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US Army Selects Scorpion Camouflage Pattern – UPDATED

Originally developed by Crye Associates for the US Army’s Objective Force Warrior Program, the Scorpion camouflage pattern could be considered the precursor to the popular MultiCam pattern. Earlier this month, Army officials chose to proceed with a transition to the Scorpion pattern via a “soft launch”. Guess it’s not so soft anymore.

I will point out, that although industry is hard at work preparing fabric to begin the process, the US Army leadership has yet to make an official announcement. I have posted this story in order to offer additional information after another website felt they couldn’t wait for an official announcement and posted that the Army had selected Scorpion.

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Scorpion will replace the MultiCam pattern, currently fielded by the Army as the Operational Camouflage Pattern, making Scorpion the standard issue pattern of the Army, thereby completely replacing the unpopular Universal Camouflage Pattern, first adopted in 2004. The Army will continue to refer to the new Scorpion pattern as OCP. The patterns are very similar so the Army will continue to purchase MultiCam as OCP until the new supply chain for Scorpion is up and running.

This decision signifies the beginning of the end of a process that has taken four years and millions of Dollars in R&D to select a new camouflage pattern for the US Army. The Phase IV of the US Army Camouflage Improvement Effort that looked at four commercial families of patterns seems to have been abandoned in favor of a single pattern created is support of a S&T effort over 10 years ago. The Army still needs to look at so-called ‘bookend patterns’ for desert and woodland use.

UPDATED – Unfortunately, as the Army was still working on their strategic communication plan, the details most of you will seek are not yet available. For example, exact dates and timelines aren’t firm. I have heard that the Army is working with printers to get fabric rolling and plans to have gear on the shelf by next May with OCP in the clothing bag for new accessions by early FY2016. As it hasn’t been printed in any quantity in several years, industry is going to have to learn how to print it, despite lessons learned from printing MultiCam. Although very similar, Scorpion and MultiCam are different patterns. There’s going to be a learning curve here and we still don’t know if Army is going to restrict the pattern like MARPAT and AOR or make it open source like UCP. If it is restricted, you won’t see it for use in commercial gear. Additionally, although many Soldiers have been issued FR ACUs in OCP, there are currently no issue ACUs in OCP made of 50/50 NYCO which is the fabric for the Army garrison uniform. This makes authorization for wear problematic as the FR ACU is considered a combat uniform. Although, we may end up seeing some local commanders authorizing wear of issue FR ACUs in garrison and local training if the changeover timeline turns out to be too long. According to COL Robert Mortlock, PM SPIE at PEO Soldier, the full transition to the new pattern will take up to eight years considering the full wear out of OCIE. Naturally, clothing bag items will be much quicker.

As a sign that the Army is committed to this Course of Action, the recent deployment of elements of the 173rd Abn Bde to Estonia marks the first RFI issue in OCP for use outside of OEF. This is very significant.

I have heard from several Army sources that Scorpion is being referred to as “Scorpion MultiCam” by leadership. This is incorrect. They are two distinct, yet similar patterns. It is either Scorpion, or MultiCam, not both. In this case, the Army has chosen to proceed with Scorpion.

So far, USAF and SOCOM are sticking with MultiCam but at this point, Scorpion remains etherware. No fabric exists, aside from some random remnants found in storage, let alone finished goods. This may change once Scorpion is actually available.

Specifically, the new pattern is the W2 variant of Scorpion which is a ~2009 modification of the base pattern originally created for OFW. Around the same time, woodland and desert variants were also created but there is currently no indication that those will be considered for use as bookend patterns. Scorpion W2 will still receive a tweak or two to apply the latest IR technologies to the pattern.

I do have details on the upcoming bookend tests (woodland and desert) for Fall but I am going to keep those under wraps for now.

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366 Responses to “US Army Selects Scorpion Camouflage Pattern – UPDATED”

  1. Prion says:

    Is this standard Scorpion, or a pixelated version? And will there be woodland/desert variations?

    • SSD says:

      Standard. No variants.

      • KiNEtIX says:

        So eventually, they are going to pick two separate patterns for woodland and desert? Why not just develope two more patters with specific color ways based on the Scorpion template (after Scorpion regular is in the supply)?

        Better yet, why Scorpion and not Multicam since the supply chain is already established for Multicam?

        This literally makes sense while making no sense at all.

        • Hardchawger says:

          I agree. Personally, this was not my top choice but based on all the new constraints, this is a fair decision. I was hoping for MarPat, US4CES, digital multicam (with MARPAT bookends) in that order. But with all my years of service in the Army, I would never gamble money on uniform choices because I will lose. At least, I have five pairs of multicam FRACU and I will not lose money.

          I feel for Mr Crye and Mr. Cramer because they truly worked to get their patterns selected. I wish them the best.

          • KiNEtIX says:

            The only reason why I can see the Army selecting Scorpion is to get around having to pay Crye a huge (but reasonable) amount of money to aquire the rights to it.

            Afterall, a camoflauge that most people don’t know of and is not in any production lines would not cost a lot (theoretically).

            It’s kind of like getting Multicam and not having to pay for Multicam (maybe).

      • paul says:

        Army Times is reporting Scorpion W2, a Natick modified version. Any truth to that?

    • Mike says:

      I’m curious to see how Scorpion stands up to NVG/Thermal testing. US4CES does a heck of a job and if the Army attempts to incorporate elements of it, it could prove to be quite effective.

      • SSD says:

        I’m curious how that would work

        • Eddie says:

          Like filling in the background spots where the vertical elements of multicam would be with a faint blocky pattern styled from US4CES?

          • Mike says:

            Definitely not blocky, digital…but slightly darker, oblong vertical slugs akin to what is currently present in multicam may do the trick.

            • Reverend says:

              Then it isn’t Scopion anymore and you run into NDAA FY14.

              • SSD says:

                I would say that tweeking IR performance of an existing pattern is well within the purview of the law.

