Air Force Will Switch to a Less Busy Camo Print for OCP Name Tape, Patches

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The OCP has been issued to U.S. troops deploying overseas since 2012.
The OCP has been issued to U.S. troops deploying overseas since 2012 and features a camouflage pattern designed to work in multiple environments. (U.S. Air National Guard/Tech. Sgt. Daniel Ter Haar)

The U.S. Air Force is getting new name and service tape, badges and rank insignia featuring fewer camouflage colors in an effort to make it easier to identify air and space personnel sporting the operational camouflage pattern uniform, the service announced Thursday.

The trimmings on the uniform will now use "a lighter, three-color background pattern, versus the current seven-color pattern, to increase readability and ease rank recognition," according to a release.

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"We received significant feedback that prompted this update," Lisa Truesdale, deputy director of Air Force military force management policy, said in the release.

"The current rank insignia, badges, name, and service tapes on the OCP uniform are sometimes challenging to see against a seven-color background. Simplifying these features on a lighter, three-color pattern -- while not compromising the overall functionality of the uniform -- will improve our situational awareness in day to day interactions," Truesdale said.

The Air Force uses spice brown letter stitching for its name and service tape. That will remain the same, officials said. Meanwhile, Space Force personnel use a dark navy blue stitching.

The seven-color pattern products are currently being phased out; The Defense Logistics Agency is working to stock three-color patterned items into local Army and Air Force Exchange Service inventories by November.

Airmen and space personnel may continue to wear the current seven-color insignia, badges and tapes until new items are available, the release said.

In May, the service announced it would delay wear dates for some elements of the OCP until Sept. 1 in an effort to reduce stress on troops during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Those uniform items, including a new T-shirt color and socks -- as well as modifications to the Two-Piece Flight Duty Uniform -- were originally scheduled for mandatory wear by June 1.

The service has been phasing out its Airman Battle Uniform, known as the ABU, for the OCP over the last few years, with the expectation that all airmen will make the changeover by April 1, 2021.

The OCP was approved for full-time wear beginning Oct. 1, 2018.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

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