MultiCam – What You’ll Get

In a recent interview with PEO Soldier’s COL William Cole and LTC Mike Sloane they detailed efforts to field complete ensembles of clothing and equipment in MultiCam required for combat patrols in Afghanistan. This first article will discuss what is being issued.

In addition to four FR ACUs and Army Combat Shirts in the new pattern each Soldier will receive an accessory kit consisting of name tags, rank, and shoulder sleeve insignia. The Army Institute of Heraldry still has to weigh in on the colorway and designs of individual SSIs. Other uniform components include Generation III Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System. PEO-Soldier is also hard at work getting Patrol Caps, Sun Hats, Knee and Elbow Pads as well as entire MOLLE sets into production. These will include Individual First Aid Kits in addition to the new Tactical Assault Panel seen in the accompanying photo supplied by the program office. IOTV covers and Helmet Covers as well as Nape Pads will also be produced in MultiCam. Every detail is being seen to in order to meet their fielding goals of mid-summer.

In order to meet this deadline a new contract will soon be let by PEO-Soldier for FR ACUs. Rather than relying on the current sustainment contract managed by Defense Supply Center Philadelphia for FR ACUs in UCP, this will allow the numerous improvements to the ACU design we wrote about last year to be cut in early to this new purchase along with the change to MultiCam.

Spc. Eddie L. Williams, a computer detection repairer at Fort Belvoir, Va., models the new MultiCam Fire Resistant Army Combat Uniform
Photo: Alexandra Hemmerly-Brown

What you won’t get are MultiCam ACUs. Lots of guys are already running out and purchasing several sets in the hopes that one day they will be able to wear them. However, this isn’t the case. Although specific wear policy hasn’t yet been released for troops in Afghanistan, this has the potential for being a dream scenario for uniform nazis. If you thought it was hard to sneak into the chow hall after a patrol in your Army Combat Shirt, don’t even think about wearing your ACUs in MultiCam. Current in-theater policy requires Soldiers to protect themselves by wearing FR ACUs, whether UCP or MultiCam. If you are in the wrong uniform you will stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.

Certain organizations on the other hand have fielded standard 50/50 NYCO (50% nylon/50% ripstop cotton blend) uniforms for some time. However, these do not provide the same level of Fire Resistant protection afforded uniforms manufactured from Tencate’s Defender-M like the issue FR ACU. Already industry is hard at work producing clothing and equipment on MultiCam that are designed specifically for use in Afghanistan. This includes FR products. Over the next several weeks Soldier Systems Daily will begin to unveil these products to you.

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