Gore Defense

US Army Camouflage Improvement Effort Update – The Announcement

I’ve heard it from enough sources now that I’m prepared to share a new target date for the official announcement of selection for the US Army Camouflage Improvement Effort. While already a year behind schedule, a lot as happened. They began by pitting 20 candidates against one another before whittling the field down to four.

During the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting, October 21-23, we anticipate the Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John McHugh, to announce the winner from among the four finalist patterns. They are from top left, clockwise: Crye Precision, Kryptek, ADS Inc partnered with Guy Cramer, and Brookwood.


In addition to the new pattern we also expect an announcement for a new boot color although we understand that the actual color has not yet been determined. Don’t be surprised if we see a new accessory color as well for T-shirts, socks, gloves, etc.

First off, it’s nice to hear confirmation after confirmation (although not officially) that the announcement is coming. But, we’ve been here before and still no announcement. I’m still a bit skeptical, so I’ll believe it when I see it. Second, both Houses of Congress have passed versions of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act that require DoD to move toward a common combat uniform and associated camouflage. Those bills will take effect 1 October. While not a mathematician, I can look at a calendar and when I do, I see an issue.

To say that I am less than impressed would be an understatement. In military terms, this strategy is the equivalent of the Army knowing that an attack was coming on 1 October but planning to respond on the 21st of October. Of course, the Army could head all of this pesky legislation off at the pass and come out on top in the DoD Camo Wars. They did it already with the Individual Carbine program when members of Congress passed an amendment to the NDAA requiring them to complete testing. They didn’t wait around for that good idea to become law. but they seem to be waiting for this. if they would only act, they would not only be the dominate land force but also look like it and simultaneously, dominate the camouflage debate and do it with empirical evidence.

Even so, the impending legislation remains contentious with services openly challenging the notion of returning to a common combat uniform. Last week, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, GEN Amos let his Marines know that he wasn’t going to give up the service’s distinctive MARPAT camouflage.

“We are on it like a hobo on a ham sandwich,” Amos was quoted in a DoD press release, “I love the hell out of this uniform and I don’t have any intention of changing it.”

It will be very interesting to watch this all play out.

92 Responses to “US Army Camouflage Improvement Effort Update – The Announcement”

  1. bulldog 76 says:

    looks like the corps is gonna screw things up again

    • Steve says:

      Now how is the Corps going to screw this up, last we all checked, the army rushed to a very poor camo choice while spending a boat load of money and is now having to do it all over again, this time correctly. It seems if they had donw it right the first time, like the Marines did, all of this drama over multiple camo uniforms would be non-existant.

      Just sayin.

      • bulldog76 says:

        then why didnt the corps allow the us army to adopt marpat ????

      • Cameron says:

        Its interesting that a small military force (Marines) would have the power to determine whether the Army should use the MARPAT pattern. I’d like to see the Army just go and use it. They may be the best; but they are a Corp that falls under the Navy, and since the Army is the predominant military force I think the Army should just take the MARPAT and just use it…..

        • Lance says:

          The USMC holds the patent on MARPAT. The Army could go ahead and adopt it, but the USMC would be perfectly justified in taking legal action. I think GEN Amos is right to refuse to change a uniform that works – if nothing else it will save money.

          • SSD says:

            It doesn’t save money if they are the only ones using. This is the same kind of logic my wife uses when she tells me how much money she saved by buying shoes on sale. She could have saved me even more by not buying any at all.

          • JDBaughman says:

            Uhhhh, how will it save money?! The same amount of uniforms will still have to be manufactured!! Whether or not they look the same across branches… Use your head 😉

          • Philip says:

            Not trying to fan the flames here — but doesn’t the DoD/FedGov hold the full rights to MARPAT, not the USMC itself?

            If I am wrong, my apologies… but I could’ve sworn I read somewhere amongst this deluge of articles that the Marines didn’t physically “own” MARPAT, they were just the only ones who utilized it.

          • Ryan says:

            The government can’t sue itself.

        • Geodkyt says:

          The Army ASKED if they could adopt MARPAT (with the Marine Corps logo removed). USMC? DENIED. This was BEFORE the Army adopted UCP, by the way.

          The Navy ASKED if they could adopt MARPAT (with the Marine Corps logo removed). USMC? DENIED, other than sailors directly assigned to Marine units.