                • Mike says:

                  A few years back I contacted the Army’s “Good idea fairy” site, with the suggestion of a reversible uniform. One side which would be more woodland, the other desert. It went fairly high until they told me, there was currently no manufacturing method to dye a fabric in such a way. I still think this can be accomplished, but who am I? I’m just a dumb Warrant right?

                  Hopefully the Army can get this right, so other services won’t need spend more money in prep for FY ’18.

                  • bulldog76 says:

                    yep cause they couldnt do it in ww2 ….

                    • Mike says:

                      Exactly! The funny thing, is if you currently turn OCP inside out, it looks desert, with a tinge of green. If reversible uniforms are ever adopted, DoD will save money on not needing extra uniforms too.

                  • SSD says:

                    It can be done. It’s been done. WWII…by basically everyone. Early 90s by Natick.

                    • Dan says:

                      But then you have double the amount of pockets to be trapped under armor and against the skin.

                    • majrod says:

                      The WWII uniform that had reversible camouflage was so hot it was hated even by the Marines. I’ve handled the shirt. It was worse than the old heavyweight BDU’s that was causing heat casualties in the 80′s.

                      Ink on both sides of fabric has to have an impact on breathability. I haven’t seen a modern approach that beats this problem. Have you SSD?

                      “IF” it were possible how do we deal with pockets? (Velcro is NOT a solution! :)

                    • SSD says:

                      Yeah, Natick developed a process in the 90s. I’ve posted a pic before

                    • Mike says:

                      Sure thing! A reversible uniform isn’t a perfect solution, but clothing design ergonomics is always enhancing how clothing functions. Even if extra fabric is necessary, I’m certain DoD wouldn’t mind saving a couple of $$$, trimming to one uniform. All while service members get a more holisticly protective uniform. There’s always a way.

                    • SSD says:

                      Definitely a valid point of view

                    • Mike says:

                      Yeah, no Velcro option in my mind’s eye either. How about a pocket flap that “hinges” between the two, through a narrow slit? The wearer can then pass the flap through the other side when necessary. All you’ll have as extra fabric, are the outer pockets; mere ounces instead of two whole uniforms slapped together.

                    • LM says:

                      Russia can do it too with their partizan camo pattern (summer and autumn patterns).

                      But like what majorod said, they can be too thick. They also sell another type with a relatively thin “summer” material.

                  • LC says:

                    “It went fairly high until they told me, there was currently no manufacturing method to dye a fabric in such a way. ”

                    That is the stupidest bullshit i have ever heard.

                    For one, we did it back in WW2. So did the Germans.

                    I collect different camouflage patterns for shits and giggles (and have a sizable collection since i started 10 years ago), and there are Russian reversible patterns too (called Partisan, which is like SS oakleaf. Sadly ironic ill add). They are also relatively breathable and not obnoxiously thick, which would suck to wear in the middle of summer. Certainly more breathable than the 50/50 ny/co ACU.

  2. james says:

    wow… but a very logical choice

    • Matt M says:

      How is this logical? This was already tested and discarded. Not only will it cost us more money then sticking with Multicam, it costs private companies even more money if it is open source to print gear in this pattern…

      • Strike-Hold says:

        This must be the most FUBAR decision process in the whole FUBAR history of FUBAR.

        In fact, it is so FUBAR that it is beyond FUBAR…

      • Hardchawger says:

        I agree Matt. A one-uniform for all terrain decision scrapped for another one-uniform for all terrain decision. Boo!

        • bulldog76 says:

          read the whole article scorpion is garrison their still working on woodland and desert

          • Badjujuu says:

            Might as well go back to Woodland in Garrison and desert in the box. Jeez. Fucking pogs re inventing the wheel

      • straps says:

        Logical because (a) apparently it’s owned (work for pay commissioned by Army, who “owns” it, (b) there is performance data on it, (c) it complements OCP/Multicam, favored by the part of the Army that takes its profession seriously enough to invest in combat-cable gear (this is a gear site, first and foremost).

        It’s an 80% decision, which in truth is the best Army will ever do in a situation like this. And after a decade of UCP, anything seems logical.

      • KiNEtIX says:

        It makes sense for one main reason, it will cost a lot less than Multicam. If the Army picked Multicam, they would want to aquire the rights to it which would cost millions (maybe more).

        By adopting Scorpion, they essentially get Multicam without having to pay for Multicam. Fiscally, it does make sense for them, not so much for industry.

        I don’t like this for two reasons:

        1) It will take a LOT of time and effort for industry to tool up to produce uniforms and PPE in this pattern.

        2) There is no clear adaptation of this pattern for woodland and desert environments. SSD says there are Fall tests scheduled for bookends and a comment from another post on Scorpion’s history had a link that detailed 2009 (I think) tests of woodland and desert variants which did not fair too well. This means that (if they are using the same bookends from 2009), they will have to tweak the colorway for them to be successful.

        • SSD says:

          I’m not really sure this is going to be less expensive. If the Army continues to buy OCP, there’s really no reason for a vendor to charge less. The price has been set for OCP and the Government has been paying it. The use of a Scorpion OCP solution could mean that the finished good manufacturer pays the same amount to a printer for OCP fabric that they currently do for a MultiCam OCP solution. There’s zero incentive for printers to charge less.

          • KiNEtiX says:

            As a result of FFW, does the Army ‘own’ the rights to Scorpion or does Crye?

            I am under the impression that the Army does, which would be ‘cheaper’ because, in that case, they wouldn’t have to purchase the rights from Crye. (I agree with Bryan below, it definitely seems like the Army wants have more control over this, so owning the rights is a must)

            I understand your point though, either way, it does not necessarily effect industry’s end price that much.

            • SSD says:

              Exactly. A price for OCP has been well established and agreed upon by both govt and industry.

