B5 Systems

US Army Pits “Analog vs Digital” in Upcoming Camouflage Bookend Tests

Nearly as soon as I had found out that the Army was planning to transition from the dreaded UCP camouflage to Scorpion, I found out about the upcoming “Book End” pattern tests scheduled for August – October of this year. When you see what they’ll be testing, you aren’t going to believe it.

US Army Camo Bookend Tests

Naturally, the baseline transitional pattern will be Scorpion (w2) and the Army will consider uniforms and limited OCIE items (such as helmet covers, etc) in MARPAT desert and woodland. ALso under consideration are the legacy 3-color Desert and Woodland (M81 to Camo collectors), both of which were previously displaced by the adoption of the Universal Camouflage Pattern beginning in 2004.

Initially, I didn’t get the pattern choices until someone put it into perspective for me. I kept saying to myself that someone in the Army sure wanted to adopt MARPAT but then I noticed that they aren’t looking at AOR 1&2. While AOR 1 and MARPAT desert are very similar patterns, AOR 2 was specifically tuned to use in jungle environments. The developers even turned the pattern 90 degrees to give it a more vertical orientation. MARPAT woodland on the other hand is a much more generic woodland pattern.

Since the woodland aspects of this testing are being driven by requirements out of the new Army Jungle School at Schoffield Barracks in Hawaii, jungle performance is going to have a lot of weight. With its more Green coloring, chances are very good that AOR 2 would outperform MARPAT woodland.

What I see going in here is something altogether different. After speaking with others, I see a test that pits “analog vs digital” and the Army is out to put us all out of “digital” misery.

If you look at MARPAT as the “digital” solution and 3-color and Woodland as the “analog” solution you can begin to see a method to the madness. Since Scorpion also looks analog in nature, adoption of the two other analog patterns creates a new “family of camouflage” that offers similar design elements if not outright geometry.

As I said before, a lot of credence is being placed on the needs of the Jungle School which has already scoured DLA stocks for the last of the woodland EHWBDUs in stock. They’ve been issuing them out to students for some time now and by all accounts are very happy with Woodland’s performance in jungle. As it should be, since Woodland is son of ERDL. It’s also important to note that Woodland isn’t completely dead. It’s still an issue pattern. There is an Army G1 message that still authorizes Woodland for jungle use due to UCP’s poor performance in that environment. Consequently, based on these two factors (creation of analog family and Jungle School use of Woodland), my money is on the “analog” solution.

My prediction? It’s back to the future with a Scorpion transitional pattern bookended by 3-color Desert and Woodland. Time will tell if I’m right. At any rate, I’m giddy (yes, I said “giddy”) that the Army is moving out swiftly to adopt more effective camouflage for their troops.


266 Responses to “US Army Pits “Analog vs Digital” in Upcoming Camouflage Bookend Tests”

  1. Terry says:

    Everything old is new again…

  2. Lasse says:


  3. Jake says:

    Since when does the Army=Hipsters?

  4. Wardog says:

    Alright Marty, let’s get the Delorean up to 88 mph and get us some “new” camouflage for the Army!

  5. bert says:

    I had to read the article again to let it sink in. They will not be testing the scorpion variants developed circa ’09, but instead the two families of patterns , old and marpat. If your prediction is right, the army will look like it probably should have all along. If your prediction does not come to fruition, marpat becomes the unhappy inlaws of scorpion, simultaneously being an ugly pairing (though appearance should have no bearing on this, just effectiveness) and pissing off our sister service, if they allow such a thing to happen. The most interesting thing about this to me is this is a clear admission by the army that there was absolutely nothing wrong with m81 and 3-color desert. If we can’t have the crye FoP, and we can’t have a scorpion FoP, then at least we will be as well equipped as we were ten years ago. It is a bit odd that this corresponds with the recent “retro” trend among gear makers who have been producing kit in m81, though I am sure those men and women are just supporting warfighters embedded with ANA. Fingers crossed for old school winning!

    • CAVstrong says:

      Why won’t/can’t the army use scorpion based bookends?

      • SSD says:

        That, I can’t explain.

        • CAVstrong says:

          Bah… I was so excited for a scorpion/OCP FoP I’m not sure what to think now, I’d very much like to see how these patterns look/work together.

          Two questions:
          1. Has it been proven that patterns that share the same geometry work the best together (if so, what was the logic behind the Phase IV baseline patterns.

          2. Can you (re)post an article explaining the NDAA stipulations? I know you’ve said that the is no stipulation forcing the entire DOD to adopt a common pattern/uniform, other reputable sources (Washington Post?) are reporting there are so now I am totally confused.

        • Mike B. says:

          Good question, and you’d think that by matching patterns but just changing colours then the patterns would blend better together when it comes to TA50 products. I hope the army goes thsi way, and just tweeks trhe colours. But stays away from Black with the Jungle colours. I would think they’d use the MC colour scemes with jungle. Seems to work very well.

        • KiNEtIX says:

          Multicam or Scorpion probably won’t look bad with 3 color desert but either will certainly stick out with M81 woodland, the colors are just too different, and I can’t see either working with MARPAT.

          It makes so much more sense to tweak the colorway or template of the previous Scorpion based bookends to make them work more effectively than do this…just why?

      • Hardchawger says:


        Please stop making sense!! So the Army will go back to BDU/DCU patterns as possible bookends but this time on the ACU cut. Well, I remember when Spec Ops cut the BDU/DCU to the current look of the ACU (without the rank in the middle).

        If the digital patterns are selected as bookends, then the USMC transitional pattern would have made better sense or a digitized version of Multicam as the common uniform. Everyday, I see the decisions that are being made more about cost savings (which is a shock) and adhering to the NDAA. If cost will trump common sense; then I see woodland/DCU being selected. Hawaii is more tropical than jungle and my buddy who went to the Jungle School in Panama laughs at the notion of it being in Hawaii but it forgets the battles at New Guinea and Guadalcanal. 🙂

        I have five more years left in the Army and I wish the powers that be listens to an old dawg that has been serving since 1983. I just despise the vets who are no longer in the Army getting giddy over a uniform that will not impact them nor will they wear.

        • SSD says:

          Why do you read SSD?

          • Hardchawger says:

            Free country. I think that is why I been going to war for. To uphold democracy. 🙂

            • SSD says:

              I tend to avoid places run by people I despise.

              • Hardchawger says:


                I am pulling your leg ok!! I know you are a sensitive person (like I am at times) because of the thread that you called out that other poster and got mad at me for suggesting you were in cahoots with Crye.

                Relax bro!! Trust me, if your site was some left-wing hoopla, I would avoid it like that plague. You do provide intelligent insight and great insider information. Kudos!! So how do you like my compliment for the day?

                For the record, I do not despise you whatsoever.

