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No, The US Military Is NOT Adopting A Common Utility Uniform

This is what is referred to as, “Fake News.”

The Virginia Pilot is the local paper for the Hampton Roads region, an area which boasts more than a dozen military facilities, representing every US service. This was their headline Thursday. The problem is, it’s not true.

While the USAF is in the process of replacing the Airman Battle Uniform in the Digital Tigerstripe Pattern with the Army Combat Uniform in the Operational Camouflage Pattern, the USMC remains in their unique utility Uniform in both desert and woodland patterns. Additionally, the Navy has adopted a Woodland camouflage pattern for its Navy Working Uniform which shares a geometry with the Marine pattern, but unique colors. As you can imagine, the NWU features different cut than the Army/Air Force as well as Marine utility uniforms.

32 Responses to “No, The US Military Is NOT Adopting A Common Utility Uniform”

  1. b_rawrd says:

    If we just forced everyone to wear UCP-D this problem could be solved *thumbs up*

  2. Jonathan says:

    man….just imagine if we went back to just want common camouflage type. How would i ever pick apart the services like they did pre-OIF. Jeez.

  3. 32sbct says:

    We all wore the woodland BDU and three color DCU. There are zero reasons for each service to have unique uniforms except for sailors working aboard ships. Simple solution. Adopt he OCP uniform for daily wear. Once the USAF finishes its transition about two thirds of the DOD will be in the same uniform. OCP is very effective in transitional areas and desert. Keep the current USMC woodland pattern for jungle use or for other areas heavily forested area. The Navy can move to some sort of new work uniform for shipboard use. Each service gets to maintain its own unique headgear. Too easy.

    • Ed says:

      Maybe if that “OCP” was actual Multicam! AOR1 and AOR2 are superior to Multicam in specified environments. OCP is a lame 4th place holder to REAL Multicam. US Army/USAF = FAIL!

      • 32sbct says:

        I’ve seen both the “true Multicam” uniforms (FRACU version) and the newer OCP uniforms side by side in multiple environments and I don’t see an advantage to one over the other, except the FRACU uniforms fade very quickly. At combat distances any differences are irrelevant. I think way too much is made over this Multicam vs OCP issue. The OCP pattern uniform was the best I wore in my thirty years of service, particularly after a decade of UCP.

        • Darkhorse says:

          FRACU and Multicam are two different things, two different mediums, and two different fabrics. Not an apples to apples comparison OCP versus Multicam.

          • 32sbct says:

            Sure it’s a valid comparison. FRACU is a material and Multicam/OCP are a pattern. The existing FRACU is “true” Multicam. That’s a fact. Every deploying Soldier’s uniform is made of FRACU material not nylon/cotton. That’s a fact. When the Multicam FRACU uniforms run out, we’ll start making new FRACU uniforms out of OCP. That’s a fact. I’m guessing that the FRACU material will take the Multicam dye or the OCP dye the same way based on the material’s properties. So my point is that a FRACU Multicam uniform and an OCP FRACU will be so similar at combat distances that the differences don’t matter.

            • Darkhorse says:

              You mention FRACU versus new OCP. Then you mention “I don’t see an advantage to one over the other, except the FRACU uniforms fade very quickly”. Why are you mentioning the fading issue as it relates to the pattern? It’s a fabric issue, not a camo print issue. Are “the newer OCP uniforms” you’re using as a comparison FR materials as well? The way it’s worded is that you’re comparing (visually) a non FR version to an FR version because you don’t mention the fading issue on the “newer OCP uniforms” and you say you don’t see an advantage one over the other, other than the fading issue.

  4. Capt Canuck says:

    Common “National” field uniform makes sense. Then again lets keep on building service empires and wasting money…..

  5. Rob371 says:

    I heard some guy is making uniform headgear for all services. Shinsulski?…Senshuski? Anyways looking forward to it!

  6. Stickman says:

    Someone needs to slap the services upside the head and make all of this travesty stop. A single garrison uniform issued would have saved enough money to have purchased all new weapons.

    Issue MC and be done with the games. Give Caleb his money and an apology, and lets do things right across the board.

    ETA- Someone please stop giving the Navy uniforms that camouflage them when they fall overboard or hide from Chiefs in crawl spaces.

  7. Tom says:

    When I came in to the service everyone wore the same thing in the States. BDU’s, Woodland Tyoe, 1ea.

    • Kirk says:

      This statement has never been true. Navy only wore BDUs as daily duty uniforms in very limited specialties, like the Naval Construction Battalions. The rest of the Navy was still wearing the old dungarees.

  8. mike says:

    I don’t care, as long as I get to roll my sleeves

  9. jeff Pendleton says:

    the taxpayer should rise up over the amount of money wasted on seperate uniforms. put everyone back in one common utility uniform and never allow this to happen again. but DON’T let the army pick it. they have terrible taste.

  10. Grizwold says:

    Do you have an article or a link to a place that explains the different cuts of each services uniforms? Having worn the Marpat I am curious as to the difference.

