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Tomorrow Is Your Last Day to Wear Army UCP and Navy Blueberry Uniforms

Two dead ends on the off ramp that is pixelated camouflage will thankfully be retired from service on 1 October, 2019.

Adopted on 2004, the so-called Universal Camouflage Pattern never seemed to blend in with anything, except perhaps grandma’s couch, as seen in this now famous photo.

Thankfully, the Army eventually came around and replaced it with the Operational Camouflage Pattern. Eerily similar to MultiCam by Crye Precision (seen below), the colors and shapes do a much better job of providing actual camouflage.

Not to be outdone, the US Navy adopted a new camouflage pattern and uniform cut in 2008 to replace the longstanding solid blue dungaree-style uniform.

The new Navy Working Uniform, Type 1 featured a pixelated camouflage pattern, akin to the Marine Corps’s pattern but with Blue coloring. Ostensibly, this was to hide paint and other stains on the uniform. Instead, it seemed to make an overboard Sailor less likely to be spotted.

Like the Army, the Navy came to its senses and created new patterns. Type II is for desert duty and Type III for woodland environments. The NWU Type III is now the standard uniform issued to new recruits.

The Marines kicked off the whole pixelated camo craze in the US military and seem pretty happy with their Woodland and Desert MARPAT. The Air Force got in on the act as well with a pixelated version of Tigerstripe camouflage, but they are currently transitions to OCP along with the Army. They’re just a few years behind.

Tomorrow is your last day to wear UCP or Type I on duty. I wore OG-507 fatigues on the last day we could in 1987, so enjoy them one last time.

30 Responses to “Tomorrow Is Your Last Day to Wear Army UCP and Navy Blueberry Uniforms”

  1. TominVA says:

    The end of camouflage that doesn’t camouflage. A classic case of institutional momentum unchecked by anyone with influence having the guts to say, “You know, this isn’t working.” Good riddance, and congrats to the Army!

  2. Stefan S. says:

    Good riddance!

  3. TKS says:

    UCP also blended in well with the gravel roads in the Fort Jackson range complex. As I watched the DI go up and down the road I thought if he fell down no one would see him.

  4. Ricepuddin says:

    I don’t think anyone enjoys wearing UCP ACUs. I also ditched that shit day one, but I am wondering what’s going to happen to all the soldiers who only have TA50 in ucp, I have not heard anything about DXs being scheduled

    • H.Hardradda says:

      TA50 is wear until replaced or destroyed. There’s going to be a lot floating around for a while which is why there have been solicitations for overdue solutions.

      • Ricepuddin says:

        Yeah I went back and re-read the ALARACT, and realized it was just the UCP and Multicam ACU/FRACU wear out. Then I reread the old idea of dying all the UCP stuff Tan 499.

  5. Canadian says:

    Congratulations USA!!!
    I remember when we were laughed at up here because everything was just OG107, and you had BDUs.
    Then our nations swapped our common sense for a decade.

  6. USMC Ret says:

    Somebody should quantify the dollar amount from fielding 3 different useless camo patterns and present that to the DoD IG.

    How much more ammo, weapon systems, etc…would that have bought?

    • Philip says:

      If I remember correctly, the cost of the Army’s camo failure alone was multiple billions…for some reason $5b is the number that springs to mind.

      • PPGMD says:

        How is that number being derived? If that is the cost of development plus the uniform costs that isn’t really an accurate number, most of those uniforms would’ve had to be purchased regardless of camo.

        I ask because I believe that the real number would be impossible to calculate as you have to factor in how many people were hurt because those these uniforms. How much did we spend on uniforms just for Afghanistan once we figured out that these patterns didn’t work?

        • Sean says:

          He’s talking about the army’s improved camo effort that was going on from 2010-ish until 2013. No winners were selected and the army upted to adopt watered down multicam/scorpion w2 because they were too cheap to license multicam or buy it outright from crye, so they opted to use a less effective version of it instead.

    • Mike says:

      Millions, not billions. Probably less than a few lugnuts on an F-35. Really just the R&D cost to develop the pattern and wear-test it. The uniforms would have been produced anyway regardless of pattern. Uniforms wear out and are replaced; most of the ones that didn’t wear out were probably owned by young soldiers/sailors who got out after one or two enlistments with serviceable uniforms in the old pattern and would never have been replaced anyway.

