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Tomorrow is the Last Day for Airmen to Wear the ABU

Thankfully, 1 April is the wear out date for the most useless utility uniform in modern history. Hot and festooned with cartoonish “camouflage” properties, the ridiculously named Airmen Battle Uniform is what happens when you put the Air Force in charge of ground stuff. Granted, with four colors, it was only slightly more ridiculous than the Army’s ill-fated Universal Camouflage Pattern.

The mandatory wear date for the operational camouflage pattern uniform is April 1. Airman Battle Uniforms will no longer be authorized for wear.

From here on out, the Air Force is back in the same uniform with its Army and Space partner forces, the Army Combat Uniform in the operational camouflage pattern.

19 Responses to “Tomorrow is the Last Day for Airmen to Wear the ABU”

  1. Strike-Hold says:

    April 1st wear-out date – how absolutely appropriate. 😉

  2. Jay says:

    I’m only frustrated that we can’t wear the FR version, which a lot of us have numerous pairs of still.

  3. G3SM says:


    Now we wait to see how badly they can mess up the Dress Uniform fix.

  4. Steve says:

    Is that bayonet-less bayonet training?

  5. 32sbct says:

    Now that the Army, Guard & Reserve, the Air Force, Guard & Reserve and Space Force are all wearing the same uniform it’s time to transition the Navy and USMC to the OCP uniform. We all wore the same uniforms in the BDU and Viet Nam era. There is really no reason for each service to have different combat/field uniforms. Everyone can keep their own headgear to hold on to their identity but the uniform should be the same. I think that would save some money or at least ease supply/procurement issues.

    • Ed says:

      I agree on the merits of that point but not the OCP uniform. OCP is sub-par compared to Multicam, MarPat, AOR1 and AOR2.

      For the record the US Navy made an idiotic decision to field AOR2 (type III for you fleeters) for the fleet, then tarded it up by wearing it with black boots and gear. Not that big-dumb Navy was ever going into littoral combat but to make it a ship board uniform is beyond retarted! You listening you idiots in DC? Lol

      • GANDIS says:

        Serious question, do you have sources for these claims? Everything I have read says the opposite.

        • Crackers says:

          Just fire up your local hyper spectral imaging system and it will be incredibly obvious that the AORs are completely and utterly superior in a multiple set of bandwidths. Honestly the NIR and SWIR performance is stunning compared to OCP, after multiple washes etc etc etc.

  6. Cap'n Drew says:

    Second most useless. You’re forgetting about the Navy Blueberries.

    • SSD says:

      Oh no, that uniform is made from better fabric and laid out better. The ABU is the absolute worst.

      • Ton E says:

        Nah the blueberry is more ridiculous

        • G3SM says:

          The difference is that no one pretended the Navy pattern was actually camouflage. Lest we forget that the USAF claimed SOF forces helped design the ABU uniform/pattern and claimed it was their input that determined there didn’t need to be any changes to the design or BDU layout of pockets. Oh, and of course the fact that the company producing the “digitized” tiger stripe apologized for contributing to the abomination.

          • Sam Lerman says:

            Eric, where is the “like” button on here? I need to hit it until it breaks.

        • k says:

          The blueberries were never designed to be a “combat uniform” and the colors were chosen for being traditional navy colors and to hide dirty and paint drips. The fabric was a bit thick and hot in warmer climates like Guam, Hawaii and the south. The mandatory boots were shit but the rest of the uniform functioned as it was supposed to and was a better, more processionary military looking uniform than the dungarees and utilities were.

  7. Lowspe says:

    Tacticool influencers are gonna be this stuff up in bulk and recycling them into products in 10..9.8..7.6 (10 years? How long did it take Digital Night Camo, BDU Woodland, Chocolate chip, and Tri-Desert to come roaring back en vogue?)

  8. I suppose easy to lose track of what they even wanted to blend in to. Was the goal for ground operations use or camo for back at the air force base? As dumb as UCP / ABU are, actually not necessarily awful if going to be around a bunch of concrete and gravel most the time.
    Like others said though, it seemed to be a more efficient sourcing pipeline when the branches shared more combat camos.