  11. TM says:

    Update woodland camo by taking out the black patterns. What they should have done in the first place. HUGE cost saver.

  12. Travis says:

    If only…

  13. Kirk says:

    I’m gonna go out on a limb, here, and suggest that with the reduced cost of modern manufacture, the savings from having everyone in the same uniform would be minimal, and that the added intangible benefits to service morale come cheap at the price of service-specific uniforms.

    It would be interesting, though, to know if anyone has ever done any real study of the issue–Does the Marine Corps know, precisely, what benefits they get from having their own uniforms? Can they quantify that, in dollars and cents, or is it purely down to the intangibles of it all?

    Nobody cavils at different dress uniforms. Why should we care if we have different duty uniforms, if it can be linked to morale? I think a case could be made for that argument.

    • Tom says:

      ^ THIS. People saying that one camouflage pattern for all services would provide huge cost savings are mindlessly repeating the same old spiel and have no idea how manufacturing actually works. The problem is NOT having different camouflage patterns between branches. The problem is SWITCHING camouflage patterns continuously as the US Army and USAF have been doing over the past 20 years. That’s what makes it expensive and that’s where taxpayer money is being wasted. Just chose a good pattern and stick with it, end of.

    • Will Rodriguez says:

      It’s not just a question of manufacturing (which the case hasn’t been made that it’s cheaper and so far ignores the various additional items that are made in a service specific camo).

      The other issue is stockpiling and having uniforms in quantity when conflict occurs. War stockage becomes an issue especially if a specific fight weighs more on one service than another.

      There is also something to be said about “jointness”. It says something about the current force when everyone has to have their specific uniform. Our grandfathers often felt different enough with a nametape that specified their branch of service. A lot of harm results from branch partisanship. Too many say “one fight” only when it suits them.

  14. cj says:

    this has got to be the biggest waste of money ever. these services have changed uniforms how many times in the past twenty years? I’m not sure why the navy got out of the dungarees and went to a ocean cammie uniform.. The Israelis been in the same stuff for four decades and haven’t had a problem. uniforms and handguns… smh

  15. FD says:

    what’s funny about the “genius” of multicam is that it’s basically just a seven color blob pattern that uses similar (but not exactly the same) colors as BDU + DCU… it’s like man, the DOD could have saved themselves a shit ton of grief and hassle if they just sat down and thought about it…loll

    • WagenCAV says:

      ^THIS. I’ve thought the same thing for years.

      DoD should simply force the services to compromise. Adopt the MC family of patterns (or go with the PH IV winning patterns) and dye them into the MCCU or NWU (or a hybrid). That way tha USMC could wear the arid and tropic patterns in garrison IOT stand out. The navy could possibly move to MC black as a shipbourne alternative, and the Army and USAF could stick with the transitional pattern. Viola! Instant service recognition while in garrison while having common geometry for matching OCIE n shit. In combat, SMS will wear whichever costume is most relevant. Green in the woods, brown in the desert. You get the point.

  16. Darkhorse says:

    The issue is the cost to replace (at this point) is greater than the cost to sustain. AOR’s and MARPAT both have 2 color variants and people think reducing to one color would save money- replacing completely would be astronomical in cost. Remember, the army dropped about 5 BILLION on UCP.

    • CAVStrong says:

      Remember $5 Billion is only 1% or so of the total DoD budget. Spending $10 Billion to out fit all the services with updated uniforms and PPE would be well worth the investment and money better spent on other irrelevant and wasteful “modernizing” efforts.

    • 32sbct says:

      Although the Army did spend billions on UCP, the uniforms and gear were worn hard in both Iraq (2006-2011) and Afghanistan from 2006 until Multicam started to be issued around 2009. The UCP uniforms have a scheduled wear out date of Oct 1 2019. By that time they will have been worn from around 2006 to 2019. That’s 13 years of use in both CONUS and OCONUS locations. Plus there is no wear out date for the big cost durable items like ruck sacks, web gear, etc. I hated UCP and wish it was never issued, but it’s not like the Army bought 10 billion dollars of uniforms and gear and then tossed them in a dumpster.

      • Darkhorse says:

        The bigger point being this:

        A one time color change for the army is 5 billion dollars. Minimum. Regardless of how long it is kept in service. People tend to read into the problem “two colors are more expensive than one” but for any service to adopt a new color, the upfront cost is quite hefty.

        Whereas, sustaining two colors, at this point in time is likely more cost effective.

  17. Mike says:

    “This is what is referred to as, “Fake News.””

    I don’t think so. Fake News is intentionally false information planted as news stories to influence the public.

    Unfortunately, in today’s hyped discourse, “fake news” has been used to refer to sloppy reporting (this article on uniforms) as well as fact-based, solid reporting that produces articles that paint politicians in an unfavorable light.

    Throwing around the term “fake news” for stuff like this makes it too easy to ignore important issues such as willfully malicious stories that affect political outcomes.

    • Lowspeed says:


      This is not “Fake news” (disinformation). It looks like simple misinformation, not disinformation (which is intentional).