          Uh, yeah, the Camo Wars were kicked off by the Marines being prima donas, more interested in PR than allowing other American servicemen to use something they believe would save lives.

    • Rich says:

      *Limbaugh’s “new castrati” voice on* “Genawul Amoth’th comment wath ekthremely inthenthitive to the urban outdoorthmen among uth. What if thum of them awe Jewish or Muthlim and aren’t thuppothed to eat ham thandwicheth?” *Lncv off*

      People, it ain’t easy typing like that. And, bulldog’s being rotten to the Corps.

    • B307 says:

      The Corps screwing things up again?? WTF are you talking about? They didn’t screw anything up they innovated when big army sat on there big dumb asses and came up with a camo and uniform thats been the envy of all the branches since ,thats why NAV SOF copied it, and the Army and now congress has been trying to bully the Marine Corps into giving it up.

      • Geodkyt says:

        Um, the Army looked at what the Marines did, thought it looked like a good idea, and ASKED if they could adopt it.

        The Marines told them to blow off. THAT’S when the Army kicked off the UCP program.

        The only reason Navy SpecOps is wearing MARPAT-Lite (what the Army asked if they could use) was SecNav jammed it down the Marine Corp’s throat. The Marines weren’t going to allow mere sailors to wear anything too close to MARPAT.

      • Jason says:

        The USMC just ripped MARPAT off from the Canadians. They didn’t innovate anything.


    • Foxsdin says:

      We have simple and effective colors. Why should we give up our uniforms because every branch of the military can’t figure out what to use. Hell every other branch is trying to make their dress uniform look like the marine corps uniforms. We have our history and what we do works. Stop trying to change us.

      • Clark says:

        The Marine dress uniform was taken directly from a Prussian uniform. They changed the buttons and added a white cap. You can see the Prussian uniform in a small Museum in Graffenwair Germany.

    • Chad says:

      The Marines didn’t screw anything up. Get your facts right before you say something again. The Army combat uniform along with every other major project they have implemented over the past 10 years has been complete garbage and their number one blunder is the combat uniform. Not one single American Soldier I work with has any love for this uniform. When I was in the Marines I loved wearing my MARPAT. I still break it out from time to time to show my now fellow Army friends how much better a uniform it is.

      • bulldog76 says:

        The Corps owns the rights to MARPAT and wants to retain it for its own use, Kent said late last year. Marine officials said they have no beef with anyone researching and testing MARPAT, but they want Marines distinguished from other service members on the battlefield.
        “The main concern for the Marine Corps when it comes to other services testing our patterns is that they don’t exactly mimic them,” said Kent, who is scheduled to retire June 9. “The MARPAT design is proprietary, and it’s important those designs are reserved for Marines. We just need to make sure each of our designs is unique to each service.” Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Carlton Kent

    • straps says:

      I don’t think the Corps screwed anything up. Because we all know they NEVER err.

      However, GEN Amos gave himself very little room for credibility in the face of change.

      If Army’s 2012 research is PROVEN to reveal a better camo (see what I did there?) than 2002 MARPAT, why not adopt it?

      US4CES looks like MARPAT evolved, anyway…

      • Frodo says:

        Because in the face of a massive retarded fucking sequester, it would cost more than you’d save to take away everything MARPAAT, find a new gear color that’s neutral to the camo or works well with it, and then issue everything back to the Marines in those colors. Plus you’re missing the point of the Marine’s request, they wish to be distinguished, and the blend in when they do it. So let them have their shit dude, there not hurtin’ anyone.

  2. Lucky says:

    It’s nice to know that they will still send us off to war with out modded technology, gear, and camo. What are we, THE FRENCH? Just announce that shit already!

    • Maj Kev says:

      From your comments, two things jump out at me: 1 – you have clearly not been to war lately, as we have nothing but the most modern and best gear; 2 – while I may not like them all that much, you have clearly never been to war alongside the French – they also have the most modern gear.