              • Retired Guy (Thankfully) says:

                Is there any word on Crye’s response to this? Legally they don’t seem to have a leg to stand on with Scorpion being army owned, but if Scorpion has been (or is going to be) updated based on lessons learned from operational use of Multicam, there might be a legal challenge of copyright infringement? (Note: not a lawyer, just speculating.)

  3. CAVstrong says:

    So I am guessing they are going to start issuing ACUs and OCIE in a transitional Scorpion/OCP pattern. Are they also going to develop environment specific coloration variations to issues as needed (woodland,jungle, desert)?

  4. Derek says:

    Scorpion should have been it from the get go in 2004! Thanks for the retirement gift SSD to know UCP is dead.

  5. Doc Ras says:

    Well that came out of left field. At least it’s not MARPAT

  6. Mick says:

    Huh… not what I was expecting… I’m still a little fuzzy on the difference betweeen it an MultiCam.

    http://soldiersystems.net/2012/03/06/more-on-withdrawn-army-pattern/

    The first pic looks like MultiCam, straight up, to me. The second looks like super brown multicam.

    SSD, any more recent pics?

    And, does this mean genuine MultiCam nylon gear is no longer authorized?

    Mick.

  7. badjujuu says:

    GTFO

  8. Doc says:

    So forgive me if this answer is obvious…But what is the difference between MC and Scorpion?

  9. Clay says:

    So… What does this mean for the gear industry? Will we be seeing gear in scorpion or will MC be wearable with the new pattern?

    • Tu says:

      i’m pretty sure all current multicam armour/gear can be worn on top of scorpion because they dovetail pretty well. but perhaps saving costs from paying marked up crye multicam prices for BDUs

  10. Mick says:

    Probably best place to look at a comparison of the two:

    http://www.hyperstealth.com/scorpion/index.html

    Best I’ve found so far, anyway…

    Mick.

  11. George says:

    I would venture a guess that previously-issued OCP gear will not be authorized for wear with the “new” pattern. I base this on the general Army thinking process that picked UCP in the first place and wasted years and millions before picking a pattern that was already owned by the USG. Oh, and just in time for the end of the war.

  12. Tony says:

    So, does that mean that I can wear my OCP when its approved for wear, or is it different enough that my SGM will start giving me the stink eye?

  13. “Scorpion” has no vertical blotches. Very small difference.

  14. Mick says:

    Based on the update, it sounds like genuine MultiCam will be ok until it all gets flushed through the system, and the “new” scorpion gets in the pipeline…

  15. Doc_robalt says:

    How pissed do you think Caleb Crye is right now?!?!

    • KevinB says:

      Caleb told the Army to go this route a long time ago…

      • Doc_robalt says:

        True I understand that, but now he’s getting screwed out of all the hard work he put into Multicam to make it better.

        • SGT Rock says:

          Caleb Crye and Assoc. have made money hand over fist in regards to Multicam. If you consider all the rights that any textile mill or gear maker has to pay in regards to production, he has made plenty of money. Let’s not forget all the foreign militaries that now use Multicam as a standard issue uniform, or even those that he helped to develop a “distinctive” Crye influenced uniform for said foreign militaries.

          • Doc_robalt says:

            But the whole point was to make a camo pattern for Americans made in America and if we can’t purchase gear in multicam to use with Scorpion. Then all that textile money will be coming from airsofters not soldiers.

            • sf11530 says:

              The Army just can’t swallow the fact that a few hard working dudes out of Brooklyn are better developers than the Army speed bumps trying to justify their existence. They are a US Company doing good things without self gratification being their goal. Also, this isn’t the first time the Army has bent Crye over. If my memory is correct they basically stole Crye’s NAPE protector.

  16. ME says:

    Still a better love story than Twilight…

    Seriously, though, we could have been wearing this same thing since 2002…

    Now, for a wear out date for UCP!

    • FormerDirtDart says:

      Actually, Scorpion did not perform as well as Desert All Over Brush during the 2002 trials.

      • SSD says:

        That is true except that those were different tests, confined to specific environments and there was no looking at transitional performance.

      • ME says:

        Understood, but they still could have made this (or the multicam, or the desert all over brush) decision a long, long time ago…

  17. bobthebuilder says:

    After years of building up, this may be the biggest let down ever. I am beyond ashamed of my leadership. Another way sma chandler has fucked up again, keep your old ass uniform and your tattoo policies you pog bitch

  18. orly? says:

    Can we hang the people that decided this was an inferior pattern to UCP yet?

    • BillC says:

      Do we have names?

      • SSD says:

        Ultimately, the decision rests on the shoulders of the CSA and Sec Army.

        • CPT P says:

          I was in Ft. Lewis in 2004 when GEN Schoomaker informed us of the new pattern, said he had little to do with it and it was SMA Preston’s baby. He went on to claim as long as SMA Preston was around UCP would be around.

          • SSD says:

            Wow, I think I lost a little respect for him with that comment. GEN Schoomaker most assuredly approved PEO Soldier’s pitch. Other than leading the CSM focus groups, SMA Preston’s name has never come up.

            • majrod says:

              Good point SSD. I very specifically remember Schoomaker’s influence in removing branch insignia and skill badges from wear on ACUs. Seems strange that he had enough influence to change that aspect of uniform wear but not the pattern itself.

    • majrod says:

      Orly – I think that will happen right around the time we address the MARPAT decision that started branch specific camo patterns. They all deserve our animosity. Huge waste and likely troops got hurt all over ego.

      • Chris W says:

        ^ THIS. Precisely, the USMC led the way in starting the DoD’s camo-fashion-wars. At least there was a shred of innovation and sensibility in their development, but slap some service-specific branding on it and it’s Game On for the “me too!” competition.

        Now let’s see how slowly the USAF can copy the Army, and manage to turn out a worse product, a la ACU>>ABU.