      • Bert says:

        I don’t know, but I would guess that the army is not too keen on poking the congressional tiger, considering they are adopting scorpion, a pattern that is old but was never issued, and don’t want to draw any more attention to it (as though they haven’t already.)

      • Cap'n Drew says:

        Would a re-colored bookend pattern run afoul of the NDAA?

        • SSD says:

          I believe it would. Unless you consider MARPAT, AOR and UCP as the same pattern with different colors.

          • CAVstrong says:

            Aren’t they though? I thought they used the same printing screens with just different colors.

            • Lcon says:

              well that’s not counting the Navy and Marine “Where’s Waldo” Style subliminal Marketing devices

            • SSD says:

              Essentially they are and yet that situation inspired this legislation. That should give you the answer to recoloring Scorpion.

          • matt says:

            but didnt they already have tested a woodland scorpion and arid scorpion before? I just read an article again the other day, one that I have read before that mentioned woodland scorpion.

            • KiNEtIX says:

              Yeah but the woodland and arid Scorpions did not impress anyone. Not that they were bad, but there was certainly room for improvenent.

              They should re-color the W2 Scorpion template that they have selected, that way you keep symmetry while adding performance above what the previous Scorpion bookends have.

  6. CAVstrong says:

    It seems to me like the Army is taking a page out of the UK’s play book. By adopting a fairly unique multicam variant and then maintaining legacy woodland and desert patterns for specific environments.

    I know know that Scorpion has less spots and no vertical elements, how similar is the geometry to the old BDU&DCU patterns, of at all?

  7. wokka says:

    A good point CAV strong.

    it raises some interesting questions, in a rare bit of good procurement, the use of MTP for the UK is if needed Bookendended by temperate DPM and Desert DPM.

    but as MTP is born out of Multicam with a UK overlay does that make it a better pattern than scorpion? If so is the UK (by chance) ahead of US camo technology for once?

    If the UK update their whole family inline with the Multicam family in the same way sure this would deliver the most successfully fielded solution ever?

    • Strike-Hold says:

      Guys – the UK has gone FULL MTP. The “bookend” tropical and desert DPM approach was dropped quite a while back.

      • fact275 says:

        Is that correct? I thought woodland DPM was dropped but desert DPM retained? I just don’t think the UK has had any recent operations calling for desert DPM.

  8. Tetsuo says:

    Why not just adopt Multicam Arid, Multicam Tropic and Multicam Alpine to have a cohesive camo family that works in their respective AOs?

    • CAVstrong says:


    • xdarrows says:

      The Army, out of some anti-Crye/anti-Multicam sentiment (that perhaps SSD could shed more light on) slow-rolled the decision to adopt the Crye MC FoP until after the NDAA that they knew was coming.

      This gives them the legal/political cover to eschew the more effective Crye patterns for something “Made in the Army” all the while claiming that they are “giving the Soldier the most effective camouflage available!!”

      Bottom Line: The Army’s highest leadership and the procurement and R&D organs of the Army have failed the Soldier and are in full cover-up mode, spending even more time and money when:

      A) We could have had Scorpion instead of UCP back when the ACU was introduced.

      B) We could be in OCP (MC Transitional) ACUs right now with industry moving forward to produce new MC-Arid and MC-Tropical gear and uniforms.

      It’s not about how M81, 3CD and Scorpion might be “good enough” (and most certainly better than UCP) … it’s about how the “Camouflage Wars” have turned out to waste taxpayer and Soldier dollars (on useless uniforms and equipment destined to be trashed and with no other redeeming value), have they have highlighted the failures and dysfunctions in the Army system, and at worst how this may have lead to deaths or injuries on the battlefield.

    • bert says:

      Just like every other “why don’t we just…” there are reasons why the army has not taken that course of action. Specifically the NDAA stipulates no new patterns after a certain date and the army waited to long. If that was a viable option, then the army would have selected multicam as the transitional along with the rest of the family of patterns. Also, scorpion is not multicam, so the “bookends” would be disimilar to the transitional.

      • xdarrows says:

        Phase IV was completed prior to the NDAA language. The Army had the option, at the time, to execute the decision to fully adopt the Crye Multicam FoP.

      • Chris says:


        NDAA 2014 stipulation around no new pattern purchases can easily be understood to exclude Multicam, as it was already “in the system” for several years by the US Army in the form of OCP.

        Shame on PEO and Army decision makers for 1) providing ineffective camo to their soldiers for 10 years and thereby endangering lives, 2) for wasting taxpayer money to the tune of now a 6th (!) testing protocol* and overall deployment of UCP and 3) abusing industry partners who innovate on behalf of our armed forces.

        So sad.

        *Multicam won previous 5 tests….

        • Bert says:

          Roger, I guess I wasn’t clear when I said “waited too long” and followed with that stuff. Yes, the army could have announced and adopted the crye FoP a year ago, yes, the army could have ate the cost difference and adopted multicam a few months ago, but they did none of these things, and because of the NDAA, the FoP is off the table. Shrinking budgets take multicam off the table. That leaves MARPAT and BDU/DCU, but oddly not scorpion bookends for some reason. My point remains, these are effectively the only options available, and no amount of “why don’t we just… and be done with it” will work. The most important thing about all of this is being ignored by most folks, we are getting rid of UCP, a very ineffective pattern in favor of known effective patterns.

          • KiNEtIX says:

            The Scorpion bookends did not do as well as most would hope, I have no doubt that if they were re-colored, they would provide the adequate protection desired. The problem is that re-coloring them makes “new” patterns which are not allowed.

            While the idea of limiting or banning new patterns makes sense (with all of the camo bs over the last 10 years), it should apply to the template, not the color; that way you could field appropriate uniforms for various environments and not have any drastically new camo’s introduced.

            • SSD says:

              That would have made great sense had they not abused the heck out of it and had such an inappropriate baseline to work from.

            • Really!? says:

              Ok, now we all know that the Army technically can’t *change* color ways without hitting the NDAA wall. But, if the R&D team, in the pusuit of better IR performance, happens upon slightly better colors… so be it. Think about it. Do the grumpy old bastards in congress really know which hue of brown we used for Woodland Scorpion? Most people can’t tell the difference between Coyote Brown and Coyote Tan.

              If the Army doesn’t make a big deal out of it, couldn’t IR performance be the silver bullet for bookend patterns?

    • Greg says:

      Lots of $$$$!

    • LM says:

      Because it wouldn’t make sense to.

      With the effort that it would take, we could go the same route with MARPAT.

  9. bobthebuilder says:


  10. AJ says:

    What in the actual fuck? I just, I don’t even. Wow.

  11. Angry Misha says:

    I vote for EDRL Highland

  12. RJ says:

    Ha ha, good one SSD. So who sent their kid to college with all that Camoflauge Improvement Effort money?

