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Archive for the ‘OCP’ Category

The Air Force Is Teaching Airmen How To Wear The ACU

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

It doesn’t matter how much the Air Force refers to their recently adopted Army Combat Uniform as “OCPs” (for the camouflage pattern), the tags will still say “Army Combat Uniform”.

As the 1 October roll out date nears, the Air Force Personnel Center has started releasing guidance to the force on how to wear the ACU. Despite wearing Patrol Caps with the BDU, DCU and ABU, Airmen have apparently forgotten how to wear it. And oh yeah, many are unhappy ballcaps aren’t authorized.

Whoo! All these questions about the new Operational Camouflage Uniform! AFI 36-2903 does the heavy lifting for you, but sometimes you just want to hear it from the source, like us!

First up in our OCP series: The Patrol Cap.

Airmen will wear the patrol cap straight on the head so that the CAP BAND creates a straight line around the head, parallel to the ground. Officer rank is Spice Brown – EXCEPT for first lieutenants and lieutenant colonels who are required to wear black rank (starting next April). Chaplains may wear the chaplain occupational badge sewn-on and centered ½ inch above the visor.

WHEN can Airmen wear the OCP patrol cap? Starting Oct. 1, but of course, if you wear the cap, you should be wearing the entire OCP uniform. No mixing and matching ABUs, BDUs and OCPs!

WHERE do you get OCPs if you want to wear them Oct. 1? First – check with your leadership. They may want to wait until they have your unit/org patches available before they authorize wear of OCPs. Otherwise, Airmen with previously-owned, serviceable OCPs (not multi-cams) can wear them with current patches and badges.

$$ What if you don’t want to buy OCPs just yet? That’s ok, too. The mandatory wear date for all Airmen to wear the OCP isn’t until April 1, 2021, so plenty of time to get your new uniform ready! Visit our website for more info at www.afpc.af.mil/Career-Management/Dress-and-Appearance

ACUs In Issue Scorpion W2 OCP Now Available For Pre-Order From TacticalGear

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

The US Army recently licensed the commercial printing and sale of the Scorpion W2 Operational Camouflage Pattern.

The US Army has been wearing the pattern for several years, but it hasn’t been available from commercial sources. The US Air Force is poised to make the transition to the Army Combat Uniform in OCP as well.

Pre-order yours at tacticalgear.com/ocp-uniform.

Belleville Boot OCP Boot Transition Guide For Airmen

Friday, July 13th, 2018

SSD Sponsor Belleville Boot, created this handy OCP boot transition guide for USAF personnel.

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www.bellevilleboot.com

OCP – Now In Technicolor

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Looks like the OCP color issues are worse than we thought.

This isn’t just a hat like we showed last time, this is the entire uniform for a Four-Star General, forward deployed, in a combat zone. These are unaltered DoD photographs and the shading problem is obvious next to the other uniforms.

The Army has got to get this printing locked in. Of course, they wouldn’t have this problem if they’d have just kept using MultiCam.

Looks Like QC Issues For OCP

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

A deployed SSD reader was recently issued a patrol cap through Army Direct Ordering which featured a rather shoddy example of OCP.

As you may recall, the US Army’s Operational Camouflage Pattern was adopted last year and is a variant of the so-called Scorpion camouflage pattern originally developed by Crye Precision which was used for the US Army’s Objective Force Warrior program in the early 2000s.  Crye Precision later refined the developmental Scorpion pattern into the highly successful MultiCam pattern which has been adopted by USSOCOM as well as the US Army.  Despite being less effective than MultiCam, OCP was instituted in order to avoid paying license fees to MultiCam IP owner, Crye Precision.

Hopefully, those buying gear for our troops will be a bit more discriminating in their acceptance of OCP printed goods, putting performance ahead of saving a buck.

NRA – Enter To Win A SureFire Sidekick or P2X Fury with Intellibeam By Registering At The Show

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Fountain Valley, CA — SureFire, LLC, manufacturer of the world’s finest—and most innovative—suppressors, illumination tools, and tactical products, will be hosting a daily sweepstakes at the 2016 NRA Show in Louisville, Kentucky, May 20-22nd. SureFire’s NRA Sweepstakes will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT) on May 20th and 21st, and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT) on May 22.

When attendees fill out an information card, they will be entered for a chance to win the 300-lumen, ultra-compact, micro-USB rechargeable Sidekick™. To be entered to win the P2X Fury® with IntelliBeam™, customers simply have to fill out a customer feedback survey. No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win. A winner for each prize will be determined daily. For more information on the sweepstakes, please see the rules posted at the SureFire booth #5725. In addition to the daily giveaways, SureFire will be displaying brand-new products and offering the latest products for sale at exclusive show prices in SureFire’s booth.