      • Ryan says:

        I don’t understand this mentality. Yes, the Corps pulled an annoying stunt by finding a great pattern and branding it, but no one required the Army to play catch-up.

        That’s a lousy way to deflect blame off the Army. Pretty much like deflecting blame off yourself as a kid by pointing at your sibling and yelling, “He made me do it!” Did the Marines do something a bit selfish? Sure. Was the Army required to follow suit, and make an awful series of choices as a result? Absolutely not.

        • Greg says:

          The “innovation” wasn’t annoying. It was the “branding”. Nobody should brand anything when their under the same flag! Hopefully this will serve as a lesson to the Corps! It’s like big bro darting across the street to hit on a new hoe (MARPAT), while leaving little bro unattended! Vunerable to kidnapping, or worse. Hitting on the worlds ugliest and meanest hoe! (UCP)

          • Mick says:

            What is MultiCam in this metaphor? The hot cheerleader, and S corpion is her slightly less hot, slightly older sister… You’re happy to get with Scorpion, but cannot help but think “man, what would it be like with MultiCam?”

        • majrod says:

          Ryan, nobody’s deflecting. The Army deserves all the grief it rightly deserves but that doesn’t justify amnesia.

          It went F A R beyond branding. There was outright obstructionism on the part of the Corps to any branch using MARPAT. http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/insight/2013/05/12/1-pattern-of-waste.html

          This is after half a century of the Corps using other branches camouflage patterns.

          Camouflage is a tool of war. Imagine the Army resisting other services the use of the M1 Garand, M14, M179/203. There would be a well deserved cataclysmic uproar. Tools of war impact life and death.

          What I think is “lousy” is the lack of moral courage by some to admit the error here and “camouflage” it is as something else which all but guarantees a repeat in the future. (maybe they don’t know, the facts have been buried. Read the link I attached)

          It isn’t “One Team, One Fight” only when it’s convenient to one’s branch. So yeah, let’s hold people responsible but let’s hold ALL the people responsible and not play favorites. The color of one’s uniform does not mean immunity.

          • Riceball says:

            I agree to a point, the whole using other branches camo doesn’t really work since it wasn’t really service specific way back when, it was one pattern that was adopted for use by all branches even if they may have been developed by the Army originally. In the end the SecDef should have really ordered the SecNav or the Corps directly to knock it off with the whole branding thing and made MARPAT available to all of the other branches in whatever cut they wanted. Why that never happened I don’t know, especially after the Army first announced that they were going to work on developing their own service specific pattern, the SecDef really should have put his foot down then.

  19. Brooks says:

    Hasn’t it been mentioned that all four of the commercial patterns outperformed Scorpion during testing?

    • BillC says:

      Yes,
      “”On Jan. 10th, the Army announced that families of camouflage patterns from one government team and four commercial vendors were selected to proceed into the next step of evaluations. As part of a cost savings strategy and as a result of initial assessments, the government submission is being removed from further consideration as a replacement to the universal camouflage pattern. This decision has been made in light of the similarity between elements of the government and one industry submission and the higher score of the industry submission during the initial evaluation…” (1)

      Later that day through some key sources, it was leaked that the Government pattern was in all likelihood their Scorpion Camouflage. (2)

      What do we know about the U.S. Army Scorpion Camouflage, very little, but in today’s internet age, even a little information can act like breadcrumbs leading us to a better understand as to why the Scorpion camouflage was removed. ”
      http://www.hyperstealth.com/scorpion/index.html

      • SSD says:

        Read more and you’ll see a link to this…

        http://soldiersystems.net/2013/06/03/us-army-camouflage-improvement-effort-update-the-withdrawn-army-family/

        You guys keep reading half of articles on other sites when the answers are here on SSD.

        • majrod says:

          Thanks SSD.

          Hmmmm, looks like the Army could adopt “Desert All Over Brush” and AOR2 in the future…

          Not pure “bookend” patterns but solutions for specific environments.

          • Daniel says:

            All over Brush is atrocious.

            • Reverend says:

              I like it and would love for them to adopt it but I’d rather them go with patterns with the same geometry as scorpion for bookend patterns.

              • majrod says:

                So would I but there’s a law on the books that was supposed to get us on the same page. (I REALLY wonder how that language got pulled from the final bill)

                That same law prohibits new patterns.

                What no one has addressed is how we approach the next generation pattern because it’s hard to herd all the branches in the same direction.

            • mike says:

              Is your comment based off actual experience with All over Brush in the field or off a couple photos browsing the internet?

        • Bob says:

          Had you provided an answer first, people wouldn’t have had to go to other sites for “half the answers”. If you tout yourself as the forefront of information in the tactical industry, then act on it and not criticize readers for going to other websites.

  20. jjj0309 says:

    Wow. Just wow. They officially roll-back to older, inferior, prototype version of their camouflage.
    I mean, why? Is it all about just money? I don’t get it. Seriously.
    Please, somebody do something about it.

    • CAVstrong says:

      Just because Scorpion predates Multicam and the original prototypes was inferior to multicam doesn’t mean this is a bad choice.

      The army has 12 years of industry wide research to use to update and improve scorpion. They’ve adopted the pattern, which means they can tweak the colors and improve the overall performance of the original prototype.

      • SSD says:

        Now your talking about some serious grey area because of the NDAA.

      • RJ says:

        They wont

      • jjj0309 says:

        Good point. I just hope this Scorpion thing doesn’t look like another close copycat pattern of Multicam. Different color scheme or shape, anything.

        • Daniel says:

          It is the precursor to Multicam. Therefore Multicam looks like Scorpion not the other way around.

          • Chris W says:

            haHA! And in a few years time Crye shall be the laughing stock of the camo/gear industry. Posers! Just ripping off Scorpion, not cool.

            And some day we’ll all forget they actually developed it to begin with.