    • HD says:

      MG Moran.

      And that E7 at PEO Soldier who was the model in the press packets for ACU roll out circa 2004. (I ran into him in Oct 2007 at an RFI fielding where he was working for DRS as a contractor supporting PEO’s – RFI fielding team)

  13. fryer duck says:

    So if we do pick up the woodland, and desert patterns again, can the army tweak them to get the pattern structures closer to scorpion or are we limited to “as is”?

    • SSD says:

      At this point, it’s ‘as is’. The plus side is that we know they work in their proper environments.

      • Miguel says:

        At this point, are there any changes coming to the actual uniform beyond the camo patterns, or will the Army retain the current ACU uniform layout?

        • SSD says:

          The party line is that there will be no further changes to the ACU. I’d say the best path to ACU changes is through a new hot weather uniform.

      • fryer duck says:

        Does the bill that congress passed prevent alterations to current patterns? The thing that concerns me(and it probably is unjust) is the nir aspect. If shit ever pops off with another super, how will these patterns perform? Yes they are probably fine for the majority of our current conflicts in third world countries where we are fighting groups(guerrillas, rebels, terrorists, etc.) running limited technology, but how will we fair if we end up fighting someone with equal technological power?

        • Strike-Hold says:

          Forget nIR – how about the fact that half of the rest of the world (or more) rocks around in direct copies or very close knock-offs of both Woodland and 3-color Desert?

          Or maybe that’s the idea – protect American soldiers by making them visibly indistinguishable from everybody else. Like zebras, “camouflage” by looking just like the rest of the herd….

          • Dave says:

            I’m beginning to think zebras do not try to hide, but use dazzle camo to make a successful predator strike more difficult, just like the WWI ships. (Or maybe it works better in the IR spectrum.)

  14. cy says:

    And now the circle is complete!!!!

  15. Zach says:

    Fuck it, I’m done.

  16. Ex Coelis says:

    This(excuse the pun) whole Camouflage Adoption issue does not appear to be about the camouflage itself but about monies being paid for it(licensing from Crye). Or better put; the U.S. Military not wanting to pay Caleb Crye and Crye Precision it’s licensing due… Crye’s Scorpion may work but the U.S. Military has already invested millions of dollars into OCP – why throw that away? Frankly, the Aussies, the Brit’s and Kiwi’s all employing their own versions of Crye MultiCam only underscores that. As much as I like CADPAT, think Canada’s CSOR and JTF-2 should adopt MultiCam for their ‘real-world’ use. Then again, I have the strongest sneaking suspicion….our SOF have already adopted it and are currently using it

    • Chris says:

      Although I don’t disagree with your overall sentiment, I should point out this is not about a licensing fee. Maintaining the current system and industry base in place, the army could have proceeded (increased) open purchases of Multicam fabric within 1% of the purchase price of UCP. Buying the IP was a second path.

      I think it is interesting that the Army believes it owns Scorpion. I have reason to believe it doesn’t. Generally, the intellectual property from a competition submission produced by outside vendor does not accrue to the govt. (See Colt M4 and Ogara Hess M114 hmmwv spec). If Crye chooses to, I suspect that will be the main battle.

      • CAVstrong says:

        Was scorpion produced for a completion?

        I thought scorpion was produced in partnership with Natick for R&D developments.

      • Fly on the Wall says:

        Scorpion Patent:


        Page 4 of the patent contains a Certificate of Correction: The USG has a paidup license.

    • Heavy D says:

      Ex Coelis…
      Your sneaking suspiscion is heavily grounded in reality.
      Heavy D

  17. DBack020 says:

    I don’t understand why people are getting so upset by this? Is this not what we have been begging the Army to do? To create a line of camouflagues that work? I think they’re doing the right thing. They got the soldiers out of UCP (yes that took awhile) but now they can focus on the more specifics. It makes sense in my head

    • KP says:

      The upset is over the fact that millions of dollars have been thrown into an exhaustive and extensive and very promising camouflage development program to advance the technology of soldier protection… and at this point has actually regressed over a decade.

      One step forward, two steps backwards. Although eliminating UCP is a step forward… so really, we’re back at square one before the last camo trials. Except we’ve spent heavily in money and lives with NOTHING to show for it.

      • DBACK020 says:

        good point. But I’m just impressed they’re still looking into a “family” of camo.

  18. Lcon says:

    So they intend to evaluate either Marpat woodland and desert vs M81 and Coffee stains and then what? Marpat and Scorpion wont work together will they? And I would lay odd the same would be true for DCU and Scorpion. so a return to specialized patterns for specialized use or do they then take this and cook up Scorpion Next Gen woodland and Desert? seems like a whole helleva lotta but hurt as the camo wars continue.

  19. Digital… When was the last time you saw a digital tree?
    Games don’t count 🙁

  20. Doc_robalt says:

    And to think this whole debacle could have been resolved if they had gone with Crye’s submission for a family of patterns.

  21. ghstryder75 says:

    Question, if the Army is being driven by the requirement for a jungle pattern did they ever look at bring back the ERDL to be tested during this decision making science, scince in all purposes was made for a jungle environment.

    • bulldog76 says:

      *slap* how dare you even think that common sense approach will work…….

  22. Philip says:

    So who’s going to come forth and apologize to both the Soldier and American taxpayer for this expensive, decade-long assclownery that may well lead us right back to what we had before the sham that was UCP?

    If it ain’t broke, let the brass take a crack at it — they’ll find a way.

  23. Colorado says:

    I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. This odd decision by inaction is an embarrassment.

  24. DanW says:

    Within the constraints of the NDAA, is the Army allowed to update the patterns to be more effective in the NIR spectrum?

    • SSD says:

      I don’t think that would be a problem. That should constantly be happening.

      • KiNEtIX says:

        SSD, under the NDAA, could the Army tweak the colorway of the previous Scorpion woodland and desert variants to make them more effective in the visible spectrum or would that create a “new” pattern?

        • SSD says:

          I believe it would be considered a new pattern.

          • But tweaking existing bookend colorways for both NIR and visible spectra couldn’t possibly be a no-go, could it?

            • SSD says:

              Who knows, they haven’t tested the law. And I don’t think they are going to. The Army’s position is really weak on this. They might be living in a bubble telling each other how great their choices have been, but when they are placed in the open, under the scrutiny of a third party they are responsible to, aka Congress, I’m not so sure they’ll be happy with the outcome.

  25. Steven S says:

    So the Army may be using the old cold war patterns in the near future. That is some stupid shit, the patterns are not even current gen.

    I have a feeling that the results of the testing will show in the visual spectrum that
    marpat woodland > m81
    3 color desert > desert marpat

    However, none of these patterns do well in ir, especially the 3 color desert.