Court Dismisses Crye Precision’s Suit Against Duro Textiles

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

On Friday, 22 April, 2016, Federal Judge Denise L. Cote published a ruling, granting Duro Textiles motion for summary judgement and dismissing with prejudice Crye Precision’s remaining claims against Duro Textiles, stemming from a lawsuit filed against Duro in early 2015. This is actually a second lawsuit although the initial suit was filed in late 2014 and withdrawn in early 2015.

Specifically, the Judge dismissed three specific allegations in this suit; breach of contract, trade dress infringement and common law unfair competition arising from Duro’s printing of a camouflage pattern owned by the US Government.

Crye Precision’s MultiCam licensing agreement was central to their claims against Duro. Duro last signed such an agreement with Crye in 2012 and once it had expired in 2014, and Duro began printing the Army’s OCP, legal actions commenced.

Below is the paragraph 3(h), in question.

According to New York law, this clause from the 2012 agreement is unenforceable due to reasons stipulated in the ruling. Furthermore, the judge ruled that it was too broad in scope. At face value, it seems like a pretty straightforward ruling by the court, until you consider that it could create a situation where the premise it is based upon fundamentally changes.  The full order, seen below, is quite detailed and worth the read.

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Click on image to open PDF

To be sure, this is a victory for Duro, but perhaps a bittersweet one. Duro was essentially a lone horse in printing OCP for the Army. Now, they are sure to see competition for this business in the future. What’s more, the Army may well lose control of the pattern it created for use in place of MultiCam. Whether the Army likes it or not, we may see commercial OCP, or really close copies, by Christmas.

Here’s why. Much to the chagrin of those of us watching from the sidelines, the Judge’s decision does not declare whether MultiCam and OCP (Scorpion W2) are similar. Rather, the court is very clear that Duro is just printing what the Army paid them to print; namely, OCP and claims that the government can tell the difference.

Judge Cote dismissed Crye Precision’s claim of trade dress infringement. The court’s ruling may well have set creating about an interesting situation. Consider this:

The Government is the creator and only purchaser of Scorpion W2. It is a sophisticated consumer, as its creation of Scorpion W2 and its announced switch from MUTLICAM in 2014 evidences. Duro’s only sales of Scorpion W2 have been for the Government, specifically to Government contractors and subcontractors in the supply chain for the U.S. Army. These contractors order Scorpion W2 from Duro by name. Thus, while MULTICAM and Scorpion W2 compete in the same Government sales market, there is no likelihood of actual confusion on the part of the Government or its contractors.

It’s the second and third order, or should I say “disorder” effects that will be interesting. For example, what if the consumer is no longer just the US Army but also commercial customers. Could that expanded consumer group tell the difference between these two patterns?

This exact situation may be additional fallout from this ruling, and it may not just affect Crye Precision. By declaring the competition clause of Crye’s licensing agreement void, could printers, licensed or not, begin to make counterfeit versions of MultiCam, or for that matter OCP, consequence free?

Although Judge Cote declared the provisions of Crye Precision’s licensing agreement too broad, you have to wonder how specific they would have to be to satisfy the court and protect the pattern(s). As far as I know, current licensees are under a newer 2014 version of the contract which may contain updated language that already addresses the court’s concerns and were signed under different circumstances than the long-standing agreements with Duro. It must be noted that this ruling by Judge Cote is specific to the situation with Duro.

It is yet to be seen whether Crye Precision will appeal the ruling, but it doesn’t stop them from defending their IP on other fronts. Also, although many are concerned with license fees for the printing of both MultiCam and OCP. This ruling doesn’t address them. Regardless, the bottom line here is that Crye is going to have to sue the US Army if it wants to ultimately settle the MultiCam vs OCP question. We’ll keep you posted if we hear anything.

Army Says Its Okay To Mix Camo Patterns This Winter

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

We told you that there’d be crossing of the streams while the transition to OCP occurred. The vast majority of environmental clothing systems in the field are in the old Universal Camouflage Pattern while Soldiers have flocked to the new hotness, the Operational Camouflage Pattern, authorized for wear just this summer. Unfortunately, the Army has yet to issue any environmental clothing in OCP. However, Many Soldiers have either ECWCS Gen III or FREE in MultiCam, a camouflage pattern purchased from Crye Precision by the military under the name Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern. The Army’s new OCP is quite similar in color and shape to the OEF-CP it began purchasing in 2010.

At any rate, without cold weather clothing in the appropriate pattern, Soldiers will have two choices; freeze or clash. The Army has wisely chosen to allow authorize Soldiers to mix patterns, at least as it pertains to issued TA-50, or Organizational Clothung and Equipment.