      The issue is the stupidity of sending men and women into harm’s way in a uniform that stands out – or in the Navy’s case of just wearing something that looks foolish…

  7. jjj0309 says:

    The end of an era, I guess. It is still effective as an urban/arctic camouflage. And it will be remembered forever in civilian market for decades later, just like M81.
    I always think what if Army introduced UCP as an urban/arctic specific pattern while selected OCP as a standard in the first place. Like how USMC uses two patterns. Then it’d be loved by everyone if Army had chose that path. One can dream.

    • Andy says:

      Actually it also performs poorly in those two realms.

      It has far too much grey to perform in arctic environments. A combination of multicam/ multicam tropic and overwhite bottoms performs very well in snowy wooded areas, however, due to the foliage from the waist up and snow from the waist down.

      The recent studies have also found that, believe it or not, desert colorways have outperformed a lot of other colorways in urban environments. I would hazard due to the lack of testing in Western-style large cities. I would expect UCP to be slightly better in NYC, but the smaller, dirtier urban environments we find ourselves in tend to be tanner or greener, so desert and solid greens/greys work well.

      • jjj0309 says:

        I gotta agree with you, it was just my short impression. After careful thinking, I’m afraid UCP is really just only effective on gravels as soldiers claims.

    • Biggins says:

      I remember reading an article that said camo is ineffective at distances of less than 50 feet and most urban fighting occurs within that distance. So even if you had an urban camo that matched the buildings around you, it would still be ineffective. Also, I’ve seen some pictures from Afghanistan and Iraq where soldier wearing UCP are covered in dust. They actually blend in with the environment but only because their uniforms are covered in the environment. If your uniform is fresh out of the washing machine then you’re going to stand out. Kind of like that picture with the guy in the ghillie suit.

  8. Strike-Hold says:

    Blame Canada! 🙂

  9. Luke says:

    The pixelation of all these terrible camos is a red herring, and has nothing to do with why they suck. lumping that in as even a small factor in the roaring failure of this whole fiasco is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

  10. rob c says:

    Ironic that the photo right before the pixellated camo craze comment is, itself completely pixelated and low res.

  11. J says:

    Some of the Army’s higher ups should have spoken up about how ineffective the Army UCP was at the start of this pattern being tested and issued to our soldiers for the area of operations during the last 15 years. The Army UCP was a waste of taxpayer money when the desert pattern DCU was still effective until a good replacement was found for that pattern. At least, the OCP is a lot better camouflage pattern for our troops in most environments, but no camouflage pattern is 100% effective in all environments.

  12. Bryan says:

    Thank you Jesus!!!

  13. Only took 12+ years 😛 Worth noting before UCP was picked they just did a big ol camo development trial which UCP wasn’t a part of at all.
    Also apparently a lesson I need to save screenshots and provide server files next time.

  14. Hodge175 says:

    In my guard unit we have M17’s upgraded M4’s to the A1 M110, 320’s you name it. The things we don’t have are COP uniforms, radios for the squads and TA 50.

    We have guys with UCP uniforms but multicam tents. And still have IBA’s, I have yet to receive any OCP issue.

  15. SSG RET. says:

    These uniforms will retire again and again every ten to fifteen years for ever. Spending millions or even billions on an idea that isn’t full proof. There’s alway a new sheriff in town when promoted to a higher rank. It’s just standard to change things to make a name for themselves no matter what. Because keeping with traditions of history just won’t do.

  16. Thomas Madere says:

    I was at the doctor’s office and a soldier in UCP was sitting on a couch similar to the one in the photo. I commented to him, I see you found a spot where UCP works.

  17. Joe says:

    Nobody looked at khaki in M81 woodland and the “pale green” (khaki) in 3-color desert and thought “boy, it’s almost like these colors are nearly the same, which would work as a base color in both environments”

    I’m glad new 4 season Woodland is working out better, finally.

  18. Pete says:

    Bye Felicia!

  19. Scott says:

    All these end of an era comments and I’m just sitting here remembering that the Air Force won’t be done with its non-camouflaging camouflage for another 18 months.

  20. Fury says:

    Thank goodness for Ebay.