    If they do not want night time effectiveness, why not use the 2009 experimental digital desert and woodland patterns? Those two outperform the rest with their respective environment (in the visual spectrum).
    It would be NDAA compliant too, since they were test patterns created before the implementation of the NDAA, just like the scorpion pattern.

    • Reverend says:

      Something about them looking to close to current Chinese patterns I think.

  26. AECTr says:

    So if the test shows that woodland and 3-color are better than MARPAT, then the Army’s shift from UCP to scorpion is vindicated, but what will that say about the USMC’s camouflage decisions?

    • SSD says:


      • Strike-Hold says:

        Yeah, well I’m skeptical that Woodland or 3-color desert will prove more effective than either of the 2 MARPAT variants. But then I don’t put it beyond the resolve of the Army to rig the tests so that they can say they did – or report “no significant difference”, just as they’ve claimed for the Phase IV trials.

        On the other hand, Col. Mortlock (sp?) has been going around lately saying some BS about how pattern geometry doesn’t matter beyond 25 yards – only color does. Well, this is complete BS.

        BUT, what it smells like to me is that they have a foredrawn conclusion to recolor Scorpion W2 in the colors of Woodland / MARPAT TW and 3-Color Desert / MARPAT AR – they’re just going to use these “tests” to validate the decision they’ve already made.

        NOTE: M81 Woodland and MARPAT TW use VERY similar colors, and MARPAT AR and 3-Color Desert are quite similar in color too.

        • Mick says:

          I hope this is it… I’ve already destroyed a set or two of my DCUs from Iraq to make various other pieces of gear… guess I need to keep the other two in good shape!

          On the other hand, this would give the Army some cover so it can “backwards engineer” it’s own version of MultiCam Tropic and MultiCam Arid, and say “no, it’s just re-colored Scorpion! The science shows these colors work! It’s a coincidence that science showed Caleb Crye to use those colors in his copyrighted, trademarked patterns! We’re not afoul of any laws!”

        • SteveB says:

          Strike, too bad Pencott is so difficult to get in the US. That green-zone pattern is one of the best green patterns I’ve seen.

        • LM says:

          “On the other hand, Col. Mortlock (sp?) has been going around lately saying some BS about how pattern geometry doesn’t matter beyond 25 yards – only color does. Well, this is complete BS. ”

          In what way?

          You cannot see the pattern past 25 m, then how is it going to make a difference if the colors are the same or similar?

    • Stoney says:

      If the testing shows that the woodland & dcu perform better than MARPAT won’t that give Army leadership the ability to push for all branches to accept the newest Crye package and stay within the constraints of the NDAA?

      • SSD says:

        I am completely befuddled by your comment.

        • Stoney says:

          Noted. I apologize. Is it because my statement is poorly written or do I need go back and do some reading. I can try to clarify if it’s poorly written.

          • Stoney says:

            Apparently I don’t know how to use a question mark either.

          • SSD says:

            I’m not linking your thought chain together

            • DBACK020 says:

              I *think* I understand your question. And the answer is no. Each branch of the military have their ability to wear what they want in camouflages, so long as they do not create a new pattern. Scorpion, which if you read you already know, is a preexisting pattern that the Army owns. But just because the Army owns and uses it, doesn’t give them the ability to say that all branches MUST wear the newest OCP. I can say with certainty that we will not see the Marines adopting any other pattern soon.

              If that’s the answer you were looking great…if not let me know. lol

              • Stoney says:

                I was going more for using Scorpion as the building block for a possible long term strategy by the Army. Start with Scorpion and then build a case for the latest camo family pattern to be approved by all branches. If that makes sense. I can’t write on this thread for some reason 😀

  27. Colorado says:

    Does this mean we’re going back to black boots too? Pretty soon they’re going to discover the M16 is more effective than the M4A1 at engagement ranges beyond 200m and switch back to that.

    • Badjujuu says:

      Don’t give them any ideas.

    • DBACK020 says:


    • Chuck says:

      No fucking black boots! All those hours wasted polishing and spit shining will not be added on to the end of my life span. And don’t get me started on how much money I wasted on starched BDUs. Sure I probably wasted a hundred times that on beer and local talent, but at least I got good stories out of those expenditures.

      There’s nothing like spending hours getting your jump boots to that perfect lustrous Airborne spit shine and then watching it all turn to the consistency of a Hershey bar as you march to Division Review in that hot North Carolina sun. Good times…

    • straps says:

      M16A5, maybe ‘A6. Retractable stock for effective employment with body armor, an ‘A6 variant would have the retractable stock and a free-floated barrel in a railed (preferably Keymod) handguard.

      Far as the black boots, that’s done. Will never come back.

    • Dom Hyde says:

      There’s a strong case to be made for the M-14. Or even the M1 Garand, if you are good with words and bad with facts 😉

    • Greg says:

      Black boots are a very far fetched idea. I wouldn’t exhale just yet on that one, but crazier things have happened.

      The simple fact the Marines using mostly 16s and less 4s proves that the A4 was far supperior to a faulty, short dik weapon like the M4A1.

      • majrod says:

        Yes, that’s why that “faulty, short dik weapon” is what MARSOC as well as most special ops units went with…

        Be careful citing a Corps practice as automatically being right because the Corps never makes mistakes. The Corps was slow to adopt optics because it thought iron sights were better. It was slow to issue the M4 and now issues about a third of the Infantry force an M4 down to fire team leader. (Another third has the automatic weapon and grenade launcher and the last third are M16’s. The Corps has 80k M4s)

        Part of holding on to the M16 is it’s better for crowd control according to a previous commandant. Sometimes the Corps is absolutely cutting edge but don’t confuse traditional thinking with always being right or cutting edge.

        • Greg says:

          To be equiped with a rushed, faulty weapon like the M4 is like some random nightmare waiting to occur after having the most pleasent dream of your life. A weapon that was never intended for the frequent, tireless use of warfare like the 16. BTW, wasn’t the Carbine initially intended as crew/patrol weapon?

          Slow yes, but the Corps does not find the need to widely use optics as frequently as the Army (hence the rollout of new ACOG and Holographic models), lets not forget iron sights have their own advantages (far less $$$$ to blow on replacements, less equipment and tools carry).

          “Crowd control”? Watching too many End of the World movies yes?

          Answer this: Why does the Corps suffer from far less jams and stoppages on their 16s, but the Army had tons of them with the M4s? Hasn’t the Corps gone through just as many raids and fights as the army? Or is there some kind of sabotage or conspiracy going on?

          And whats more. Why continue “Stepping” the barrels? Aren’t almost all M203s RIS now? If so, then the RIS M203s don’t need a special looking barrel to use. Also, has it ever occured that maybe the stepped barrel design might also be part of the jam and stoppage issues? I think it’s something worth taking a look at.