Below is an Army News Service article that explains their decision. It also puts to bed a question that keeps coming up; which color flag to wear with the new ACU in OCP. The answer is full-color in Garrison and subdued while deployed, just like with the original ACU in UCP.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 30, 2015) — As winter weather approaches and temperatures drop, Soldiers turn to their cold-weather gear to keep warm outdoors while conducting training or operations.

Many Soldiers now wear their Army Combat Uniform, or ACU, in the new Operational Camouflage Pattern. But their organizational clothing and individual equipment, or OCIE, such as their wet-weather gear and their Extended Cold Weather Clothing System sport the Universal Camouflage Pattern, or UCP.

Soldiers don’t need to freeze so as to avoid a uniform faux pas, however, the Army wants Soldiers to know that it’s okay to wear the foliage green fleece cold-weather jacket and other UCP cold-weather gear on top of their new Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform.

“Soldiers should continue to use the equipment they have been provided to remain safe and warm in environments that call for it,” said Sgt. Maj. Eva M. Commons, uniform policy sergeant major, Army G-1. “This is why the Army gives you this gear to wear.”

Cold-weather gear is not part of the “clothing bag” issued to Soldiers during basic training. Instead, Soldiers get items like the fleece cold-weather jacket, the wind cold-weather jacket, the soft shell cold-weather jacket and trousers, or the extreme cold/wet-weather jacket and trousers from the clothing issue facility, or CIF, at their installation.

Commons said that no matter what ACU Soldiers are wearing – the one in UCP pattern or the one in Operational Camouflage Pattern – they are allowed to wear the winter-weather gear that is issued by the CIF.

“Any item issued from CIF is permitted for wear,” she said. “There is no restriction based on camo pattern or color.”

The Army also has two different colored T-shirts available for wear under their ACU. There is the “sand-colored” T-shirt and the “Tan 499” T-shirt. Belts are also available in both of those colors. Boots are available in sand or coyote colors, as well.

The rule here, Commons said, is that when a Soldier is wearing the UCP ACU, he or she must wear the undershirt, belt and boots designed for wear with the UCP ACU. However, when Soldiers wear the Operational Camouflage Pattern ACU, they can wear “any combination” of boots, belt and T-shirt, in any of the available colors; the boots, belt, and t-shirt do not have to match each other.

Commons caveated that, however, by saying “both your left and right boot must be the same color.”

The Army, Commons said, has an inventory of items including belts, boots, T-shirts, uniforms, and cold- and wet-weather gear. Each of those items has a certain wear life on them. Items such as cold-weather jackets last a very, very long time, she said. Other items, such as T-shirts, can be worn for less than a year before they ought to be replaced.

The liberal policy for how uniform items can be mixed with the Operational Camouflage Pattern ACU allows the Soldiers more flexibility in the wear of their uniform, and additionally allows more time for the Army to eventually get OCIE in the new Operational Camouflage Pattern.

“With all these different uniforms, we have to give the widest range of allowance to Soldiers to properly wear, and not have that come out of pocket,” she said. “It also allows the Army to make sure they have proper stock in issuing facilities to support demand.”

Commons said that Soldiers can continue to wear the UCP ACU until Sept. 30, 2019. After that, they must show up to work wearing the Operational Camouflage Pattern ACU.

Soldiers who are deploying or have an operational need are provided with OCIE items in the Operational Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern, also known as OEF-CP.

“Deployers will never go without,” Commons said. “The Army will ensure Soldiers get the appropriate equipment for their mission.”

The Army has been issuing the pattern to those deploying for some years and will continue to do so until the transition to Operational Camouflage Pattern.

It will be some years before UCP OCIE is exhausted and is replaced with Operational Camouflage Pattern OCIE because the items are “quite durable,” Commons said.

Commons also said some Soldiers had expressed confusion about what camouflage pattern the name and service tapes should be in on their UCP-colored fleece jacket. She said the name and service tape pattern should match the color of the fleece jacket, not the pattern of the ACU the Soldier is wearing underneath.

BLUE, WHITE AND READ THE REGULATIONS

Commons said that for some time, the OEF-CP was worn only in Afghanistan. And while deployed to Afghanistan, the rule was to wear the tactical subdued American flag patch on the right sleeve.

“Soldiers had only seen the subdued patch on that uniform, so they assumed that is the only patch allowed with that uniform,” Commons said.

But that is not the case.

According to AR 670-1, paragraph 21-18, “All Soldiers will wear the full-color U.S. flag embroidered insignia on utility and organizational uniforms, unless deployed or in a field environment.”

Commons said that the OEF-CP ACU, and the Operational Camouflage Pattern ACU can, and should be, worn with the full-color American flag while in garrison. Soldiers should wear the subdued flag patch on those uniforms while deployed, or in a field environment.

First sergeants, she said, will let Soldiers know when they are going to be in a field environment, and what the uniform requirements will be.