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US Army Camouflage Improvement Effort Update – The Truth Is Out There

It’s no real surprise but word has leaked. It might be the Army’s announcement to make, but rumors are swirling around the Army on which of the four families of patterns has been chosen to replace the so-called Universal Camouflage Pattern. What the heck, you’ve got a one-in-four chance of being right.

Multiple sources have verified that the Secretary of the Army plans on announcing the new camo selection on June 14th, the Army’s birthday. But, at this point, the selection may well be common knowledge by then.

I’m contacted regularly with “insider” information to tell me which family of patterns were chosen. Often, they are wrong. When they are right, I ask the source of their info. Yesterday, I received a very interesting answer to that question. According to the contact, the ultimate source of the info was Sergeant Major of the Army, Raymond F Chandler III. Interesting. He knows. According to the info I received, SMA Chandler discussed the choice with another Sergeant Major who “sits on a board” with the SMA. The CSM passed it along, and so on. Normally, I’d ignore that as static except that the pattern was described, in such a way that someone who wasn’t a geardo might pass along to another. There was enough right and enough wrong that it sounded like it was the result of a game of ‘telephone.’ That got my attention.

Now, something you need to know as background. When the Army fielded the ACU and UCP on the Army’s birthday in 2004, the Major Army Command CSMs were all briefed on the uniform and allowed to offer feedback. As an amusing aside, the USAREUR CSM at the time was quite concerned that the ACU be offered in a maternity cut. At any rate, it would be no surprise that the Army’s Senior Enlisted would be familiar with the decision at this point.

The truth is out there, you just have to know who to ask.

101 Responses to “US Army Camouflage Improvement Effort Update – The Truth Is Out There”

  1. matty says:

    You cocktease. I’m not even in the Army but I’m curious as hell.

  2. joe says:

    right, so I will jsu ask my buddy the CSA. I’m sure that will go over well.

  3. JBAR says:

    How the hell did Brookwood make it?

  4. Torch says:

    Oh come on the suspense is killing me! Give us a hint.

  5. BradKAF308 says:

    The truth is out there. Are you going to make posters? lol

  6. The Stig says:

    I love the brookwood woodland pattern, it’s like an evolution of the old M81. Personally though I don’t care what family they picked so long as I won’t be in UCP anymore.

  7. a u says:

    we are going back to pickle suit. Army Green Fatigues Ladies and Gentlemen. Time to get your sew and starch on with black or green Jungle Boots!

  8. Mohican says:

    So some lucky guys know the answer and they don’t want to share it with us just in case they are wrong.

    I am eager to know the choice of the Army because I guess maybe that will imply higher prices for the public if pattern is at any time available for the public.

    I really like Multicam and Kryptek, but that means nothing, of course.

  9. Describing it makes it sound like Kryptek.

  10. El Guapo says:

    Ok, so what was the point of this post? “I know what the winner is but I may be wrong but you can find it out for yourself if you really try”. Why don”t you just say “i hear it’s _______ but it’s not 100%”?

    • SSD says:

      Because, like I’ve said, multiple times before. It’s the Army’s announcement to make. I am not going to be the guy that steals their thunder, and puts their program at risk by announcing before they do.

  11. Stuart Neilson says:

    I rather hope it will be multicam or something very similar. It will do no harm to have the coalition of nations dressed in similar uniforms. Come on Uncle Sam get in step with the rest of us.

  12. Stuart Neilson says:

    PS The multicam family of cam is for winners!

  13. Stryker Magnum says:

    I hope you slide under a gas truck and taste your own blood!! Die!! Die!!

  14. All Jacked Up says:

    They need to release something soon. These ACU’s of mine can’t hold on much longer. If I wait any longer to replace them they’ll just be rags. Lol.

    • SSD says:

      Just because they announce doesn’t mean the replacement pattern will be available for awhile.

      • Torch says:

        I wasn’t in for the change to ACU, how long did it take?

        • straps says:

          This won’t be ANYTHING like the change from UCP in ’05-’06.

          The enhanced systems put in place to get clothing and OCIE to the troops will help the transition, but it will be a much slower process–especially for Active and Reserve units without expeditionary roles.

          • SSD says:

            Agreed. I also expect to see serving troops being required to purchase their own uniforms.