          • majrod says:

            You need to get back in touch with the current state of the Corps. Most trigger pullers are sporting optics. They are “widely used”.

            “Conway has not approved launching a formal contract competition, in part because he is concerned that adopting the collapsible stock will compromise other grunt skills, such as the ability to use the solid M16A4 stock in hand-to-hand combat, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jeffrey Eby, the Corpsâ?? senior gunner, told gunners at the 2009 Marine Gunner Symposium on Aug. 4 in Reston, Va” http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/article/20090815/NEWS/908150311/Conway-resists-adopting-collapsible-M16-stock Conway was the Commandant at the time. Obviously I’m not watching too many “end of world” movies. I’m listening to the Marine commandant. Too much ego not enough critical thinking huh?

            Why does the Corps have less jams? Well first I don’t buy the premise. Where’s your evidence? IF it’s true the Corps is about 30% or less of the combat troops on the ground. That alone would account for almost twice as many jams if everyone was using the exact same weapon. If the M4 is so bad why does the Corps equip a third of the combat force with them? BTW consider this statement. According to Chief Warrant Officer Joshua S. Smith, responsible for weapons training and performance in the Third Battalion, Sixth Marines, which is engaged in daily fighting in Marja. “We’ve had nil in the way of problems; we’ve had no issues,” he said of the M-4s and M-16s. The battalion has about 350 M-16s and 700 M-4s.” http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/examining-the-complaints-about-american-rifle-reliability/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1

            Of course you know better than a serving Gunner in the Corps.

            The Army still has a substantial number of M203s in the inventory. You don’t install the bottom rail on many of these. The M320 (not a typo, it’s a different grenade launcher) attaches directly to the bottom rail. The “stepped” barrel is causing stoppages? Hmmm, maybe we should check flash suppressors while we’re at it.

            The M4 Carbine first went to Paratroopers, Rangers and the heliborne troops of the 101st starting in ’94 followed by light Infantry formations or are you confused with the M1 Carbine of WWII fame that fired a smaller round than the typical infantryman’s rifle?

    • Death March says:

      Yeah. And the brass we discover that jeeps are cheaper on fuel than MRAPs, and we’ll “advance” to that too.

  28. Ron says:

    I’m trying to think of something more intelligent to say than “You have got to be fucking kidding me.” But it’s not working.

  29. BAP45 says:

    No. Freakin’. Way.

    So are they evaluating these just to determine which is better between digital and analog? Or is the intent to actually adopt one or the other?

    As much as it pains me to give the USMC credit, the Marpat does seem to blend in better than the Woodland from what I’ve seen.

    But then multicam/scorpion mixes better with “analog” patterns so I don’t know.

    Case in point:

    Granted this isn’t the best comparison ever but it illustrates the point.

  30. steveb says:


    However ironic, this is better than UCP. M81 Woodland does work fairly well in an evergreen, rain forest AO. And 3C Desert does well in open, barren deserts. I agree with SSD, I bet they go completely ‘analog’. They just need to tune the Scorpion colors a little so Scorpion gear plays well with woodland or desert. Or, maybe they will just go with Coyote gear?

    Although the Crye/MC, Kryptek, or US4CES families didn’t out-perform each other much, they did out-perform these old-school patterns by a significant margin. Too-bad the politics are so messed up right now, they have to settle for less.

    Personally, I’m ‘adopting’ the Kryptek and Crye patterns for hunting, preparedness, and general field use. In a way, it’s a good thing for civilians/LEOs, as some really good patterns are available for use without infringing on the Military. If I were Crye or Kryptek, I would really promote the outdoorsman and LEO angle, big time.

    • Lcon says:

      In testing the Army found that Flat color gear is inferior to camouflaged gear.
      What the Army Should do is that if they feel Scorpion is there best bet. Then Reintroduce the Scorpion bookends that were Trialed way back when. Or use the color ways of Marpat patterns in a scorpion screen.

      • steveb says:

        I agree, but is it allowed?

      • SSD says:

        Not allowed by NDAA

        • Lcon says:

          Oh the Stupidity. What about Resurecting the Older Scorpion trial woodland and desert?

          • SSD says:

            Good question. But I’m not sure they were ever actually tested.

            • DanW says:

              Even if so, were they issued? That seems like it’d be the determining factor.

              • Lcon says:

                Scorpion never left the lab but now the Army is going Whole Hog. So if they can do that then any pattern they trailed should be fair game.

            • majrod says:

              SSD, why does a pattern have to be tested to meet the NDAA? The NDAA says nothing about testing. Heck, UCP wasn’t really tested.

        • CAVstrong says:

          So recoloring Scorpion is considered developing a new camo pattern?

          • SSD says:

            I’d say so. If it isn’t then, as I’ve said many, many times, MARPAT, AOR and UCP are all the exactly the same pattern.

            • Lcon says:

              What about altering the color distribution? Scorpion has Colors of both the woodland and desert colors right so if you lower the browns and up the greens or lower the greens and up the Browns?

              • Strike-Hold says:

                Recoloring the Scorpion pattern should be an entirely defensible decision – especially if they choose colors that are already in the inventory (such as from Woodland, Day Desert, MARPAT, etc.).

                • SSD says:

                  By that logic, they could recolor UCP. It’s about NSNs on the shelves, not color palettes.

                  • JBAR says:

                    I thought that recoloring UCP into the Multicam colorization was being considered/started briefly, or is it still? The Army would adopt the recolored transitional UCP if they adopt MARPAT, correct?

                  • Strike-Hold says:

                    Ah – I see: “Its logic Jim, but not as we know it….”

                  • majrod says:

                    SSD you may be right but it says nothing about NSN’s in the NDAA.

                    • SSD says:

                      Those are my words. NSNs are a means to determine if something is distinct. The point was to reduce, not increase the number of patterns/uniforms in DoD.

  31. Debaser says:

    Three sets of TA-50 should be much cheaper than one…

    • Bert says:

      It is not going to be three sets of ta-50. Just like the FoP plan, all ta-50 will be in the transitional pattern. these other patterns are for uniforms. One set of gear in a camo that works, supplemented by uniforms that work better in a specific enviroment.

      • Debaser says:

        Except that they would have been the same pattern. OCP on woodland, that’l work. Now we will look like retards, just like the people making these decisions. Uniformity at last!

        • Bert says:

          It works well enough, and more importantly far better than UCP as a camoflage. It is in part derived from these two patterns, so I fail to see why we would need three sets of kit.

        • straps says:

          OCP on Woodland DOES work–in the jungle.

          • Dan says:

            I pulled out some old woodland BDUs and compared them to my Multicam vest. With an ACU cut or combat shirt it could work, but a matching geometry would be better.

