Committee members voted 32-20 to require the services to settle on a joint combat uniform by 2018 and restrict the creation of any new camouflage patterns unless it's designed for a joint uniform.
Frustrated with the millions of dollars spent to buy new combat uniforms with service-specific camouflage patterns, two Illinois Congressmen proposed an amendment in the 2014 defense budget ordering the Pentagon to return to the days when the patterns were joint.
That's not to say there will only be one pattern after 2018. The military will still have geographic specific patterns, but those patterns would have to be joint. The amendment would also allow for exceptions for special mission sets.
The vote by the House Armed Services Committee doesn't not mean the push toward a joint combat uniform by 2018 is set in stone. The Senate would still need to approve such an amendment within the NDAA and then that legislation still needs to be signed by President Obama.
However, this is a sign that Congress is frustrated with the amount of money that has been spent on these new uniforms, especially at a time when Congress must cut the Pentagon's budget with the sequestration cuts still in play.
It's also unclear how this might affect the Army's plan to announce a new Universal Camouflage Pattern for the Army Combat Uniform. Army leaders expected to pay an addition $4 million to field new combat uniforms for soldiers.
Matthew Cox and myself posted a longer story on the issue late last night as the House Armed Services Committee was still marking up the defense budget. Read more here on the vote and the battle over camouflage patterns.