            • CAVstrong says:

              I’m happy with this decision by and large I think. It seems like it gives the army a uniquely American version of the multicam pattern with out having to pay for it, and it seems like it gives them the freedom to develop additional bookend patterns as needed. I think the aurgument that Scorpion is a second best of inferior pattern is immaterial. Crye Associates (now precision) clearly have continued to update multicam over the years, I think once Scorpion is updated to match it will be a sufficiently adequate pattern.

              I’m curious now about the longevity of the decision and what the second or third order effects will be. Are going to be forced to switch in a few years to a DOD wide pattern (something I am in favor of) will there be any updates or modification to the ACU or accessories (boots, belts or shirts…personally I’d like to see us adopt brown boots and belts and green shirts). What about OICE are we going to stick with the worthless IOTV are we going to transition to the SPCS or something completely different?

              Regardless I have been checking SSD everyday first thing in the morning after I check my email for the last four years as I have followed this story. I am excited they have finally picked a new camp pattern and I am excitied to see where we go from here.

    • Bryan says:

      Since the delay of the announcement of the Phase 4 winner, I’ve had a feeling that the Army decided they wanted complete control over the pattern they would eventually go with – much like the Marines and MARPAT.

      Unfortunately for the Army, the terms they laid out in the Camouflage Improvement Effort did not include that stipulation so they just scrapped the whole deal. The Army knew Crye would want a lot of money for a complete buy out of Multicam. I don’t even understand how that could logistically work given how ingrained Multicam is in the industry and foreign militaries but I digress…

      $25 million is a bargain to right the wrong that was UCP and outfit soldiers with the most effect and commercially available pattern. With the current state of military budget cuts and politics in general, the Army didn’t think it could justify shelling out that much money. So here we are… stuck with a pattern that was determined by the Army’s OWN TESTING to be less effective than other available patterns.

      I know a lot of us are happy that this circus is coming to an end and UCP is finally getting the boot but there needs to be outrage and some accountability for the Army’s lack of planning, decision making, and inaction that has led them to picking a pattern that has not be fully vetted… AGAIN.

  21. Mike D says:

    So let me get this straight, we are getting rid of MULTICAM in favor of it’s predecessor (for all intents and purposes). We are not expecting to see any change in the gear industry as far as utilizing the Scorpion pattern. BUT, the new AR and DA PAM 670-1 tell me that I cannot wear a backpack that is made in a different camouflage pattern than my uniform. What the hell am I supposed to do then?! (I truly doubt that many people in leadership positions would be able to spot the difference between the two)

    In all seriousness though, why can’t they just stick with Multicam? It’s already in service across the military, the gear already exists, and it would be less of a waste of money on new gear and uniforms.

    • SSD says:

      I really doubt anyone is going to be able to tell the difference between MultiCam and Scorpion. Just tell them your pack is OCP.

      • Chris K. says:

        That’s funny. coming to a post near you, somebody’s gonna make a business out of selling “Scorpion” pattern labels so Joe can sew them on their Multicam gear.

        • Mike D says:

          The first half of my post was tongue-in-cheek, just in case anybody else out there isn’t sure how to take it. Sadly though, I can see the sewing shops doing this near here.

  22. tom says:

    now its time to launch a criminal investigation of the army for years of corruption in forcing the UCP on us. this is multi cam

    • majrod says:

      It’s not just the Army that should be investigated.

      They didn’t start this mess. The Army deserves all the grief it rightly deserves but if we are going to punish, let’s punish everyone that had a role in the Camo Wars that resulted in the untold waste of eight+ camo patterns and the human toll paid by not wearing the best camo patterns available.

      Funny, whenever I bring this point up people are less willing to slap cuffs on anyone. THAT’s telling and is why we have this problem in the first place.

      • Retired Guy (Thankfully) says:

        Agreed — the whole issue of branch-branded camo patterns, UCP for the army, and the rest of it is fraud/waste/abuse on such a massive scale that no one will ever be held accountable for it . . .

  23. bulldog76 says:

    THERE IS A GOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Greg says:

    I am so cool with this :D :D :D ! Albeit, of the three options this was not the one I was rooting for. Yet, this is still sooooooooooo much better than UCP! I am grateful we have at least stopped wearing a camo that glows in the dark. Yes, I noticed during field training at Bragg, UCP glows in the fucking dark!

  25. AV says:

    This is a Shit-Show SSD…

  26. This guy says:

    This is is beyond dumb. These people should be investigated. Dumb! Absolutely dumb. Why pick an inferior pattern. If this was chosen 10 years ago then great. Now it’s just stupid and I’m sure the Army will somehow say this is better than the Phase IV finalist. Glad to get rid of UCP but damn.

  27. SteveW says:

    The original Scorpion uniform used green Velcro. I hope the Army goes with the tan/Coyote Brown Velcro used in Crye current issue OCP because that green Velcro would be an easy way to tell the difference and some CSM will be raking folks over the coal for non-uniform Velcro.

    • SSD says:

      So far it’s Tan 499.

    • Hardchawger says:

      I just wish they get rid of the velcro and allows us to sew on patches. I never went sterile on my three combat tours and I just stick with my Screaming Eagle combat patch anyway. But that is wishful thinking.

      • majrod says:

        You have a good point but there was a time we actually worried about OPSEC and removed patches and went sterile even on the conventional side. Hate to use them for an example but look at the Russians in Crimea. I don’t think we should hide being Americans but Army units vary in capability (e.g. light vs. Stryker vs. heavy Infantry) unlike other branches. Being able to camouflage what unit the enemy is facing is not a bad thing and something we forgot fighting insurgents for the last decade. FWIW we taped over unit designations on vehicles in Desert Storm but we used to use camo paint and do land nav back then also :)

        FWIW, the ACUs velcro sleeves I suspect were influenced by what SF and the Rangers were doing at the time, modifying DCUs with Velcro covered sleeve pockets (they also went sterile commonly). That’s around the same time the Army declared “Berets for everyone!”