            • HardChawger says:

              If AOR or MarPat is approved as bookends, might as well use the Marines coyote brown for OCIE. That should blend well with all patterns.

              • SSD says:

                Or, you could join the Marines or the SeaBees.

                • Hardchawger says:

                  Already was a Jarhead that wore BDUs but saw the old poplin cammies that resemble the present day scorpion/multicam.

                  I will retire a Soldier. Thank you for your service.

    • SSD says:

      I’m not sure where you learned math…

  32. Attack Company 1/75 says:

    When all said and done, I think that SSD should produce a movie called “Camouflage Wars” kind of in the same vein as “Pentagon Wars.” The production company should be called “21st Century Soldier Systems, LLC”.

  33. 32sbct says:

    Well I have to say going back to three color DCU and M81 is not the worst solution in the world. In fact, they should drop back one more generation and use the original green dominant ERDL pattern for the jungle. It was very effective in Vietnam. A pattern does not have to be new to be effective.

    Frankly, the MARPAT desert uniform is fine, but their woodland pattern is not as effective as M81 in my opinion. I don’t understand why the Navy AOR 2 is not being looked at. I recently saw a large number of troops in this uniform in a wooded environment and I thought it was very effective.

    The best solution, Scorpion, MARPAT desert, and AOR 2….done. And then push all services to adopt those patterns.

    • SSD says:

      That idea has been floated. I think AOR isn’t there because it might perform too well against woodland.

      However, you have to remember, the Army is asserting that colors matter more than pattern.

      • Mick says:

        You’re probably right, but then wouldn’t someone have said “Well throw AOR in there, too, and we’ll figure out if those colors are better than MARPAT woodland, or M81”?

        • SSD says:

          I think there’s some method to the omission, but then again, maybe they’ll miraculously show up. Control of the fabric is ridiculous with loads of bureaucracy between the requirement generator, mill and finished good manufacturer.

  34. Greg says:

    By the time the army gets its camo shit together there will be cloaking devices and the army will be left behind every one else again.

  35. Greg says:

    I hereby officially prophesie that ten years from now the army shall choose a new patter, one that they will claim can move mountains and hide entire legions in the open, and it shall be the Universal Camouflage Pattern!

  36. COL REMF says:

    Having spent four plus years in Panama and nine years in Hawaii (plus visits to other tropical areas in Latin America and Asia), AOR2 is too bright terrain under canopy (a contrast made obvious when seeing SOCPAC Navy personnel with trees in background at Camp Smith). AOR2 would be okay in the grasslands in the middle of the Schoefield East Range, or some place like Gatun DZ in Panama, but not if actually in the jungle, and MC or Scorpion would also be OK in those grasslands because of the browns. M81 actually has to much of everything but green under canopy, but I do believe it will fare better than MARPAT which also has too much brown. Take a look at the current Thai Army pattern looks like for a “jungle” colorway. As for desert, any decent colorway is fine at ranges where camo is effective

    • SteveB says:

      IME, Aor2 works very well under canopy, but is too light in front of a tree-line. I’d pick aor2 over m81 in most green areas.

    • JBAR says:

      Agree, AOR 2 is too bright, especially after just a little normal fading. It is not woodland.

    • Steve says:

      I almost forgot, when I was training with the RTA a few years ago I traded a set of acus for one of their pixilated uniforms and they blended in pretty well in the jungle, maybe a little too dark in the open, and they certainly stuck out when I was teaching MOUT but they were damn near ghosts in the underbrush.

  37. Andrew says:

    Fraud. Waste. Abuse.

    Rinse and repeat.

  38. Marcos says:

    hell, temperate CADPAT would work much better in that environment than MARPAT/M81/AOR2

  39. Snake says:

    Shit, here I was hoping at least they’d recolor Scorpion to introduce Scorpion Woodland/Tropic and Scorpion Desert/Arid. Figured that’d be allowed under the NDAA since it’s the camo pattern being recolored and not a new camo pattern being developed entirely.

    Is there a possibility? The Multicam Tropic colors smack the shit out of M81, AOR2 and even Woodland MARPAT for that climate for a dedicated regional camo. Otherwise, I think it’ll be a close call on the Woodland side: look at this pic of MARPAT and M81 vs Multicam Transitional in a woodland/jungle setting:


  40. Chris says:

    Why not take the “analog” patterns and blur colors along the color boundary so there isn’t a hard transition between colors? Just a thought.

    I read somewhere that the smaller pixalation between color changes helps with the blending into the surroundings.

    • SSD says:

      And, once again, the good idea fairy creates a pattern that violates the NDAA.

      • Dan says:

        For a law that had most of its teeth pulled out it is really good at getting in the way.

      • COL REMF says:

        It may be worth noting that NDAAs are fungible, occurring every year. We all know hat many Service and Industy lobbying efforts have proven effective in the past. However, since the Army is apparently attempting to avoid new personal kit to instead applies funds to readiness and modernization, despite that the NDAA can be amended, unless there’s a Industry-Legislative nexus, much of the discussion is moot (like this paragraph).

    • JBAR says:

      Guy Cramer / ADS submitted 2 variants in the last test. US4CES-D had the “soft” edges blended, the other, US4CES-A, had hard ones. The hard blended US4CES was selected. Detection ranges are not close, so disruption with larger distinctive patterns is a factor.

  41. Tom says:

    all the services should just adopt marpat

    • SSD says:

      Great idea. Now tell me how DoD is going to pay for it.

      • majrod says:

        The same way we’d pay to field multicam if that was selected. (What exists is a miniscule portion of what’s needed to issue the whole Army)

        I know SSD wants Multicam but it really shows one’s bias when “there isn’t money to issue ______” but SSD doesn’t even ask the question when multicam was SSD’s recommendation.

        There are better reasons not to issue MARPAT to everyone. Like AOR is better.

        • SSD says:

          You don’t have to say it when it’s still one pattern. When you talk about increasing the clothing bag substantially, money is going to come up.

          I like MultiCam because it’s the easy button. I’ve always said that. Scorpion is ok, but it’s going to cost a lot of time and money to get rolling.

          • majrod says:

            Easy? Careful, staying with UCP would have been “easy”.

            “You don’t have to say it when it’s still one pattern.” How so? Doesn’t issuing to a million troops cost a little more than issuing less than 100k in Afghanistan? Like you said, “When you talk about increasing the clothing bag substantially, money is going to come up.” except it doesn’t because of your bias?

            A lot of time? What, a year? We’ve been screwing with this issue for a decade.

            Cost? How so? What kind of new tooling is required to change a camo pattern? Multicam is being issued in small quantities. To issue to the whole Army would be as expensive as issuing Scorpion. C’mon guy! BS flag! This is like when you said it would have cost the Navy more to issue AOR1 than AOR2 which is why sailors outside of NSW wear green camo in a desert environment (and we both know why that travesty was happening).

