win the Army testing done in 2002/2004? I’ve read it did not. Is that true? And if the USMC refused to allow MARPAT to be used why didn’t the Army go to the Canadians and use their pattern as a base? Were the Canadians too mean also?

        Now how did the Marines ruin this newest Army camouflage study you claim is the “best in the history of mankind”? According to your past statemetns this study should have produced a pattern so revolutionary the Marines were going to go begging to the Army to use it. What happened? Did Sergeant Major Barrett lead the USMC silent drill team on a midnight raid to steal all the Army’s super camo data? Nope. What happened, as any nonpartisan person could see, is an incompetent Army bureauracy got in the way. Just like what most likely happened when the Army got UCP rather than any of better non-USMC controled picks available at that time to it in 2004.

        • Steven S says:

          “And if the USMC refused to allow MARPAT to be used why didn’t the Army go to the Canadians and use their pattern as a base? Were the Canadians too mean also”

          You do realize that UCP uses the CADPAT TW/MARPAT pattern?
          It’s just that the Army used 3 colors with one of the colors in two screens instead of 4 colors each in their own layer.

          “Well, well, well… So more of SSD’s anti-USMC bias rears its ugly head.”

          That statement should be change into this:
          Well, well, well… So more of Stan’s USMC bias rears its ugly head.

        • SSD says:

          I’d like to apologize to everyone. I thought I had set the bullshit filter to ignore loony run-on sentences but these goofy toggle switches always confuse me.

          • 10thMountainMan says:

            We take grammar very seriously in the Nazi Party. Don’t feel bad man. My 1SG had me locked up for a half hour ass chewing when he saw me red penning the NCO Creed in front of my soldiers.

  9. Great White North says:

    With US4ces Transitional being offered to CANSOFCOM it makes me wonder about the Transitional Marpat and the rest of it. Up here we wear the same kit across the board and I hope we adopt Transitional across the CAF. All of these patterns and separate interests is crazy. US4ces for all of the DOD would have been the best way to do it.

  10. Engineer says:

    It upsets me that his answer is so disingenuous.

  11. BobTheBuilder says:

    Enough of the horseshit, publish a story when there is news. Between him and SMA Chandler they are tearing apart the army and attempting to rebuild it ( and failing miserable) time to get the both of them moving on…maybe a AR 600-9 chapter for both of them.

  12. 10thMountainMan says:

    Guy’s, I apologize as this is really my fault. If I would just stop being a cheapskate and buy four new sets of UCP the Army would announce the new pattern the next day. I’m playing chicken with them right now. I refuse to budge however until the CSM is threatening to have me drawn and quartered if I don’t buy a new uniform.

  13. majrod says:

    Odierno, like the overwhelming number of all officers that fill these high positions is a politician.

    Sadly, these types have no problem with letting the Army stumble along instead of selecting the best ___ available as long as it doesn’t make waves for them. The politically expedient decision is often rationalized as being the “right” one. They are two different things.

    The same behavior can be observed in the women in the Infantry discussion where one side of the face speaks of “keeping the same standards” while the other side of the face is “re-evaluating unit standards to determine if they are still necessary”. (Yeah, you’ll scratch your head if you actually listen to what they are saying)
    http://gruntsandco.com/sitrep/female-marines-required-1-pull/
    http://gruntsandco.com/marines-graduate-infantrywomen/
    http://sofrep.com/18946/women-fail-marine-infantry-officer-course-again/

  14. 10thMountainMan says:

    For those of you who, like me, are at about the end of your rope on this, I suggest we start equipping ourselves properly.

    http://www.gemplers.com/product/156249/3-tine-Hay-Pitch-Fork?gclid=CMvBstmF1LsCFQISMwodCmkA_Q&sku=156249&CID=25SEPLA&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=156249&ef_id=UrruZAAABf8BqGCz20131228231319s

    This one is well reviewed and seems a reasonable price. It is of traditional length and appears made of sturdy materials.