  28. Explosive Hazard says:

    This is pathetic. While it is better than UCP by a mile it’s still inferior to multicam, a pattern we have been wearing. WTF is wrong with big Army leadership. I don’t care if it saves several million it’s inferior and outdated. This is some kind of twisted time warp and big Army really just took 10 years to pick the best pattern from the 2004 trials. Meanwhile we fought two wars with a camo that got soldiers killed. Then after congress gets involved they are forced to pick multicam. Now they want to take a step back. I can’t believe I’m saying this but where the hell is congress. I can’t even.

    • Andy says:

      Good points, weren’t all services ordered to go to a joint pattern? Where was that in the planning considerations?

      • SSD says:

        do a search on SSD for Enyart and read up on NDAA and Camo.

      • Explosive Hazard says:

        Yes NDAA 2014 specifies that any “new” pattern adopted after 2014 must be adopted by every branch of the military. Scorpion is property of the USG since 2004 and technically is not “new” and could pass the NDAA requirements. At least that’s what is currently believed. I hope that since scorpion was never officially issued it won’t pass the NDAA sniff test and the Army will have to be forced to make the right choice and go with multicam. But I’m dreaming and reaching now.

        • D says:

          Unless this is an interim solution until 2018 when someone besides just the Army pays for the rights to Multicam, which is then adopted as the joint service camo.

          • SSD says:

            I don’t follow.

            • D says:

              If I’m reading the NDAA correctly, the services have to adopt a common pattern by 2018. So if all of the services agree to adopt Multicam in 2018 and each service provides a portion of the funding for the rights to Multicam, the Army saves some money down the road just as they’re saving money on using Scorpion (Multicam 1.0?) now.

              • SSD says:

                You’re not reading the NDAA. That isn’t in there. It was removed in conference.

  29. WagenCAV says:

    Looks like we’re gonna have to silently revolt and simply wear multicam when we’re in the field. All the brass and SNCOs won’t understand why certain Sdiers in the ranks seem to disappear more effectively than other Soldiers.

  30. Mike Perry says:

    The best way to look at this is to forget about it being 2014. Instead, imagine it is 2004 and the Army has adopted a new camo pattern. The horrible UCP never existed…

  31. Mike says:

    Here’s a question for ya: now that we’re going to be in Scorpion, does this mean we’ll be stuck with the “duck hunter” camo that got snuck in for use on webbing?

    I assume we will and…that sucks. I can’t see the Army choosing to print webbing in a more expensive pattern (Scorpion).

  32. Bob says:

    This is the best possible solution available. The Enyart amendment, while it may have been intended to stop the madness of service specific camo, had a very different effect. It ensured the survival of the second best family of patterns (MARPAT) and effectively ended the chances of the Army doing the right thing, leaving us with UCP indefinately. We know that Multicam is more expensive than UCP (why wouldn’t it be? It has four more colors and a more complicated blending technique) and that in this fiscal environment, the Army is not willing to spend a fortune on camo. Scorpion is very, very similar to Multicam, with the benefits of being wholly owned by the Army, greatly predates the NDAA, and can presumably utilize the majority of the tools in use already that make OCP. As has already been mentioned by others, the average, hell above average observer will not be able to tell the difference between Multicam and Scorpion, allowing soldiers to continue to use equipment they have procured privately for the forseeable future. Would it have been better to annouce the winner of Phase IV a year ago? Of course. Did the Army truly want to atone for their massive failure in UCP? I think so. This is likely the best we could hope for, and maybe in the future we will get the camo we want, now that we have the camo we need.

    • SSD says:

      It only put the Army in a bind because the fiddlefucked around until it was too late.

      • Bob says:

        Certainly true. I just choose to view this as Monty Python would have me, “Always look on the bright side of life.” We are getting a viable camouflage solution and divesting ourselves of the laughing stock the UCP was and is. I can live with that.

      • Stoney says:

        Yes! God bless you for that! I cannot think of a more appropriate way to describe it.

    • Really!? says:

      Hot damn, Bob! You nailed it, start to finish!

  33. Will says:

    I still can’t get over the Army balking at the $25mil price tag for Multicam after spending several billion on the camo snafu over the last decade.

    That’s the same as buying a $50,000+ car and then deciding not to use it because you need to buy a one time $250 use fee.

    I wonder how much of that $25mil was and will be spent on developing the ability to produce scorpion uniforms and kit. How much more in Multicam gear bought over the last four years?

    • SSD says:

      We’ve purchased over $1 Billion in OCP with program dollars since 2010. That doesn’t count unit purchases, individual purchases, or SOCOM buys.

      • D says:

        At least we’ll be able to effectively use the OCP items during the transition, so it’s not a total loss. And if we notice the loss of the OCP gear, we’ll miss it, unlike anything in UCP.

      • Will says:

        So it is pretty safe to assume that 2.5% of that kit is still fully serviceable and will now need to be paid to be replaced.

        Sucks when the Army can not rely on basic arithmetic to get shit right.

  34. YUT YUT says:

    Anyone want to take bets on whether or not they will “tweak” the color scheme to make Scorpion with the UCP color scheme?

    • SSD says:

      I’ll take that bet

      • CAVstrong says:

        SSD please tell me you are betting they won’t use the UCP color scheme….

        • Lcon says:

          Now Now Cav, I think UCP can be salvaged. We should print it for use… On Targets.

        • Strike-Hold says:

          I think that’s what he meant.

          Or maybe Yut Yut meant that they would “tweak” Scorpion with the OCP colors…. Technically, I suppose they could get away with that since they’re going to call Scorpion “OCP” as well….

          But won’t that be confusing – two different camo patterns both called the same name.

          FUBAR.

        • SSD says:

          I’m betting against. The Army has a plan and they are executing. It’s not my dream plan but it’s a plan all the same and a much more effective one than we’ve seen in the past 10 years. And, it doesn’t include UCP.