            You’ve done EXEMPLARY work in staying on top of this issue but your objectivity got lost somewhere whenever Multicam is involved. Caleb might be a great guy. The Army may be as dumb as a box of rocks but those are irrelevant to the issue and making up reasons is below you.

            Multicam seems to be a marginally better pattern, $24 mil was a drop in the bucket. Hammer those even though I think it’s spilt milk.

            I think the greater issue (and you are starting to get on it) is we are back to a new “universal pattern”. How the heck did that happen? Back when the phase IV testing started I thought the transitional pattern was supposed to be for kit.

            When/Who made the call to create a new uniform requiring the Army to have THREE patterns? The Navy and the Marines do it with two. Why do we need three or did you happiness that Multicam is a great “transitional” pattern blind you to that tweak in the Army’s approach increasing complexity and cost.

            I mean you are interested in ease and cost right? 🙂

            • SSD says:

              You’re going to issue a uniform to everyone no matter what, if any pattern, is on it. For some reason this fact seems to allude you. Clothing bag issue for a field uniform is a basic cost. This cost can be compounded by offering multiple color variants as the Marines have done. The Army can’t afford this. They aren’t going to issue everyone two uniforms, let alone three. Some folks will get additional patterns as part of their TA-50 issue but this love affair some have with multiple uniforms in the clothing bag isn’t going to come to fruition. The cash just isn’t there.

              Somehow, over the past several years, you missed the point of Phase IV. The transitional pattern was just that, a common pattern that could work across multiple environments. There was an option for an additional OCIE pattern which ADS exercised with their US4CES pattern while the other finalists chose to utilize their transitional pattern for this purpose. All along, the Army’s number one COA was to field the traditional pattern to all Soldiers. I am amazed that you missed that.

              You are spending way too much time trying to prove that I am a bad person by supporting the expansion of the status quo MultiCam OCP pattern to all Soldiers. Sure, I know Caleb. But so do thousands of other people. Did I get hot under the collar over the issue? Yes, because I have been privy to some government actions that have left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The lack of transparency by the Army post Phase IV competition should concern everyone because attempts to conceal actions by government generally belies actions that are less than ethical.

              But, show me where do I continue to pine for MultiCam. That’s happening in your head, not on SSD. In the long run, I don’t care which pattern they choose, so long as it works. I’d also love for it to be economical. You have this odd complex about my support of the easy solution.

              Yes, keeping UCP would up have been “easy” but as much as the Army has publicly thrown it under the bus, it’s demise has been certain. As I, and many others have stated, times too numerous to count, MultiCam is the true “easy” solution.

              One final times for you, since all of the previous times I have laid this out have failed to take hold.

              1. The Army has spent over $1 Billion in program dollars on the MultiCam pattern as OCP. This does not capture the monies spent by SOCOM programmatically, or the OCO funds spent on small unit purchases as well as individual purchases, out of pocket. Lots of Soldiers already have clothing and equipment in the pattern.

              2. The industrial base knows how to make it and is already manufacturing it in a wide variety of prints goods as well as finished goods.

              3. It works. It enjoys high Soldier confidence and no one questions its performance.

              Virtually anything else, will cost more and take more time. Scorpion is a novel solution that will still take a lot of time to work out the kinks and get the industrial base rolling. But, in its defense, it does leverage the existing OCP investment. It’s a good choice in that it gives the Army a feeling that they are saving money and not at the mercy of a commercial vendor. Although, I’m not sure it will end up being less expensive, at least in the near-term.

              Scorpion is a Course of Action. The Army is making it happen. The bookends will round a capability, for when it’s needed. Overall, I’m happy.

              • majrod says:

                Where did I say every soldier needs a complete set of every pattern? We’ve never done that on the conventional side except in the most deployable units and even then it was an exception.

                Sewing patterns are the same for uniforms and kit. Industry TODAY provides identical items in multiple patterns. No new costs. I doubt Scorpion’s additional cost for working out the kinks (whatever those may be) isn’t going to be anymore than the $24mil the multicam license would have cost.

                I get we are going to issue a uniform to everyone. I figured that out the first day I stood in a supply line. We are not issuing everyone multicam today. We are issuing multicam to less than 10% of the force. There’s a big gap between 10 and 100%. It’s going to cost no matter what to close that gap and it’s very likely that multicam kit will be compatible with Scorpion. There is also precedent for allowing soldiers to wear multicam. We allowed soldiers to wear ERDLs in the 82nd, 101st & SF when lightweight BDUs were fielded. Multicam is a heck of a lot closer to Scorpion than ERDL is to BDUs.

                Never said you’re a bad person. I don’t believe you are. I’ve sincerely and copiously applauded your work in keeping the community informed. It’s human to have bias. It’s divine to acknowledge and to rise above them. We are both working on being better people.

                I’ve been fully aware for years that the Phase IV competition consists of three uniform patterns and a kit pattern. I wasn’t aware it was always so. Sorry to let you down. I’m not infallible are you? Thanks for clearing that up BTW.

                I’ve no problem with multicam. Should the Army have paid for the license? Yes! Should they have released the Phase IV results? YES!!! We do agree on some things.

                My objection to your promoting multicam now is the increased cost issue is miniscule if it even exists (remember the $24mil licensing fee for Multicam). Time? Besides the decade we’ve been spending screwing around, the majority of the Army is in UCP and it would take time along with the compulsory wear out date 1-2 yrs in the future to get the force transitioned. Let’s get some garrison use out of the final stocks of UCP our tax dollars bought. Scorpion is not an unacceptable decision and in the end is not going to take much longer if any to get the whole force transitioned.

                As I’ve said, feel free to bash the Army on selecting a #2 pattern and if you want to make an issue of the year it’s going to take to get Scorpion knock yourself out. The rest of the problems (e.g. bookends) would have existed if multicam was selected after the NDAA went into effect. (Were you complaining about cost back then?)

                I still scratch my head and wonder how we got back to (albeit better) another “universal camo pattern”. That is until or IF bookend patterns are selected. All said, the “original sin” still exists being branch specific camo patterns with all the additional cost, confusion, lost OPSEC and divisiveness that promotes.

    • COL REMF says:

      MARPAT, like CADPAT, UCP, and other “patterns” built on the same screens, turns into a vaguely single color blob at longer distance, and the Coyote Brown color is too high contrast. But again, as SSD has noted, going with MARPT would be cost prohibitive, (and would result in inter-service strategic communication warfare. This is all moot as Army has no appetite to spend readiness and modernization money on a new baseline pattern, particularly since MC OCP kit can (will) be used with Scorpion for some time.

  42. Brendan Smith says:

    Well may be time for a bold suggestion…ask Congress to amend the NDAA.