    I could not find someone who sells torches in the traditional format, but in all honesty that is more of a DIY item anyways. Just break a broomstick in half and wrap kerosene soaked cloth around the end. I suggest using some of your old UCP for the cloth (non FR of course).

    See you there!

    • Baldwin says:

      Ain’t gonna work..Future Farmers of America have a copyright on the plain wooden handle look. And UCP rags are out unless Congress buys off on UCP being the services wide torch rag camo.

  15. MVBravo says:

    Apparently nobody, between the article author or those who left comments, seem to realize that the Army is looking at 15-30% budget cuts over the next ten years, and considering the FY14 budget has yet to be seen as we enter 2Q, that just might influence the ability of the Army to make acquisition and procurement decisions that require contracting and obligation of funds, all of which requires money the Army has yet to be appropriated or authorized to spend. You might not like it, but the politicians have created this mess, not the Army. Flame if you wish.

    • SSD says:

      The problem with your point is that it you have to clothe an Army whether it’s in something that doesn’t work (UCP) or something that actually does (OCP). The costs aren’t that different.

      • Engineer says:

        SSD is exactly right, once the license fee has been paid (a million or so bucks is NOTHING in the grand scheme of spending) there is no higher cost for procurement of a new pattern than there is for a current one, barring some sort of exotic printing process.

      • Stan says:

        The problem with your point is it doesn’t take into account reality for most modern Army. Not that many modern MOS’s really need a camouflage uniform at all. Most MOS’s, maybe the majority, have jobs that don’t call for individual concealment. Does the average motor transport driver, artilleryman, TOC radio operator or other support/FOB/rear area soldiers need a new camouflage pattern uniform right now? I would argue no. The young man or woman driving that truck, sitting in a FOB, and loading that 155mm gun are all doing needed work but don’t really need the latest and great camo uniform. They just need something to wear that is comfortable abd durable, that gives them a neat military appearance.

        With such tight budgets a reality for the next three years or so at least the Army really needs to look at how much UCP it already has in inventory. Is it better for the Army to spend its limited uniform funds on equipping the direct combat arms with something better while the rear area forces continue to use UCP until inventory is exhausted. No whole sale re-equipping of the entire Army should be funded by Congress.

        • SSD says:

          A couple of things. First off, it’s actually MORE expensive to have more than one uniform. Hence, the reasoning behind putting all of the services into a single uniform.
          Second, it’s called a uniform because it’s meant to identify members of an organization.
          Third, read a little history. The REMFs in South Kora at the beginning of that war didn’t plan on being in combat either. Or, maybe something a little more recent? How about Jessica Smith? Does that name ring a bell? Military personnel of any trade can find themselves in direct combat at any time on the battlefield.

          • 32sbct says:

            Besides the points made by SSD, do you realize the complexity and expense that would be injected into the supply and procurement system by trying to uniform people by MOS? That is not practical and would cost far more that supplying one uniform to all Soldiers. Every Soldier needs a uniform and uniforms wear out fairly quickly. Simply changing the camouflage that is printed onto an existing pattern uniform is not very expensive at all.

            This won’t be the first time the Army has introduced a new uniform. When we switched to the BDU nobody cared, when we switched to the UCP ACU nobody cared. But now that we want to switch from UCP to OCP its viewed as a major crisis.

            The solution is easy. Once the Army moves to OCP the Air Force will probably adopt is very quickly since it is also already in their supply system. Once that is accomplished the USMC will have to follow suit. Numbers matter and the total Army plus the Air Force dwarf the Corps in terms of numbers. All that can be done by 2018.

            As far as cost, take a look at what one new nuclear submarine costs (about $8 billion) or what the overrun on the F35 jet fighter is costing us. At least Army uniforms and gear get used. I’m not sure what we do with another nuclear sub.

  16. S52B32 says:

    I think Odierno is being as candid as he can be with his answer. My guess is that Crye is the Phase IV winner. However, the Army won’t announce this until they have an acceptable contractual arrangement with Crye over government rights to the Phase IV pattern winner. As I understand it with OCP, the government pays a license fee for each printed yard and the government wants a one-time enterprise-wide license to print as much as they want for the Phase IV pattern winner. I’ll bet this negotiation point is not settled (contrary to a post above) and is the reason why Odierno is being careful with his words.