      • Lucky says:

        Guess what? I have been, but not while wearing multicam, and I was speaking of ACUs… best gear huh? YOU are either a world class REMF, a FOBBIT, or an airsofter, because you cannot be serious right now. The US Army’s ruck, breaks Soldiers backs, the ACU pattern doesn’t work, the carbine and pistol don’t match up to what is available COTS, and the French sniper rifles, camo, and assault rifles are very, very out of date. But, thanks for playing, go suck start a shotgun

  3. Mike B. says:

    This is showing a lack of leadership at the top of the Army Chain of Commande. Looks like the soldier will loose out as usual. I have no problem with their being one camo for all the forces.. but the decision needs to be made. The Army is pussy footing around.

  4. JoshFree says:

    Straight fed up. Just announce it and lets start getting it out to the force.

  5. George Hill says:

    The Army should just adopt MARPAT, as it remains just about the most effective camo I’ve seen and used.

    • straps says:

      1. In a state of alcohol-induced candor, more than one Marine has made statements critical of MARPAT Woodland. In the presence of outsiders no less.

      2. A guy who most definitely has a dog in the fight may or may not have good data that raises concerns about the effectiveness of MARPAT Desert here:


      3. The security surrounding the Crye pattern may prove to have been a master stroke. Nobody’s seen it. It may well have out-performed its competitors. If that’s the case, the Marines can announce they’re going with a new pattern, and because they’re so awesome, they’ll let the other services use it too. Same with US4CES, which looks like an “evolution” of MARPAT. Marines get a better pattern, they get to be top dog, and Army puts the UCP debacle to rest.

      I’m not that guy who indulges inter-service chauvinism. And nothing I stated above should be interpreted as serious criticism of a brother branch. But if there’s something out there that works better than what you’ve got, there may be something to be said for securing the institutional pride (inertia) and giving it a look.

    • Geodkyt says:

      Army TRIED to adopt MARPAT before the UCP debacle.

      Marines rejected it, pointed out they had a patent on the pattern.

  6. Josh D. says:

    One pattern for all services is dumb. Not every branch and/or unit have the same AO. If they want uniformity in garrison, go with a solid OD and be done with it. However, in the field, the operating environment should dictate the pattern (if any) to be used, not the desire of politicians and politically-connected brass.

    • Dan says:

      If you’ve been paying attention at all to the camouflage improvement effort and congress you’d notice that the debate is over a Family of patterns; arid, woodland, and transitional, for either the army alone, or, if congress gets it’s wish, all branches.

  7. Philip says:

    If the bill takes effect 1 October, why not announce it now, so initial issue could perhaps be at least started by the suspense date?

    Oh wait, I forgot — doing that would MAKE SENSE.

    Just hurry up and do something so we can get rid of the ABUs already.

  8. Russ says:

    Im betting it will be Crye Precision. It looks like the old woodland style. Less likely to need significant changes to accessory materials. The Kryptek style will necessitate a lot of changes. It looks like it works well. But up close when you see it ….. Its fugly!

    • Haji says:

      As strictly an outside observer, my question about Kryptek has always been how leadership feels about how it looks as a uniform. Multicam has had the advantage of having had time to “grow” on them. ‘Course, if MC was the plan all along, why wait in announcing it?

    • straps says:

      So you’re saying you’ve see the Crye entry?

  9. Jed Eckert says:

    Meh….I’ll beleive it when I’m wearing it.

  10. Stuart Neilson says:

    Multicam would also offer other savings as there is (presumably) considerable stock of OCP and the Air Force already have it on Ops…

  11. Mick says:

    Is it possible waiting until after Oct. 1 is the Army’s attempt to impose it’s Camo Study winner on all the other branches?

    • Stone06 says:

      I’m curious about this as well. Is the Army getting backed by politicians to force the camo selection on other branches?

    • straps says:

      It’s not a “push” if the science behind the selection stands up.

      ESPECIALLY if scientists and professional killers are able to look beyond service chauvinism can agree that, “Yeah, this stuff works better in all light spectrums than what we’re using.” That’s called “peer review,” and it’s a foundation of modern innovation.

      Right up there with a Marine refusing CAS from a Super Cobra because it’s a mere ARMY helicopter…

      • TLC says:

        Super Cobras are only used by the Marine Corp, Apache’s are the Army mainstay AH

  12. Mick says:

    Also, new accessories colors?

