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Army Chief Adds to Confusion over New Camouflage Pattern

Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army, is greeted by Command Sgt. Maj. Bryant C. Lambert, 82nd Airborne Division and Regional Command (South) command sergeant major, as Col. Karl D. Reed, 82nd Airborne Division and RC(S) chief of staff, and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael L. Shirley, Kandahar Airfield command sergeant major, look on as Odierno arrives on Kandahar Airfield Dec. 20. Odierno visited the region to meet with task force and headquarters leadership, talk to servicemembers, and assess the current situation in the battle space. (Photo/U.S. Army Sgt. Amanda M. Hils)

It’s been about eight months since the U.S. Army selected a new camouflage pattern, but even service’s top uniformed officer still can’t remember its name.

The Army adopted the new Operational Camouflage Pattern, or OCP, this spring, but Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno called it MultiCam yesterday during a virtual town hall meeting with soldiers.

A soldier stationed in Korea asked if the new camouflage uniforms would be issued or would soldiers have to purchase them.

Odierno had this to say.

“We have done a significant amount of analysis that tells us the ACU doesn’t do very well at camouflaging us and protecting us in multiple environments and that the MultiCam that we are using in Afghanistan does a much better job,” he said. “So we are going to go to the MultiCam uniform.”

The Chief really meant to call it OCP, Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Alayne Conway said yesterday evening.

The service adopted OCP after an exhaustive, four-year camouflage-improvement effort. OCP is also known as Scorpion W2, a revised version of the original Scorpion pattern that Crye Precision LLC developed for the Army’s Future Force Warrior in 2002.

To be fair, OCP, like the original Scorpion pattern, looks very similar to MultiCam, the pattern the Army adopted in 2010 for soldiers to wear in Afghanistan.

Odierno also told soldiers during the town hall meeting that the new OCP uniforms will be issued.

“You are going to have to wait for it to be issued, so if soldiers are not patient then soldiers might go out and buy their own MultiCam,” he said. “But they will be issued once they are available.”

Sgt. Major of the Army Raymond Chandler III clarified that only deploying soldiers would be issued the new uniforms.

“The only thing I would add is the issuing is going to take place if you are on a deployment because they will be a fire-resistant uniform, but if you are at home station and it comes time for your uniform, your other ACU uniform, to wear out, you will be purchasing the uniform that you wear on a daily basis outside of deployment,” Chandler said.

Enlisted soldiers receive an annual clothing allowance for new uniform purchases. The Army plans to print Army Combat Uniforms in the new pattern and make them available at Military Clothing Sales Stores later this year.

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