          • Stone06 says:

            Yup. I’m thinking I had better start saving up some cash so I can be in the right uniform. I wonder if they, the Army, will at least be quick about distributing a list of approved suppliers? Being AGR in a remote location that will be the only way I’m going to be able to stay right.

  15. K says:

    Just so everyone knows, Kryptek won the competition.

    Hey, I have a 25% of being right! That’s better odds than winning the Powerball! πŸ˜‰

  16. HD says:

    When they change it – I’m burning my ACUs.

    Publicly.

    On BG Moran’s driveway.

    Since we was PEO Soldier when the ACU abortion was proposed/ selected.

  17. PJ says:

    In honor of Chris Kyle, I vote Kryptek.

  18. COL REMF says:

    Although UCP is only effective in a parking lot or gravel pit (or Bagram Airfield) what I really want to know is the ACU wear-out day so I will know if I will need to buy more uniforms before I retire.

    Thanks for having the integrity and moral courage to allow DA to roll out the decision, but if you happen know the ACU wear-out date . . .

  19. Philip says:

    Maybe this announcement will prompt the USAF to get rid of the god-awful ABUs.

  20. Ranger UP says:

    Winner will suprise all.

    AOR 1
    AOR 2
    ACU

  21. Max says:

    SSD–do you personally know 100% which entry is going to get the nod? A simple yes or no will suffice to shut me up until June 14th.

    I hope Kryptek wins, but I’ll happily wear Brookwood or Crye or US4CES. Anything is better than UCP (well . . . except for ABU and NWU Type1).

  22. Lucky says:

    The suspense is fraking killing me right now!

  23. Roadkill says:

    LBT is moving MultiCam load-out bags at a good discount. Could this be a sign or simply clearing out stock?

    • Mac says:

      They’ve done that several times. The writing has been on the wall that the Army is moving away from Multicam and UCP. Multicam wasn’t in contention for this anyway. Doesn’t really mean it’s a sign of anything.

  24. straps says:

    Thanks! I’ll sit tight for the next three weeks and cross my fingers that US4CES wins.

    If US4CES didn’t win, you’re probably laughing at me right now.

    What button do I get?

  25. bulldog76 says:

    just in from the grape vine from FT campbell kryptek won it

  26. Josh says:

    I’ll believe the Army has made a decision on a new pattern just as soon as they start issuing it.

  27. Darius137 says:

    Congratulations PenCott! The Army loves tradition, and traditionally they do huge tests and then pick something else.

    Luckily this time it’s a camouflage set that works.

    • K says:

      Whaddya mean PenCott? Everyone with half a brain know that A-TACs was selected to replace UCP! Geez dude, keep up with current events, will ya?

  28. Lucky says:

    Guys, guys, we all know that SMA Preston had a hand in this and you should join me in welcoming back the Blue Suit, that’s right, traditionally wasting money, and picking something else, we are going back to the Shell jacket and Kepi front the 1860’s, cause hey, why argue with tradition?

  29. Stu says:

    I’ve enjoyed watching these teasers and their subsequent comments almost as much as I’ve watched the ragers.

    SSD, can you verify one thing for me? Crye’s submission IS NOT the Multicam that’s being used as OEF, correct? It’s a variation family, based on what I’ve read? Just wanted to make sure of at least that, so I can ignore the endless “Multicam wins!” comments.

    As for the Blue Suit ASUs…. who doesn’t like looking as though we’re about to invade Poland?

    • Mac says:

      I’m obviously not SSD, but a requirement of the competition was that the pattern not be one already commercially available, ie, no Multicam. It was however a benchmark against which the finalists were chosen.

      • Lawrence says:

        Actually that’s not correct.

        Also, Kryptek was already on sale commercially before the short-list was announced, as was MultiCam. And if I’m not mistaken, US4CES was announced for commercial sale before the short-list was announced….

      • SSD says:

        It was not a requirement in the solicitation.

        • K says:

          Dangit, enough of the cryptic answers!!!

          Wait . . . cryptic . . . kryptek . . . it’s a clue! KRYPTEK WON!!!!

          Do I get a cookie?

    • straps says:

      What Crye Considers NOT to be Multicam has in the past been pretty close to Multicam. British MTP (MC palate with some DPM swishy) and the Aussie (MC with beans and bunnies).