    I thought the tan rough-out boots made the most sense… they should keep that. Other stuff that’s not necessary to be camo, coyote tan seems to make the most sense… I’m hoping for that or a USMC green for the tshirt…

    “interesting” is the right word, although with the gov’t involved, “interesting” can just as easily mean “train wreck.”

  13. Steven S says:

    No offense SSD but why the hell are you continuing to use a pic of US4CES-D? It is not a finalist. Please correct it and put a picture of US4CES-A.

    • This guy says:

      I’m interested in the boot bit. The light tan color of our current boot is awful for becoming discolored. Personally I would welcome a boot that I could polish again. I went through far fewer boots back in the day that I could actually maintain my footwear in a reasonable amount of time and with a reasonable amount of effort. Brown would work with those colors above. However, I’m willing to bet it will be a hybrid type boot similar to the Combat Hikers.

      • straps says:

        A boot that takes a shine has absolutely no place in a utility uniform. I love me some spitshined Corcorans, but they’re safely stored with the earned-not-issued berets.

        There are maintenance kits for rough-out boots that address cleanliness and appearance.

        I’m a mere Reservist and I’ve gotten enough boots to have 2 pair for the office or podium, 2 pair for the field and 2 pair for exposure to POL that DOES leave troublesome stains.

        The measure of a Soldier needs to be what’s under the hat, not what’s on the feet. Any idiot can shine a shoe.

    • Guy Cramer says:

      It’s not even version-D that we submitted, it’s a 7 color version of D we were playing around with, the version-D that was didn’t make the finals was 4-color.

  14. Bob B says:

    The hell with everyone going to all one uniform. People seem to forget that yrs ago the Army had the option to change first and go to the Marpat pattern. They along with the air force and navy said the hell with that. Guaranteed Marine Corps doesnt change.

    • Geodkyt says:

      Bob, you have it exactly backwards.

      The reason the Army didn’t go with MARPAT was that the Marine Corps pointedly refused to let the Army wear MARPAT (even with the EGA removed from the pattern).

      The single most disgusting bit of service chauvinistic Blue Falcon BS I can recall.

  15. Ship says:

    The Marine Corps doesn’t want any of the Army fail in uniform design. Need we remind anyone of the ACU…. or how about stealing the Black beret from the rangers so everyone can feel special. Stop having the big forces i.e Army, Navy and Air Force switching uniforms every couple years and we could save a crap ton of loot to use on things like bullets, beans and band-aids.

  16. Rusty Shackleford says:

    They say “new accessories, new colors, ect.” Does anyone think they will actually improve the quality of the materials used in undershirts and building light weight tops more so the likes of a DCU than a ACU? Hopefully on the combat shirts they decide to use the Crye/Marine type collar, instead of a turtle neck.

    • Dan says:

      Getting rid of cotton in the fabric content would be great too. There is little excuse to continue to issue cotton anything when drifire exists and merino wool is getting more affordable. Why wear a shirt that takes hours to dry when a drifire shirt gets the job done sooner.

      • Geodkyt says:

        Drifire is still much more expensive than cotton. For the cost, cotton is your best all-round fabric combining reasonable fire safety, reasonable durability, and not having your troops heat stroke at 85F.

  17. Gonz says:

    I thought that congressional panel said that the Army wasn’t going to get its own uniform unless is was going to be shared across the military with all the branches? And didn’t this need to take place by 2018? I mean, if the Army is all HOOAH about getting some new uniforms, I don’t see why they can’t be the “hero” and release what they find from the testing and the trials and offer it up so everyone can get it. I think it would be more benificial to get this done sooner rather than later, specially if what the Army, Air Force, and Navys is not combat effective in theater. Keep the Coyote Tan for all the gear and the boots. If the USMC wants to keep their green t-shirts and whatever else they wear that makes them stand out a bit more, let em have it. Give everyone their own colored underwear if it makes them feel better. Just put something out there that doesn’t make the troops a better target.

  18. Lev says:


  19. Scotty says:

    As an observer in the UK where we are using MTP & brown boots – similar to MC – I would be interested to know what colour boots the US would be thinking of using?

  20. Ben says:

    We need to go to a brown boot and a brown undershirt. They would hold up much better and look much better IMO. I’ll keep my sage/grey flyers gloves.

