Soldier Systems
Categories About Us EmailArchives Home Tactical Fanboy Soldier Sytems Home

Archive for the ‘Camo’ Category

Marker Panel, Individual, LW Mk1 Now Available In PenCott Patterns

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

PenCott Marker Panels

Battle System LLC has added PenCott BadLands and GreenZone as pattern options for the Marker Panel, Individual, LW Mk1. I am a huge fan of the MPILW and I think it should be standard issue for everyone. It’s lightweight, durable and effective, transforming from a compact 2.5″ x 2.5″ x .75″ to a full 17″ x 17″ reversible to orange for signaling.,_Individual,_LW

Hat Tip:

And The Next US Army Camouflage Is…

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

If you find yourself this far into any over-schedule undertaking such as replacing the camouflage for the US Army, you will constantly hear rumors of anticipated announcement dates and speculative pattern types. Why, just a week or so ago I was told that the Army was going to make a camouflage decision on May 5th.

At this point I’m jaded, so I flippantly shrugged the information off. After all, hadn’t the Army just started their reexamination of the entire camouflage process a mere two months ago? And hadn’t Phase IV taken two years? Two months vs two years. It just didn’t add up. Not to mention rumored announcement dates that kept shifting to the right. Plus, May 5th? Seriously? Cinco de Mayo? What an arbitrary date, especially with the U.S. Army’s birthday coming up in June.

Then, I get a cryptic email yesterday morning. During a briefing to industry, the Commander of the Defense Logistics Agency, VADM Harnitchek announced that the Army had in fact made a camouflage decision but unfortunately, he did not know which pattern had been selected. Even if he had, as a Navy Admiral. it wasn’t his place to tell the Army’s story. The meeting was a buzz with speculation.

At this point I was thinking, “Finally, a decision…any decision.”

Who knows if the choice was actually made on Cinco de Mayo or not, but wouldn’t it be ironic if it had been? Think about it. A decision of that importance would’ve been much easier to make over a couple of shots of tequila.

But I’ve gone on long enough leading you up to the punch line of this post.

Today, Col Robert Mortlock, Program Manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment at PEO Soldier showed up to discuss Army programs. He’s just finished addressing a large ballroom filled with representatives from the military services and the industrial base that serves them. Everyone came into the room waiting to hear, right from the proverbial horse’s mouth, which Course Of Action the Army is going to take. Would it press the ‘easy button’ and choose OCP (MultiCam)? Or maybe MARPAT? Or Navy AOR? Or perhaps the Army would defy the NDAA and introduce the fabled Digital Transitional Pattern (pixelated MultiCam)? Would they be bold and go old school, announcing they had reconsidered a 2003 decision and adopt Scorpion? Or would the Senior Service just stick with status quo and remain in the dreaded UCP for garrison wear and OCP for the remainder of OEF?

Lots of options on the table.


Slovenian Land Forces SloCam Camouflage Pattern

Friday, May 2nd, 2014


While writing up the article for the newly released STRIKER XT line from UF PRO, we came across mention of a camouflage pattern called SloCam. A bit of research revealed a post on UF PRO’s own site, detailing the history of the pattern.


SloCam was developed by the Slovenian Land Forces, along side their new battle dress, as a more adequate camouflage pattern when compared to their original Woodland DP. Designed to better reflect the changed strategic role of the Slovenian army as a NATO partner, SloCam’s characteristic shapes, color transition from light to dark olive green, and five color shades based on brown and green function well in various vegetations from woodland to barren areas – even midsized urban areas, maintains its disrupted pattern even at a distance, and also allows soldiers to combine it with equipment from other NATO countries.


If it’s not painfully obvious, it would be hard to argue that SloCam isn’t inspired by Crye Precision’s flagship MultiCam camouflage pattern, in both color composition and function. It looks like everybody wants camouflage that works (except the U.S. Army).

ATS Tactical Gear – Cobra 2.5 In Kryptek

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Cobra 25 Highlander

ATS Tactical Gear made up a couple prototypes of their Cobra 2.5 pack in Kryptek Typhon and Highlander for a customer, and have plans to produce and make them commercially available. The Kryptek Cobra 2.5s feature the same Brushed DriLex lining and compatibility with the CAP series organizational pouches as previous models. ATS will also be adding Kryptek patterns to the color matrix on their site in the coming weeks.

Additionally, the long awaited Cobra II is now in the beginning stages of development. Stay tuned for further information as it becomes available.

HyperStealth to Introduce INVISIB – Commercial Variant of Quantum Stealth

Friday, April 11th, 2014

HyperStealth announced on their Facebook page earlier today that they would release a commercial version of their long promised Quantum Stealth. I for one am looking forward to the release simply so I can finally speak openly about the technology.