      This is me thinking wishfully, as it would be nice for those of us who are invested in MC gear to be able to continue using it…

  30. The Stig says:

    I’ve been hearing US4CES won, but hey, who cares so long as it isn’t UCP.

  31. JH-ANG says:

    just watch which companies stock starts to go up in the next couple of weeks as insider trading starts

  32. Old NCO says:

    The ACU uniform will stay as the Garrison uniform for all soldiers who residing within a Garrison setting. US4CES Transitional will be the woodland and jungle type uniform, for Desert areas of operation US4CES Arid will be the pick.

    • CAVstrong says:

      So what would they use US4CES woodland for?

      • Greg says:

        Woodland for Europe, Asia, Central and South America.

        Arid for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

        Trans for back home and Afghanistan.

        I think thats how it would be set up.

  33. Mitchell Fuller says:

    I think Kryptek will be considered too radical by the army leadership for final selection.

    Several things I’ve been thinking about;

    1. Does the U S military really need to wear camo ( this is from a guy who loves all the different camoes)? Wouldn’t solid green (think Vietnam jungle fatigues) be all that’s needed for woodland and jungle. And khaki for transitional, desert environments, and garrison.

    Are there any VIetnam vets and Panama 70s / 80s stationed readers who feel that the jungle fatigues were not sufficient in concealing them?

    2. Whatever group is selected all services should have to adopt it for wear. It just makes sense in efficiencies re purchasing, logistics, and distribution.

    Think how many different sets of camo a Navy corpsman may need to be issued depending on assignment.

    • ST Doc says:

      As a Navy medical officer, I’m hoping that we get a DoD standard set of camo. I love AOR1, AOR2 and woodland MarPat, but it’s just plain stupid for each branch to have their own set of patterns. Especially, like you said, I currently have uniforms in 5 different patterns. But I do think it’s necessary to have 3 different patterns. Neither woodland nor desert patterns blend well with A-Stan mountains.

    • CamoReader says:

      Contrary to what many old vets say, solid colored uniforms don’t cut it when compared to properly made camouflage. Unfortuantly, we still have people who haven’t progress from the old way of thinking.

  34. ian says:

    given that most new gear announcements from industry on ssd is in Kryptec….

    just saying, when was the last time you saw tactical taylor come out with something in brookwood or ADS

  35. Robert says:

    I’ll be surprised if Kryptec wins because it is so non-traditional, i.e. it doesn’t look like any of the digitals out there. That said the number of gear MFG’s adding Kryptec to their product line, vs any of the other patterns makes you go hum….

    Or they could have all performed so close it came down to branding. One pattern was so liked by the soldiers it was selected for the “distinctive” look.

    Either way, since they are going to announce on my birthday the winner should send me a set of each in Large/Long πŸ™‚

  36. Marvin Martian says:

    I think the clue is in that rainbow. Blue for water camo, green for well, greenee woody areas, yellow for desert and red for……. wait for it….. all uniforms will be reversible to bright red/orange for rapid identification from above. That clue was so easy.

    Seriously, watch stock prices.

  37. Uniform223 says:

    Though i really hope that Kryptek wins the competition. Its proven to be rather successful in hunter’s and geardo markets. If the US military and the Army that is effective and distinctive from all others out there now, Kryptek would be the best one to go with. Though US Military bean counters will always pick the best from the lowest bidder.

  38. Operation333 says:

    US4CES or Multicam has got it in my opinion. Kryptek is great, but is still very “out there”. They may as well pick Realtree if they choose Kryptek.

    In 2002, the US has 3 patterns. I can count at least 9 now.

  39. Darius137 says:

    If you’re not going to say the winner, why even have this post? This whole post is a jerk move.

    Tease tease tease.

    • SSD says:

      A jerk move? Patience is a virtue associated with maturity.

      Don’t worry. Someone will post the winner before the Army’s announcement. They will be more than happy to compromise doing the right thing for a day’s worth of attention.

      • BFD says:

        “Doing the right thing”?

        Talking about the next camo pattern before an official date is some big moral issue now? Oh jesus.

        • SSD says:

          It’s unfortunate that you don’t see it that way but I learned a long time ago that not everyone has a moral compass. It might seem trivial to you but it can negatively affect the program and cause serious delays in fielding.

        • straps says:

          It is a moral/ethical issue for an industry guy. He could break the news ahead of the “official” announcement and be pretty much PNG for any other gouge–possibly DoD wide–because he compromised information bound for presentation by the Secretary of the Army or a delegate.