    After all, the government wants the one-time license fee to be low, while Crye wants it to be as high as possible. If the government announces the Phase IV winner now without the negotiation point settled, then Crye has the government by the nuts.

    Now with the FY14 NDAA passed into law, I’m not sure how this impacts the Phase IV pattern winner. My guess is that the Army can’t pursue the Phase IV winning pattern unless all the services agree. They could still just use OCP as the Army wide uniform because it’s in already in use (the FY14 NDAA seems to allow this); however, the Army would still be paying a license fee for each printed yard and they definitely want a one-time enterprise-wide license. So the negotiation still has to happen.

    • SSD says:

      So you understand. They have full rights to the phase IV winner(s). That’s what the contract awards were all about. Every one of them. It’s time for you to do a little more reading and a little less writing.

  17. Ravin says:

    Honestly, follow the money and that will probably explain 99% of the now and why the choice or choices being made. As much as it pains me if you follow the almighty dollar and who’s on which committee in Washington, DC and who’s friends with who, or who’s campaign was supported for reelection, and similar back door dealings, you will see a clearer picture then trying to decipher veiled lies and misinformation that comes out of the puppet heads we currently call leadership.

    We could control our costs for weapon systems if “We, the People” really cared, and not take from our veterans and service members and instead invoked penalties for delays and refuse the idea or acceptance of cost overruns on subs, fighter programs, and other nonsense that we just take like a stiff kick to the groin.

    • SSD says:

      So what you’re saying is that the delays in switching camouflage are caused by graft?

      Bullshit. It’s ineptitude, which is actually far more dangerous.

  18. Ravin says:

    Graft is a factor, not the tip of the spear, but surely its part of the haft. Ineptitude, political correctness, unrealistic ROE’s, and the kinder, gentler softer world approach isn’t getting it done.

  19. Strike-Hold says:

    “Beam me up Scotty.”

  20. Steve says:

    Gen Odierno: “…I’ve recently come over from supply and logistics.”
    CSM: “An unappreciated field of endeavor sir.”
    Gen Odierno: “Quite…”

  21. Mitchell says:

    Accountability. In all of this, what is the name of the officer who signed off on UCP for the Army and where is he now?

  22. Mitchell says:

    Thanks for answer SSD.

    Back to accountability. General Schoomaker (ret) currently has all his four stars and retirement and sits on the boards of several companies. No penalty here for what many consider a very poor political decision (Army had been doing extensive camouflage studies between 2002 to 2004, deja vu here, in which Natick rated Desert Brush best overall) which potentially put soldiers in greater harm due to lack of concealment and or outright standing out against background environment.

    Another name involved in this is General Moran (Ret) Head of PEO at the time. He currently has his one star and retirement. Interesting side note here, General Moran was involved in the body armor controversy during his time at PEO, Interceptor Body Armor vs. Dragon Skin, And took an executive job with company which manufacturers Interceptor Body Armor after retirement……..

    Neither one of these key decision makers in selecting UCP for the Army, a decision which haunts the Army to this day, has suffered any professional consequences for making a very poor choice ( I leave it to others with combat experience to say whether this decision directly contributed to casualties).

    Google Desert Brush camo for further reading on 2002 to 2004 army camouflage studies.

    • matty says:

      In regards to IBA vs. Dragon Skin. I was under the impression it wasn’t picked up because of it shattering at hot or cold temperatures. If I’m mistaken please correct me.

      • SSD says:

        Dragon Skin wasn’t selected because it failed standard DoD testing. No conspiracy here, just an overhyped product that failed testing. In particular I know that it had issues with the material used to hold the ceramic discs in place.

  23. Mitchell Fuller says:

    Following is a link to Natick discussing camo studies from early 2000s, pre UCP. It is an interesting read;

    http://www.natick.army.mil/about/pao/pubs/warrior/02/novdec/conceal.htm

    A thank you to milspec monkey for link.