With authorization from the U.S. Military last week, Hyperstealth INVISIB will be the first commercial variant of Quantum Stealth (Light Bending Material). A confidential version with a higher capability will be available for Law Enforcement/Military Regular Forces and a highly advanced classified version will be available for Tier 1 and Tier 2 Special Forces Teams in Canada and the U.S. only.

Hyperstealth is now in the process of establishing the Intellectual Property (IP) for INVISIB, and only after the IP is secured will the product be demonstrated to the public.

Hyperstealth was not allowed to pursue the IP prior to this recent authorization as Canada does not allow patents to be taken out on classified technology and while the U.S. does allow patents on classified technology, it would have to be stamped secret and would not allow Hyperstealth to secure worldwide protection.

Blast from the Past – Battlefield Airmen on the Job

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Why? Because I just like this post from March, 2011 is why.

We like seeing official Air Force photos of Battlefield Airmen applying airmanship to the tasks at hand. In this case we see U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Stacy Maxey, a command air mobility liaison officer with Task Force CROM, giving a landing zone safety officer course U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and Romanian army personnel at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Lagman, Afghanistan.

You will note the combination of AF Digital Tigerstripe, Army UCP and Army OCP (MultiCam) clothing and equipment on the Airmen in the photo. Expect this to be the norm for at least the near future as deploying Airmen transition to OCP.

Platatac H Smock Available in Limited Edition Colors

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014


Platatac’s new H Smock is made from 50/50 NyCo ripstop fabric. It features a wealth of storage space: 4 throated cargo pockets with taped buttons, 2 zippered map/document pockets on chest, 3 internal poachers pockets at the rear, and 2 bicep mesh bottomed pockets with internal zippered ID/Notebook space.

The hood is adjustable with retention strap and shaping wire trim.

The waist and hem feature draw cords for sizing retention. The garment is loose cut, for freedom of movement in arms and torso, ensuring ventilation and room for extreme cold weather equipment to be worn underneath. The cuffs feature a double elastic throat to stop wind.

All major seam lines are double stitched and feature Bar tacking for increased durability. The elbow pads feature a reinforced double layer. The H Smock also utilizes YYK zippers and ITW Nexus hardware.

For a limited time, the H Smock will be available in AOR1 (I believe this is seconds fabric, because the material is controlled). Also available in A-TACS AU and FG.

Hyde Definition Announces PenCott BlackOps

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014


Today, Hyde Definition has announced the latest addition to the PenCott family, the PenCott BlackOps “urban” pattern – first seen as a sneak-preview for SPARTANAT at the IWA exhibition in Nuremberg.

Designed for LE, Government agency, and Military Special Operations units, in addition to functioning as a “lifestyle pattern”, PenCott BlackOps enables the tactical operator to “own the night and dominate the fight.” BlackOps will compliment units’ existing black kit, and is the “perfect pattern for disappearing into the shadows of the man-made landscape, and for projecting a an intimidating, show-of-force image to visually and psychologically dominate your opponents.”


In the above photo, Lawrence Holsworth, Hyde Definition’s Director of Business Development and Marketing, is seen wearing a Tactical Polo in the BlackOps pattern. BlackOps will be available exclusively on Silent Knight noiseless, stain-resistant, static-free, knit fabric.

So Exactly Who Is The Guy In Charge of Army Camo?

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

I was going to do this great post on how the Army would end up spending more money on a proprietary government-owned camouflage solution than just adopting the commercially available MultiCam when I ran across this little gem in yesterday’s print edition of the Army Times. In an article entitled, “Army Expects ‘Family Of Camo Patterns”, COL Robert Mortlock, Program Manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment at PEO Soldier dropped this one on us:

“We have testimonials from soldiers in theater [who get] close enough to the enemy to hear them saying they can’t see the Americans,” he said. “That’s powerful. That’s a combat multiplier. So that’s how important camouflage is to a soldier’s mission.”

All through the article, it goes on about how they are looking for something new, to replace MultiCam. And then, at the end, this quote. My jaw literally dropped. What he failed to mention in that quote was that those Soldiers are wearing that same MultiCam he wants to get rid of. That’s right; the very pattern that this guy is going hell bent for leather to replace, is what makes our guys so awesome. He’d rather waste time and tax payer money to develop something unproven rather than give Soldiers what they (and he) know(s) works. Classic. I just can’t understand how a guy can acknowledge that a product is super effective and yet want to replace it with something he had cooked up because he has some kind of a grudge against the manufacturer. He’s interested in camouflage all right, just as long as it isn’t MultiCam.

So who exactly is this Mortlock guy anyway?

I have been struggling with whether it was right to share COL Mortlock’s background with my readers because I didn’t want it to turn into some kind of personal hit piece. It’s not meant to be. Really. These are, after all, just open source facts, and I’m just presenting them to you. COL Mortlock’s actions will tell you what kind of a man he is. I’m just showing you his background.