          I’d bet a round of adult beverages at a classy establishment with single moms on mirrored stages that folks like David Reeder and Rob Curtis have the same info, yet they haven’t uttered a peep since the CSA brief. But nobody’s busting their chops about it. And then Military Times intimated they knew the outcome with a cover teaser and all you had to do was buy the plastic-wrapped issue to find out (no information worth paying for to be had). Stay classy.

          I was hoping for an end to (or at least an evolution of) the madness by 14 June, and that was kinda confirmed here. I can wait for that, and all the other good info that this site’s editor gets access to. Because he’s proven can be trusted with it.

      • Hopper says:

        SSD is still hooking us up. at least we know that years of research and money was flushed away on this project. sure we would all like to know now…but let’s just enjoy this nibble for another moment longer

  40. Dan says:

    Everybody keeps saying watch which companies stock go up. Are any of these companies even publicly traded?

  41. Steve says:

    If this has any clue. I did some research, it looks like back in January of 2012 I’m assuming right after they announced the 4 finalist. They Army handed out is R&D contracts with $ of course. SSD is there any reason why of all contracts Kryptek got 6million as opposed to Crye and ADS who were about 600k or BrookWood who was 80K. So either Kryptek is the winner (I hope not) or is between the other 3 since cost for R&D were much less. I’m calling it ADS or Crye the winner.

    • SSD says:

      Yes, it was for $6 million because that is what they asked for.

    • Jon says:

      Some of that fee charged potentially would have been to cover cost of printing and sewing for all the uniforms and kit that the Army needed. Crye and ADS are both well-connected sew shops, and Brookwood is a textile printing company, so it’s possible that Kryptek was still on the outside of the military market at the time with few in-house capabilities, and much of that $6M was the cost of catching up.

      • SSD says:

        That price was the one time fee to the US Government to use the pattern as much as they want. The costs to print material was pretty constant for all involved. Different companies bid different amounts.

        • Jon says:

          Okay, I thought that number included any costs that they would have incurred by producing the required items. Thanks again for the information.

          Then those disproportionate numbers are even more mysterious…hmm.

  42. This guy says:

    I think the deciding factor is cost. Although, it has been said multicam wouldn’t be the pattern it could very well be part of the package as a whole. I remember recently reading in regards to cost it would be almost a low cost or no cost option according to Ordinero. Although that could be a politically correct answer. Multicam would fit the mold of the transitional pattern which if true and if my understanding is correct that all equipment will be in the transitional pattern then the Army already has purchased a ton of equipment in multicam thus reducing cost.

    I pick Crye.

    • Stone06 says:

      I may be the only one with this thought but here it goes. I’m thinking it will be either Kryptek or US4CES.

      I feel if it’s US4CES it will be because 1) It performed well and 2) It isn’t too drastically different from the multitude of other patterns being run now in the US military.

      I am more of the opinion it will probably be Kryptek and here is why. What has been the biggest trend over the last couple of years regarding the Army and its uniform? Giving troops a little of what they wanted. The patrol cap, sewn name tapes and badges, etc. Look at medical and morale issues. Soldiers are constantly being asked for feedback. I’m willing to bet that if Kryptek PERFORMED WELL that it can get the win because it is liked troops; especially with the reduction of force going on. You want to be a good looking force to keep good troops in and proud as well as draw in and attract the best. It may sound weird but a trendy camo could make the difference between a military athlete and a college athlete.

      I could be way off base on my thoughts but that is where I stick right now. Either way UCP is another pattern to retire to the tough boxes.

  43. Marcos says:

    iirc, there is a maternity cut MARPAT blouse…

  44. Jon C says:

    Considering the number of posters I have seen over the years flame the decision to field UCP, decry the resistance of the Marine Corps to share the MARPAT pattern due to stupid parochial interests, and shake their head at the Navy and USAF uniforms, I hope they grow up in their respective services and become leaders and planners who can put a stop to the waste we have seen recently.

    It may be just a small drop in the bucket when juxtaposed agaisnt the cost of a air superiority fighter or an armor platform, but it’s my tax dollars…and your tax dollars. The way we have wasted it has been downright shameful.

  45. Dan says:

    Well, June 14th has come and gone, and July 4th is almost here. Is there anything new to report?