    There are some well intentioned leaders in the Armed Services Committee that might listen to a reasonable pitch from the Army about how a Scorpion FoPs should be allowed as the solution.

    Congress certainly isn’t known for doing the right thing, but this isn’t a big left/right political issue. IF they can get a few influential folks to make a rational change it JUST MIGHT be doable.

  43. armypa82 says:

    Hey hey! I’m glad I didn’t dump my BDUs and DCUs. Now if only I can do something about the awful Count Dracula collars on my old DCUs.

    • 32sbct says:

      Count Dracula collar…now that is funny. We just used to call them Elvis collars back when they first came out. After they changed the BDU to a normal collar around 1985, the Elvis collar reappeared on every DCU I was issued in Iraq (2004), and those uniform were made in 2001. I guess the big collar lives forever, just like a vampire.

      • firedoc says:

        The Elvis collars were despised by almost everyone when BDUs were first issued. I knew a lot of people who took their BDUs to a tailor shop and had the collars cut down to match jungle fatigue or ERDL collar sizes.

    • SSGCMW says:

      When we took our DCUs to the tailor to have rank, etc., sewn on we also had them take in the collars to normal BDU size.

    • LM says:

      Hey i liked the count draculas. Sexy…

      (they did keep the fucking brass out of my neck and anything else that gets slung around in the field)

  44. Paralus says:


    and the NDAA is stupid as well. Well-intentioned, but it handcuffs the process.

    I know, I know, the Army had the opportunity to select the Phase IV winner before NDAA was passed, but still, it wasn’t intended to prevent Army from selecting the most effective pattern, it was intended to stop wasteful duplication with service-specific patterns.

    How sad is that we recognize it for a pathetic, deplorable situation, but one that is still better than UCP.

    Big Army sucks, Fire the generals

  45. Norbis says:

    I don’t know how to care anymore. I’m glad we are getting out of UCP. Hopefully, somehow the NDAA comes up with a solution that makes sense for the entire DOD.

  46. tictac says:

    Why not enlarge MARPAT a bit for better effectiveness at longer range? This would help deal with the color blending issue that MARPAT and similar patterns have. Just a thought.

    • SSD says:


      • cy says:

        Guy Cramer would love to see that happen. How may of his patents would that violate? My guess is about 35.

        • Marcos says:

          He already sues at the drop of a hat if someone makes a camo pattern vaguely resembling one of his bajillion computer generated patterns…lets not provoke him

          • tictac says:

            I didn’t mean to the extent of US4CES, but just enough to reduce the color blend a bit. Changing the scale of the pattern is nothing revolutionary.

            If it is patented, I would hope that he would let it slide for the sake of soldier safety.

            • Fly on the Wall says:

              Guy Cramer would never pass up an opportunity to make a buck with semi-science or toot his own horn. While he’s not at the Mike Sparks level, he is…a character.

  47. Clyde275 says:

    Crye already has EVERYTHING laid out for us with Multicam and the accompanying bookends. Production capability is in place right now and any unit who has deployed in the last 4 years already has Multicam. No more time and money needs to be wasted on staged and predetermined testing. Pay for the entire program by cutting the money we send to Al Qaeda in Syria, I mean “moderate” rebels.

    • pbr549 says:

      The only thing the conventional guys get to keep when they come back from OEF is the uniforms and boots. All the body armor, cold weather gear, load carrrying equipment, and rucks and assualt packs are turned in shortly after returning

  48. Marcos says:

    The USMC Scout Snipers already did tests comparing M81 woodland with what would become MARPAT almost 15 years ago. We all know how that turned out…

    What I want to know is how the USMC was able to patent MARPAT when all they did was recolor CADPAT, which had already been around for a few years at that point

  49. COL REMF says:

    Sadly, none of this matters because the Army only marginally has the resources it needs to train to meet the skillsets for which most of it’s units are manned and equipped. Camo is great, but so is ammo and fuel with which to train, and spare parts to keep rolling stock (and tracked vehicles) running. M81 is adequate in jungle/forest environments. The current (and even subsequent, regardless of party) administration is unlikely to pursue another desert fight. We were successful in Panama with M81, and with OEF-P advisers in the southern PI . We were successful in Desert Storm and OIF 1 with DCUs. While I’m really glad UCP is going (despite the fact I’ll probably have to buy a few sets of Scorpion before I retire), money is better spent to train and maintain than continue with the “camo wars.” But I’m personnay going to buy some MC Tropic when available because I’m a geardo afraid of zombies.

    • COL REMF says:

      And I can’t spell/type when I’ve been drinking.

      • majrod says:

        We even beat tougher enemies while wearing Khaki and OD in WWI & II. Past victories don’t mean old war tools are still effective otherwise we’d still be carrying the M1 Garand..

        • Greg says:

          We’re using variants of the M14. Which in of itself is an offshoot of the Garand!

          • COL REMF says:

            What “Greg” said, plus the point of my post was that we won against past foes not because we had the sexiest camo, but instead because the big green machine focused its resources on the rest of the DOTLMPF. It also didn’t help that our adversaries fought stupidly, despite the fact that the Germans during WWII employed superior camo uniforms for some units, and the Japanese made excellent use of natural camo materials. In a resource/politically constrained environment, better use resources where the payoff will have greater tactical & operational impact.

            • majrod says:


              Great points!

              I thought you were seriously promoting the old because of the good old days.

    • SSD says:

      Thank you for some levity. Do we know one another from SOCPAC?

      • COL REMF says:

        Alas, I was really drunk when I made the earlier post. And I have Flectarn, Czech M95, Thai Army, and OG107 uniforms to help protect me from jungle/forest zombies. While I’ve worked SOF jobs at Bragg and Tampa, at Camp Smith I worked elsewhere. For the rest of the audience, although I didn’t like the pattern/colorway, I bought my first two sets of ACUs because I did the math and they paid for themselves after saving about four months of having my BDUs heavy starched/pressed. Just like the Army’s decision to test a limited number of bookend camo patterns, in the end it gets down to cost and the rules mandated by others.

    • AbnMedOps says:

      Heck, my entire Division was sucessful in Desert Storm wearing woodland BDUs. One-each set of desert camo was issued for the plane ride home and any resultant heroic-pose photo-ops!

      • SSD says:

        And that is one of the reasons the Army wants a single pattern.

        • majrod says:


          • Hardchawger says:

            We are the US military. We will kick butt fighting in skivvies but that is not the point. The Army went with a single camo and dress uniform solely on the basis of saving money. They had to look at savings while increasing its ranks to fight the wars. I was going to ask Gen Odierno the other day on this camo fiasco but we were engaged in other topics.

            I predict that Scorpion when fully implemented will be the sole camo for some duration but there will be other transitional patterns depending on contingency.