Polartec Military

Israeli Defense Force Abandons Camouflage Uniform Effort

According to a report from Agilite Tactical, the Israeli Defense Force has abandoned their long anticipated efforts to adopt a national camouflage pattern. The main reason is an overwhelming concern by troops who have worn OD for over 70 years, that they would be mistaken for enemy soldiers who wear camouflage uniforms.

According to the report, “The IDF’s Technical and Logistics Directorate ran a pilot wherein hundreds of combat troops and officers tested the uniforms over the past 10 months. The uniforms also featured a new cut and fabric which were judged by testees to cause high levels of discomfort.”

At least for the meantime, the IDF will remain OD.

Read more here.

29 Responses to “Israeli Defense Force Abandons Camouflage Uniform Effort”

  1. Joe says:

    Because no one ever went from OD to camouflage or had a distinctive camouflage pattern or TTP’s to avoid fratricide.

    Sounds like a weak cover for a)lack of funding or b)poor training and readiness.

    • jellydonut says:

      Their army is majorly conscripts, which is necessitated by their small size and situation. Their concerns are not the same as those of other nations.

  2. Jordan says:

    The program was paid for by the american taxpayer anyway, so it’s no loss to Israel.

  3. Jose says:

    This is what happens when democracy infects the ranks, instead of rigorous testing and forethought. It shows how even battle-hardened armies are subjected to cultural inertia. If they have problems with friendly fire, they have to work on that, and have the soldiers better protected with suitable uniforms. In a world of night fights and thermal vision, GPS, Drones and IR Beacons, the colour of the uniform is not an excuse for a perceived high number of friendly fire incidents.

    • Yawnz says:

      But why make the situation objectively worse based on some subjective interpretation of the individual solider’s abilities? It’s not like the IDF is fighting in terrain where camo would be especially useful. A dude with a rifle stands out pretty well no matter what he’s wearing when he’s in the middle of a city street.

      • Jose says:

        Camo is not the only solution, is just part of the equation, an important one. A perfectly camouflaged chameleon would stand in the middle of the city street of your example, its shadow would betray him. Camo is basic, but there have not been significant advances on it since the end of WWII, mainly because the resistance to change, the priority of fashion over function also in the military.

        • Yawnz says:

          A chameleon’s shadow would only betry him if you were looking for a chameleon’s shadow. No one’s claiming that camo is the only solution, but given the environment that the IDF has operated in, camo would be way down on the priority list. Otherwise, you’re making a lot of claims without any evidence backing it up.

          • Jose says:

            Well, your evidence is also lacking, and I am not giving a lecture, just an opinion. I have personally operated in environments from Arctic to desert and urban, mostly as a sniper, and camo is paramount if you want to survive. You have the right to a different opinion, specially when even the US Army has proved unable to select a camo pattern based on scientifical testing, just ended up convincing itself “well, let’s use what Special Forces use, cannot be that bad, and all the Army would look more Special” That is just my humble analysis.

            • Ipkiss says:

              What you meant was: multicam was one of the four finalists from a study with over 200 camouflage patterns and because of congress telling the army not to introduce another pattern they went with Scorpion and made it look like Multicam. That’s what you meant, right?

              • Jose says:

                Yes, kind of. They were supposed to produce the most rigorous camo study ever, but never published the results, and went down the easiest and cheapest outcome. At least that is my perception.

        • Kirk says:

          Hate to say it, but modern camouflage uniforms have essentially begun morphing into issues of heraldry and unit identification, much like Scots tartans.

          I strongly suspect that in a couple of generations, the various camo patterns we so love today are going to be the equivalent of the old-school “colors” like the Army and Marine dress blues, the old UK scarlet uniform colors, and the like. More a matter for tradition and heraldry–I’m gonna guess that if the historical trends hold true, we’ll be wearing a version of the BDU as a dress uniform about 2100, or so.

          Think I’m nuts? Go back and look at the old-school combat uniforms of yore. Even the Marine dress blues are modeled on what Marines were wearing into combat during the 19th Century…

          • Sommerbiwak says:

            Actually it has already happened in some places. See the various navies wearing “camo” at sea. Or civil defense or fire fighters wearing “camo” in bright yellow and orange patterns. Their leaders pin all manner of bling bling on their chests as well. So we already have that.

          • Jose says:

            I agree. And US Marines copied their urniform from Spanish Navy Marines, after participating in anti-piracy operations in the Mediterranean. Just fashion.

  4. Kirk says:

    Meh. It’s their army, their rules. I’m not one hundred-percent behind the whole camouflage field uniform concept, myself–Something like the South African nutria and some strategic placement of netting and the local flora might do as much good, and be a hell of a lot less expensive.

  5. Bobby davro says:

    By looks of the guy in the picture camouflage would be useless anyway, the amount of patches on there would render it useless

  6. Bolty says:

    Surely this statement is the most important “The uniforms also featured a new cut and fabric which were judged by testees to cause high levels of discomfort.”
    At least they had the sense to not mindlessly plow on with something that feedback showed wasn’t up to standard.

    • Vic Toree says:

      Uncomfortable testees is a significant readiness threat. If the testees aren’t happy they aren’t going to be plowing anything.

      My inner 12 year old feels better now, thanks.

  7. 32sbct says:

    Based on the picture shown they are lucky it was rejected. The colors look very similar to UCP. On a recent trip to the national parks in Utah I was surprised at how effective some of the solid color hiking clothes were at blending into the environment. They were mainly a darker green or gray but they actually worked fairly well in an environment that was mainly rocky with some small scrubby plants scattered around.

    • Matt says:

      The photo shows one of the patterns, there was two more I believe, one was a digital print like marpat but with brown colors, and the other was like the one in the photo but with colors similar to MultiCam.

  8. Stefan S. says:

    Funny how anytime there is a post on camouflage, the gripes and bitches ensues. Didn’t you all get the ACU to UCP debacle out of your systems b y now? Now you are armchair quarterbacking a foreign nations decisions? GMAFB!

    • Mick says:


  9. SteveB says:

    This all looks and sounds hauntingly familiar…

  10. Big_Juju says:

    Uniforms are one of the main components of a force’s Brand Identity. If the IDF wears camo then they’re just like everyone else. There’s a reason the USMC didn’t allow MARPAT to be adopted by other forces.

  11. Papa6 says:

    “Ain’t no school like old school!” OD all the way. The cool thing about OD is that about 30 seconds after hitting the objective, your uniforms have picked up enough dirt and dust to truly “blend in”.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the Army should have just issued the UCP style uniform in OD with a can of spray paint in the predominant color of the AO . . .

  12. pbr549 says:

    How long after the US Army adopted BDUs did the Ranger Regt and SF stick with OG-107s?

  13. Chris O`Crooh says:

    They are used to olive uniforms of soldiers, and during any incident or sudden fight kids and elders will recognize friends and foes.