COL Robert Mortlock

Over the weekend, I had decided I wasn’t going to talk about PM-SPIE’s background but when I read that quote above and my attitude changed. I figure it’s more than fair that everyone is fully aware of the background of the guy who is in charge of the process of selecting a new camouflage for the US Army. Remember, whatever this guy does regarding camouflage, the US Army will be stuck with for decades to come.

Granted, COL Mortlock is an Acquisition Corps officer and they come from every branch of arms. Ironically, the acquisition profession was created in order to make sure that goat ropes like this don’t happen. Since he’s in Acquisitions, you can’t exactly throw stones at the fact that he is a Chemical Officer by trade and not a Combat Arms officer. That’s not his fault. But this is kind of a systemic problem now, isn’t it? The military’s assignments system is notorious for putting the wrong guy in the right job. Usually, you can power through, but in this case, you’ve got a fellow in charge of camouflage that hasn’t had any troop time since punching his Company Command ticket for 13 months back in the mid-90s, in Hanau, Germany. With a war raging for the past 12 years, you’d think the Army could find someone with more relevant experience. However, I’d like to point out that he is airborne, air assault and Ranger qualified. That does carry some weight. Additionally, I’ve been told that he deployed in 2005 for three months in support of 18th Abn Corps.


I’m not even going to comment on what follows except to say that it is very impressive. The guy has one heck of a background (including a PhD), in spite of that three years at FCS. I’ll just place the CV that he uses on LinkedIn here for you to read. If it’s missing something pertinent to his current position, it’s because he left it out.

Robert Mortlock’s Overview


Program Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment at US Army


Director, Army Budget Office at US Army
Product Manager, FCS, Infantry Combat, Medical and Recovery Vehicles at US Army
Product Manager, Integrated Air and Missile Defense at US Army


International College of the Armed Forces (ICAF)
Webster University
University of California, Berkeley

Robert Mortlock’s Experience
Program Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment
US Army

Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Military industry

June 2012 – Present (1 year 10 months)
Director, Army Budget Office
US Army

Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Military industry

July 2011 – July 2012 (1 year 1 month)
Product Manager, FCS, Infantry Combat, Medical and Recovery Vehicles
US Army

Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Military industry

June 2007 – June 2010 (3 years 1 month)
Product Manager, Integrated Air and Missile Defense
US Army

Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Military industry

September 2005 – July 2007 (1 year 11 months) Huntsville, Alabama Area
Project Officer, Rapid Equipping Force and Joint IED Task Force
US Army

Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Military industry

March 2005 – September 2005 (7 months) Fort Belvior VA
Assistant Project Manager, Joint Common Missile
US Army

Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Military industry

July 2003 – March 2005 (1 year 9 months) Redstone Arsenal, AL
Project Officer, Joint PEO Chemical and Biological Defense
US Army

Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Military industry

August 2000 – June 2002 (1 year 11 months) Fallls Church, VA
Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering
US Army

Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Military industry

June 1997 – July 2000 (3 years 2 months) US Military Academy, West Point, NY
Company Commander
US Army

Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Military industry

June 1995 – June 1996 (1 year 1 month) Hanua, Germany
Brigade Chemical Officer
US Army

Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Military industry

June 1994 – June 1995 (1 year 1 month) Hanau Am Main Area, Germany
Platoon Leader
US Army

Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Military industry

June 1993 – June 1994 (1 year 1 month) Buedigen, Germany
Robert Mortlock’s Skills & Expertise

Professional Engineer (PE)
Certified MBA
Acquisition Corps Member
Project Management
Systems Engineering
Test Management
Research and Development

Robert Mortlock’s Education
International College of the Armed Forces (ICAF)
Master’s degree, Military National Resource Strategy and Policy

2010 – 2011

Webster University
Master of Business Administration (MBA)

2002 – 2003

University of California, Berkeley
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Chemical Engineering

1988 – 1992

Lehigh University
Bachelor of Science (BS), Chemical Engineering

1984 – 1988

Contact Robert for:

career opportunities
consulting offers
new ventures
job inquiries
expertise requests
business deals
reference requests
getting back in touch

Let the wild rumpus start!

Cabela’s – A-TACS AU Camo Trainer CT1 Boots

Friday, March 21st, 2014


Exclusive through Cabela’s is a line of Trainer CT1 boots featuring A-TACS AU camouflage. The boots, which come in 3″, 6″, and 8″ upper variants, are lightweight and breathable, with 600D nylon uppers and Virbram outsoles with Cocoon technology – a built-in megagrip compound which add an extra layer of rebound and cushioning. The boots also feature moisture-wicking linings and padded spacer-mesh collars, as well as lace pouches.

Cabela’s – A-TACS AU Trainer CT1 Boots