          • CAVstrong says:

            I’m happy with this decision by and large I think. It seems like it gives the army a uniquely American version of the multicam pattern with out having to pay for it, and it seems like it gives them the freedom to develop additional bookend patterns as needed. I think the aurgument that Scorpion is a second best of inferior pattern is immaterial. Crye Associates (now precision) clearly have continued to update multicam over the years, I think once Scorpion is updated to match it will be a sufficiently adequate pattern.

            I’m curious now about the longevity of the decision and what the second or third order effects will be. Are going to be forced to switch in a few years to a DOD wide pattern (something I am in favor of) will there be any updates or modification to the ACU or accessories (boots, belts or shirts…personally I’d like to see us adopt brown boots and belts and green shirts). What about OICE are we going to stick with the worthless IOTV are we going to transition to the SPCS or something completely different?

            Regardless I have been checking SSD everyday first thing in the morning after I check my email for the last four years as I have followed this story. I am excited they have finally picked a new camp pattern and I am excitied to see where we go from here.

  35. Guam guy says:

    Just think of all the lives UCP cost…..

    • majrod says:

      Just think of all the lives MARPAT cost…

      UCP failed but it didn’t start this mess.

      • T.L. says:

        You stay classy Rod.

      • Reverend says:

        So because of MARPAT the Army was forced to go with UCP? I seem to remember several patterns in the 2004 tests being better than MARPAT. And it’s funny that the Navy didn’t have this issue.

        • majrod says:

          Rev – Actually the Navy did have this issue. They had to rotate AOR1 and limit its issue to NSW to please the USMC.

          Did you not know this or just have a selective memory?

          • SSD says:

            I’ve heard this story but it was really about funding. Had the Navy adopted AOR they would have had to eat the cost if all of the gear for NSW which were the primary users.

            • majrod says:

              SSD – You might think it’s a story but that Marine Corps Assistant Commandant admitted it in the GAO report.

              “In hearings before the Subcommittee on Readiness and
              Management Support in April 2010, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps testified that Marine Corps and Navy discussions prompted the Navy’s policy to restrict the use of its Type II desert combat uniform.
              When the Marine Corps first learned that the new Navy uniform looked very similar to the Marine Corps, the Assistant Commandant testified, the Marine Corps suggested the selection of a Navy pattern that was different enough to distinguish it from the uniform worn by the Marines. However, the Assistant Commandant testified, the Marine Corps Commandant and the Chief of Naval Operations later reached an agreement that forward deployed Navy SEALS and similar’ combat uniform, personnel COULD use the Type II desert uniform. (emphasis added) http://www.gao.gov/assets/650/648951.pdf p27

              So the Navy’s switching the flow of AOR1′s pattern 90 degrees wasn’t enough. They had to limit it to the SEALs to please the Corps.

              (then there’s the seminal article I cited earlier http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/insight/2013/05/12/1-pattern-of-waste.html).

              There aren’t that many non-NSW sailors in Afghanistan. In fact it’s the smallest population of the four major services. The Navy is issuing AOR2. It doesn’t cost more to issue AOR1 instead.

              • Pbr549 says:

                Not for nothing, but if the USMC falls under the Dept of the Navy?

                • Pbr549 says:

                  Sorry, that didn’t make any sense. I was posting while distracted. To be more clear, if the USMC falls under the Dept. of the Navy, who are they to tell the Navy what to do as far as uniforms go?

                  • Mark says:

                    Maybe because there are two separate services with completely different budgets in the Dept of the Navy.

              • mike says:

                The “flow” of AOR1′s pattern was not changed. AOR2 was changed to a vertical layout not AOR1.

                • majrod says:

                  Yes Mike, you are correct. Thanks for keeping the facts straight. I realized I misremembered after rereading Cramer’s article http://www.hyperstealth.com/coyote/).

                  My point remains. The switch was made to differentiate the pattern from MARPAT at the Corps insistence.

    • Eddie says:

      I don’t think it cost very many lives if any, now there were reports of drawing more enemy fire compared to troops wearing multicam, but the big killers were IEDs, suicide bombers and IDF. No matter what camouflage we wear though, anyone in the world can tell Americans apart from other forces. I would blame it for drawing unnecessary attention and a lot of wounds, but not necessarily deaths.

    • Greg says:

      The giant loud tan vehicles didn’t exactly help hide us in Afghaniland anyways. Or the dismounted patrols with those stupid thors antennas hanging over us. Really, if you wanted to find us you could just listen real hard for heavy breathing then someone yelling, heat cat!

    • Mark says:

      How?

      I’m trying to think when stealth and camo were ever big issues when I was in Iraq.

  36. CAP says:

    So the army got a new camo that is extremely close to Multicam, works with current issued Multicam gear, and will likely be less expensive to print in huge quantities because it has a slightly less intricate pattern than Multicam.

    Sounds like a win!

    • Eddie says:

      I would hope they’re close enough to wear together, I bought a whole bunch of multicam stuff beforehand! :D

    • SSD says:

      I don’t think it’s going to cost the government less than MultiCam.

      • CAP says:

        Then why choose Scorpion if it won’t cost less? I’m guessing it’s so they can get similar performance without having to buy they rights to Multicam?

    • Really!? says:

      AGREED. This May not be the perfect solution. But, considering how well Multicam performs I am glad to see UCP replaced with “second best”. I’ll take it!!

      • Chris K. says:

        This shit is hilarious. Multicam is the new Desert/Woodland Digital.

        • Shawn says:

          I still don’t get what the hurdle is… The UK and Australia both ponied up the cash to buy into their own exclusive, granular reworks of the MultiCam pattern. That’s GOT to be more expensive to do that taking ‘off the roll’ Multicam. I just don’t understand why this pissing contest got this far in the first place, when the asking price for the pattern is such a small drop in the bucket.

