The Army has already announced thatit will begin fielding MultiCam combat uniforms to units deploying to Afghanistan in the summer. But PEO Soldier released some more specific information the other day on its blog that goes into more details.
The first MultiCam ensembles will go out around July and the first units to get them will be 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Polk, LA; 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, CO; and 2nd Brigade, 34th Infantry Division of the Iowa Army National Guard, the Army says.
Now Joes already in country probably won't see MultiCam threads until at least October.
"We're still working with US Forces Afghanistan on when they want us to come over and do that, because it's still a burden on them -- they're conducting combat operations, and to have to take a unit out of the fight for a day or two for us to swap out all their gear is disruptive," said PEO Soldier's Col. Bill Cole.
"We'll rely on them to determine who gets it and when."
Each Soldier will get four sets of uniforms in MultiCam and four combat shirts with coyote brown torsos and MultiCam sleeves. Joes will also get full MOLLE pouches, helmet cover and IOTV in MultiCam, which is a bit of a switch from the current experiment, where Soldiers only got plate carriers in MultiCam.
Cole said it's up to the institutional Army on wear policy both in and out of theater. But he did mention that it looks as if the 10th, 101st and 82nd will be the go-to units to deploy to Afghanistan so Soldiers in those divisions should hold on to their MultiCam suites.
"So for Soldiers who are deploying back [to the US] they'll probably redeploy with their [MultiCam] MOLLEs and IOTVs and we'll work with those bases to stock MOLLE and IOTVs in MultiCam to support future operations out of there."
My colleague at Soldier Systems Daily raises a good point, however. Don't go getting all over eager to sport your Gucci Crye duds and run out to Ranger Joes to buy a pair. The Army wants Soldiers to wear FR-rated uniforms and you don't want Command Sergeant Major to roll you for wearing the wrong threads.
And one other thing to note: PEO Soldier conducted a survey of Soldiers who participated in the field evaluations of UCP-D and MultiCam. The favorability rating for the UCP-D was in the 70s over the UCP for the 4th ID troops who wore them. But the MultiCam group liked their Crye duds around 93 percent more than the UCP.
"If I were to say generally Soldiers liked the UCP-D but they really loved the MultiCam -- those that got it," Cole said.