  21. GW says:

    The whole chain of purchasers in the Army are waiting on Phase line “announcement”. Our Market is shrinking due to normal fluctuations in spending caused by decreasing deployments, it shunk artificially with everyone paused due to this pending announcement. I am starting to see purchases come through for either UCP or Coyote Brown as desparation moves to replace gear that has worn out after an increase of personnel. As a Taxpayer, it makes my eye twitch a little knowing that in 12 months these items will be at the DRMO. as a businessman, I am anxious to get the announcement, as the retail boom should occur, and save some of these small American businesses that are on life support. As sson as the execute the LD and hit objective “get the hell on with it” things will be better for the warfighter and the industry. i gotta pay for ACA somehow!

  22. SGT Rock says:

    The only thing these delays are doing are screwing the Soldier.

  23. James says:

    Just take the MARPAT already. It belongs to the services not the Marines. Marines can argue this point all day long if they choose to, but if it works and saves lives then take it. If they want to cry about it give them a pink beanie to set them apart.

  24. SGT Res says:

    That’s Oct. 1 2018:


    (a) Establishment of Policy- It is the policy of the United States that by not later than October 1, 2018, the Secretary of Defense shall require all military services to use a joint combat camouflage uniform, including color and pattern variants designed for specific combat environments.

    Apparently the Secretaries have 180 days PRIOR to the bill’s passing to think about it:

    (d) Guidance Required- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall issue guidance to implement this section. At a minimum, such guidance shall–

    (1) require the Secretaries of the military departments to collaborate on the development of joint criteria for the design, development, fielding, and characteristics of combat camouflage uniforms;

    (2) require the Secretaries of the military departments to ensure that new combat and camouflage utility uniforms meet the geographic and operational requirements of the commanders of the combatant commands; and

    (3) require the Secretaries of the military departments to ensure that all new combat and camouflage utility uniforms achieve interoperability with other components of individual war fighter systems, including organizational clothing and individual equipment such as body armor and other individual protective systems.

    The bill has passed the house and is currently on the Senate’s calendar.

    • dude says:

      What si this? Sensible guidance coming from Congress? INCONTHEIVABLE!

      The above, translated into Elevenboo and its Ohthreeish dialect.

      Listen up, motherfuckers, I’m tired of this shit. You’re gonna wear the same damn camo, end of story. You got six months to figure out what it is and give me your answer or I’M telling you what you’ll wear. And don’t none of you prima donnas try that “but we’re the only ones who get to wear our unique and precious snowflake suit” shit again. Any questions?

  25. Vince says:

    We need another war to get the ball rolling. Congress needs to get hot on that!

  26. Sal Palma says:

    I’d like to be optimistic about this but the mandate for uniformity across all the services is going to make this a little tougher nut to crack. Who the heck knows? I will say this much, it’s not USMC muking up the works, it’s the “S” word – Sequester…

    • James says:

      Just take the MARPAT already. It belongs to the services not the Marines. Marines can argue this point all day long if they choose to, but if it works and saves lives then take it. If they want to cry about it give them a pink beanie to set them apart.

      • Ben says:

        Why would the Army take MARPAT when Multicam is a more effective pattern by a long shot? I don’t understand why everyone thinks MARPAT is gods gift.

        • Steven S says:

          Why would the Army take MARPAT or Multicam when there is more effective patterns out there? I don’t understand why there are so many MARPAT and Multicam fanboys. 😉

          • SteveB says:


          • Greg says:

            Hear hear!

          • AJ says:

            Agree. I don’t know why some keep mentioning MARPAT, it wasn’t even a baseline pattern during the improvement effort because AOR1 and 2 outperform it. I want and would hope the other services including the USMC would want the best pattern/patterns available. Rather than wanting a service specific camouflage. Obviously MARPAT and AOR 1 and 2 are lacking when it comes to night vision, NIR and suffer from isoluminance. MARPAT was adopted what 10 years ago? In another 10 years it will be obsolete with the improvements that are being seen/tested. Also insert multicam above

  27. Bill says:

    the idea of one branch, fighting in the same wars, in the same area, insisting that no one else have their uniform, is ludicrous.

    How about EVERYBODY gets the same OD, and a kit of various dyes and a ball of string, and just tie-dye the fuckers appropriate for wherever they’re headed….