  37. Eddie says:

    Let me know when Guy Cramer gets here. :3 I wanna see his 2 cents.

  38. Flymedic99 says:

    So what does this mean for the Air Force, I seen where they will stay the course with MC, for combat operations. I hope that they adopt MC and get rid of the godawful ABU that is strictly a garrison uniform.

    • SSD says:

      It means just what I said it does. Big Air Force deployers get exactly what the Army issues them. that means, when the Army transitions from multicam to scorpion for OCP, the Air Force will transition mobility gear. But SOF and BAMS are still committed to MultiCam. If you’re a Battlefield Airman, chances are good you’ll be in MultiCam for some time to come.

      The current standard answer for home station is that the Air Force loves its distinctive digital Tigerstripe pattern. However, I think that has to do with two things. First, the new ACU isn’t available yet and two, they have a lot of stock on the shelves at DLA they will need to buy down in the event if a change.

      • AJ says:

        I agree with most of your statement, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who loves our “distinctive digital tigerstripe pattern”(those with their head up their well paid ass excluded)

  39. Zach says:

    Bunch of damn liberal communists in the Pentagon that are going to continue to ruin the Army and endanger Soldier’s lives in future conflicts with the quabbling. I’m getting so sick of it I’m taking my retirement and running. Just disgusts me how the big wigs develop the logic that effects my Soldiers.

  40. Connor says:

    Extremely disappointed with this decision. We’ve been using Multicam for years and now we’re adopting its inferior predecessor?!?!?! The United States Army’s leadership is constantly making piss poor choices. Just another reason to ETS and get away from all of the bullshit. Soldiers deserve better.

  41. OMAR says:

    I wonder what Larry Vickers has to say about this?………….oh the malarkey. well its better and UCP. Im happy Just let us buy it asap

  42. Ahisa says:

    I’m just glad I can see light at the end of the tunnel and start getting rid of my UCP ACU’s! Looking forward to hearing more about the changeover, thanks SSD as always for keeping us updated!

  43. m5 says:

    “Desert Brush is *Significantly Better* than the Other Three Systems”

    Scorpion was the one of those other systems that finished third out of the four contenders. The quote above is from the conclusions of the ‘Universal Camouflage for the Futurere Warrior’ -powerpoint report (2004) by A. Dugas and F. M. Kramer of US Army Natick Soldier center on the 2003 camo evaluation studies.

    Whatever the limitations of the 2003 camo trials, Scorpion did significantly worse than Desert All Over Brush in those particular trials. The trials were done in desert, urban and woodland environments, two locations for each of these types, both day and night.

    Choosing UCP back then from outside the trials, and switching to the third runner up of the 2003 trials some 10+ years later – never minding the much more recent trials with new camo patterns – makes the US Army decission making look, uhm, truly amazing.

    Natick has taken the report offline (I can guess why) but it can still be found with some googling, eg:
    http://www.slashdocs.com/imiqmz/universal-camouflage-for-the-future-force-warrior-ppt.html

    Judging by the report, the 2003 trials seem astonishingly weak (even?) to the educated layman.

  44. Doc_robalt says:

    So since the differences between the two especialy on gear will really hard to see. I have to ask is the OCIE for this gonna be Scorpion or are we going route of Marines and doing Coyote Brown or Tan 499? Or are we going Phase IV and doing one pattern that “kinda” works with bookend patterns?

  45. Tech says:

    I think what kills me is that the entire land force is about to get a dated, inferior pattern because the army is unwilling to pay crye for the production rights to an already authorized and employed pattern that has set the industry standard since 2010… For a price that’s only just a little over half the cost of a single apache helicopter

  46. Norbis says:

    I FEEL LIKE I AM TAKING CRAZY PILLS!

  47. BAP45 says:

    Sooo…. after reading these comments has any one actually read the entire article or the previous articles SSD did on this? They totally called it a while back with the NDAA thing. Scorpion is old enough to predate it so they can make a selection on their own w/o having to get all of the services to agree. And the existing multicam items are acceptable for wear and you can hardly tell the difference anyway. Yeah it isn’t the best pattern out there but it is the best solution available.

    Hats off to SSD for all the work they put in to following this whole thing

  48. Alan Covey says:

    So, if I am following this correctly…the Army’s decision is pre-MC made by the same peeps, except no stick-looking blobs, which finished 3rd place to a real desert pattern, and won’t be fully in place before the all-Services camo that will be required to replace it by Act of Congress years from now. Oh, and 10-12 years after it was canc’ed because the USMC wouldn’t share MarPat, which we stole from the Canadians, and just in time for the “end of the war.” I don’t even believe the end of this ‘graph, but that’s the closest thing to making any sense in the whole thing!

  49. Mick says:

    Any word on a new color for tees, boots or belts?

    • D says:

      Wouldn’t worry about it. No one can really tell which color is which on the boots and there will be plenty of time during transition to wear out your old T-shirts. As for belts, they may issue a tan 499 version of the current shitty belt, but I’ve been wearing rigger belts in never-been-approved OD green since 2000, so whatever.

  50. TD says:

    There’s no logic like Army logic.
    More is going to spent on tool up than the $25million CP wanted for their intellectual property.
    SOCOM will stick with Multicam, paying the increased price for increased effective camo clothing and equipment.
    Taxpayers will pay for Big Army to replace all the camo pattern formerly known as the original OCP pattern, that was bought, short-term, to supplant all the POS UCP equipment that was FUBAR in the first place, that is bought XX quantity per year anyway.
    And in the end, the GI Joe or Jane is going to be the one who pays for it. Less money in the budget for soldier and dependent quality of life programs and benefits.
    Remember how ACUs cost over twice as much as BDUs? That’s not even bringing FRACU into the equation. Granted, reduced long term skin damage to our wounded was a benefit, the war profiteers who charged the astronomical prices to the tax payers, for a few cents worth of chemicals, were the real winners.