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Chicago Tribune Slams Pentagon on Camouflage


100513-N-9928E-036The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board chose to address camouflage Monday taking the military to task on the duplication of combat uniforms in its staff editorial.

It's a timely topic with the Army set to announce a new pattern for the standard issue Army Combat Uniform. The Army's secretary and chief of staff have the reports in hand to make a decision, but the waiting game continues. Army officials have said to expect an announcement of some sort this summer.

Of course, this is only the latest change to camouflage across the four services, which has been well documented and well funded by the Pentagon. The Tribune editors chose to highlight the $2.6 million spent on the universal camouflage pattern and then the additional $2.9 million when the UCP was deemed unsuitable for use in Afghanistan.

Next, the Tribune editorial board questioned why the Air Force or the Navy even need camouflage.

"You may wonder about the need for camouflage among service personnel who typically don't take part in ground combat," the Tribune editorial board wrote.

In particular, the editorial questioned the blueberry uniforms that sailors wear and why a sailor would want to blend into the water should he or she fall over board.

"Its choice was a lot more sensible than what happened in the Navy, whose need for camouflage on a ship at sea is not immediately obvious. The admirals went with a blue-and-gray pattern — until someone realized the colors would make it harder to spot anyone who fell overboard," the editorial board wrote.

Most of these topics are old news to Kitup! and readers, but the Chicago Tribune's editorial and the Washington Post feature published on May 8 are the two latest examples that the Pentagon's trouble in handling military combat uniforms has leaked into the public consciousness.

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