Calling the Army's new "universal" digital camouflage scheme for its field uniforms controversial is an understatement. People tend to fall into two camps: some grudgingly tolerate it, particularly in an urban, desert or urban/desert environment and others (most) just flat out hate it and can't understand why the Army went the way of loden greens and grays.
Why not Multi-cam (which almost everyone likes)? That's a whole 'nother subject...
No matter how you feel about it, sure seems like Joes are going to be stuck with the new pattern for a while since the Army spent gobs of money replacing its classic woodland scheme only within the last few years. But it turns out not everybody in the Army has to stick with the unpopular mandate.
Over at a blog I like to keep tabs on for gear news, it looks at if the Army's made an exception to the rule for, you guessed it, special operations troops.
According to the "Soldier Systems" blog, the Army G1 recently sent out guidance that allows special operations troops the option of wearing the old-school woodland cammies in jungle environments. The message states that USASOC troops can wear the old BDUs in the Pacific theater, Southern command area and Africa Command while "conducting operational training and contingency missions" there.
The order calls for logistics to keep the woodland items in the supply system for the snake eaters until otherwise notified.
Here's the message Soldier Systems pasted on its site:
SUBJECT: EXCEPTION TO POLICY FOR WEAR OF THE ENHANCED HOT WEATHER BATTLE DRESS UNIFORM (EHWBDU), AVIATION BATTLE DRESS UNIFORM (ABDU), AVIATION FLIGHT SUIT, AND ACCESSORY ITEMS
1. THIS MESSAGE SERVES AS AUTHORIZATION FOR WEAR OF THE EHWBDU, ABDU, AND ACCESSORY ITEMS AFTER THE MANDATORY WEAR OUT DATES FOR SOLDIERS ASSIGNED TO UNITED STATES ARMY SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND (USASOC) CONDUCTING OPERATIONAL TRAINING AND CONTINGECY MISSIONS IN THE FOLLOWING OCONUS THEATERS:
A. PACIFIC COMMANDB. SOUTH COMMANDC. AFRICA COMMAND
2. THE FOLLOWING WOODLAND ORGANIZATIONAL CLOTHING AND INDIVIDUAL EQUIPMENT (OCIE) ITEMS WILL BE MAINTAINED AS ISSUE IN THE ARMY SUPPLY SYSTEM:
UNIFORM ITEMSBOIA. EHWBDUs (COAT AND TROUSERS) 4B. ABDUs (COAT AND TROUSERS) 4C. GEN I GORTEX (COAT AND TROUSERS) 1D. BDU, SUN HAT 1E. BROWN T-SHIRTS 4F. PATROL CAP 1G. AVIATION FLIGHT SUIT 2H. ARMY COMBAT HELMET COVER 1I. BLACK BOOTS (HOT WEATHER, SPEED LACE) 2
3. POC FOR UNIFORM POLICY IS XXX.
4. THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE DCS, G-1.
5. EXPIRATION DATE CANNOT BE DETERMINED.
Isn't that just like the Army? Can't have the HK416 or the SCAR...nope, you gotta stick to your M4. And now, you're being forced to stick out like a sore thumb in the jungle, but the commandos can stay nice and concealed. Thanks...