ProTact by Haartz

Uncle Cries Uncle on MultiCam Insignia

When MultiCam was first approved for use in Operation Enduring Freedom as OCP, the associated patches and insignia items produced in the MultiCam colorway were restricted to issue only meaning you couldn’t purchase additional issue items through commercial outlets let alone through the Clothing Sales Store. This restriction extended to the actual manufacturers who could not offer the items to retail outlets.

Well all of that has changed. Recognizing that troops will be troops and that they were starting to purchase poor quality knock off products from questionable sources, the Army Institute of Heraldry is authorizing the manufacturers of issue insignia to offer them to resellers. This allows manufacturers to compete openly and ensures troops will have access to authorized insignia.

As an aside, this got me to thinking. What is the Air Force going to do now that they have too adopted OCP? Their NCOs have an obsession with sleeve rank. It’s one of the only traditions the service has kept and to be blunt, one of the worst. Dating back to the Army Air Corps of WWII, sleeve rank made the leap over to the Air Force from the Army. However, the Army dumped the practice for field uniforms during the Viet Nam conflict. The Air Force briefly flirted with the concept during the post Desert Storm “McPeak” Air Force, removing enlisted rank completely from the BDU. But, like throwing out the baby with the bathwater, the concept was hated by the Senior NCO ranks and the stripes were later returned rather than developing collar or chest mounted versions. Consequently, you can determine the rank of an Air Force Chief from across the flight line.

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