    Just be like the Rhode Island State Police: never change anything, ever, the end.

  28. Jon Meyer says:

    Mr. Cramer took all that time to write up all that data and it doesn’t seem like anybody took the time to read them. God damn insulting.

    People need to read and do their damn homework. Why the hell should all branches adopt an inferior camo (MARPAT)? Especially after all the extensive research done to field the best camo to date.

    Not to mention the ill-informed who think the USMC invented pixelated/digital camo and their version is the best out. You might want to go back and read because the ARMY invented it with testing done by the U.S., Australia and Germany. Canadians were the first to field it. So to you USMC fanboys, they didn’t do anything special or make any ground breaking decisions.

    Until the Army releases the winner and implements it, the Canadians have the most effective camo. Not only our military leadership but our political leadership need to quit this shinanagan crap and give our service men and women the best. It will save money and MOST importantly save LIVES. Their lives are more important than anything and giving them inferior camoflauge and inferior equipment is negligence.

    Anyone who suggests otherwise needs to keep their mouths shut and their fingers away from a keyboard.

  29. Roger says:

    What ever happened to the Modular Boot System?

  30. Riceball says:

    I don’t know why Multicam keeps on being mentioned because it’s not in the running, while Crye is one of the finalists they didn’t enter Multicam into the competition. The only reason why there’s a picture of Mulitcam in this article is because Crye hasn’t made images of their submission public so Multicam is being used as a placeholder.

    As far as the joint pattern mandate is concerned, I think that it’s a good idea and it’s past time that we got back to a common uniform for all services. With the way things have been going it wouldn’t be long before we got to be as bad as the Russians with different branches within each service having their own uniforms. Sadly, this issue could have been resolved a long time ago if the SecDef simply ordered the SecNav to order the Corps to allow everybody else to use the MARPAT pattern sans EGA, just have them create their own uniform patterns but using MARPAT as the camo pattern. As much as I love the Corps I definitely feel that it was our fault for not allowing anybody else to use MARPAT and thus starting this whole service specific camo pattern debacle.

    • SSD says:

      Two things

      Thing 1 – The Crye family of patterns is similar to MultiCam

      Thing 2 – Both UCP and AOR are MARPAT with different colors.

      • Snarf says:

        Heh, Well in response to Thing 1 and Thing 2.. I want you point out

        A: UCP, and AOR are not variations of MARPAT with different colors.
        b:UCP, AOR, and MARPAT are variations of CADPAT with different colors.

        2: Nobody who was not directly involved with the development or testing knows that the Crye family of patterns actually looks like… To say they’re similar to MultiCam is just conjecture.

        • SSD says:

          Thing 1. Ask a Marnie, he’ll tell you. They invented MARPAT. Go ahead, ask.

          Thing 2. I’ve seen it. Caleb showed me.

  31. Mike Nomad says:

    I’ve been wondering what 1.6 Billion USD per day gets me… Jesus Tap Dancing Christ, there aren’t more important things to get sorted out than what kind of cammo to wear?

  32. Steve says:

    And all the while you can get an entire set of woodland at the army surplus store for 25$. Military intelligence indeed.

  33. John says:

    Why is everyone kicking the Marine Corps because they ditched the woodland pattern and went solo. The Marines have had their own pattern before. Marines wore their own pattern in WW2 and a version of ERDL in ‘Nam. After Vietnam the Marines stayed with that and the Army ditched it and went back to OD.

    As for the “NEW” Army pattern Good Luck…. I hope they find what they are looking for. I’m more interested in what they do then listen to people trash the Corps because the Army wasted their money on the UCP pattern….

    • Greg says:

      So far i don’t know a single Marine who said they had a bad taste in their mouth because they had to wear the BDU! Most people know now that the Corps went with their new camo, not because it was “new” or “revolutionary”, but because they wanted to be seen as the real heroes of the first big war of the 21st Century! (Afghanistan). aka a P.R. stunt. Same can be said for Duck hunter and ERDL. Even when the later was developed by the Army.

    • SSD says:

      Yes, we talked about this quite awhile ago. The real question is going to be on what the language will look like coming out of conference. For some reason, the Stripes article didn’t ties this together. And, further, how DoD will implement this new requirement and what the Army is going to do. I’ve written about it repeatedly.