This is not another article about which camouflage pattern is most effective, or if the Army should have adopted Multicam. I happen to be a big fan of Multicam. Rather, this is asking why the Army feels compelled to have all of their kit matchy-matchy with their uniforms. I personally think that changing your kit to match every time you change your uniform pattern is a colossal waste of money. I’m not really sure what the rationale is.
Let’s take a look. I have to say that I feel like the Marine Corps decision to run their kit in Coyote Brown was a solid choice (Yes, I’m a bit biased, but this really has nothing to do with me being a former Marine.) This works well in both a desert and a woodland environment. Is it perfect? Absolutely not, but it is effective. Even back when I was still active duty, most of our snipers were moving towards more coyote colors for woodland operations instead of the issued olive drab. And, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than running 2 sets of kit to match both their desert and woodland patterns. I realize that the Army is only fielding one pattern, so they only need one set of kit. But, they’ve changed from ACU to Multicam and no one is actually sure how long they’re going to keep Multicam. That is a ton of ACU kit that is going to end up in DRMO, and if they change again from Multicam, that’s another entire Army’s worth of kit in DRMO, again! If they would just go to a solid color kit, whether that’s coyote brown or ranger green, they’d be able to allocate those funds to something more useful (maybe lighter armor plates, for instance.)
Yes, I understand the concept. Running kit in a camouflage pattern can aid in breaking up the outline of that equipment. And, a shiny new Multicam plate carrier looks pretty cool, but I just don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze.
Kit Up! contributor Bill Janson is a former Recon Marine and is the founder of Eleven 10, a tactical gear manufacturer.