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Revealed: The Army’s New Camo

by jnoonan on September 15, 2009

UCP-delta.jpg

Our friends at Soldier Systems have been tracking the development of a new camo scheme designed for the Afghan fight by Army officials who were mandated by congress to do so after hearing complaints from the field.

Their reporting shows that the service has basically tweaked the pixel pattern a bit, added some coyote brown to the mix and satisfied the Gucci camo cadre with a bit of Multi-cam-esque curvature sprinkled in.

I admire the Army’s attempt here, but I think most wearers will be skeptical — at first blush it’s damned ugly. And as I’ve always said: An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.

But clearly the UCP pattern needs revamping and the idea of multiple uniforms for different environments may need to be re-reconsidered. I’m sure our friends at Soldier Systems will keep a close eye on the field tests and we’ll bring you their results as soon as we can.

Natick has been busy developing several new variants of UCP which retain the base pattern but replace individual colors. Word has it that some of them are down right ugly. It has recently been revealed by Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller, PEO-Soldier that the new UCP-Delta which integrates Coyote Brown into the pattern along with Multicam will be evaluated in Afghanistan beginning in October. In response to the Congressional directive to field a new camo pattern for operations in Afghanistan two Battalions worth of uniforms will be tested.

– Christian

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Riceball September 15, 2009 at 9:35 am

The new camo looks like the guy was wearing regular ACUs and then a truck drove by and splashed mud on them. As ugly as it may be it still looks much better than regular UCP and it looks like it would work much better than UCP as well. Sadly, with UCP-delta Soldiers will no longer be able to blend in effectively with floral couches.

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Wes September 15, 2009 at 10:11 am

“at first blush it’s damned ugly”
Are you kidding! This cammo is PERFECT!!!

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jack September 15, 2009 at 10:42 am

That is butt ugly! Enough with all this wasting of money. Just issue the army what the Marines are wearing. The Marines love it. So will the Army.

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PFC. Posada May 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm

HELL no !!!!! MarPat is made only For Marines …. the Army should keep wearing their gray Pajamas…

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Zack July 19, 2011 at 2:39 am

The Marine Corps own the rights to MARPAT.

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Tom Smith September 15, 2009 at 10:45 am

Looks like a modern version of the west german camo, to bad its taken. I bet re-coloring the ACU’s is going to waste loads of money and make no one happy.

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JEFF September 15, 2009 at 10:51 am

I think the problem is the loden/gray base to it. It just doesn’t seem a natrual color in the desert, woods, or the mountains. It does look like a step in the right direction but I’m thinking a more brown base would do the trick. You can find brown just about everywhere, except a cinder block building (gray anybody?).

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Mike D. September 15, 2009 at 11:57 am

This looks like the current German woodland cammo.

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SwissFreek September 15, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Yeah, like others have said this looks like a pixelated version of Alpenflage.

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Wes September 15, 2009 at 12:36 pm

This looks like the current German woodland cammo.
Posted by: Mike D. at September 15, 2009 11:57 AM
*****
Yeah, like others have said this looks like a pixelated version of Alpenflage.
Posted by: SwissFreek at September 15, 2009 12:30 PM
*****
No, it’s better, because there is no Black in UCP-Delta.
They still need to change the Sand color from the UCP to the Tan from the DCU; Sand is too pale and after several washings looks almost White.
Better color choice was always the worse thing about the ACU. It looks like UCP-Delta has 4 colors instead of the 3 in UCP. All they had to do to pefect this uniform was switch Sand to Tan, and the Green to Coyote.

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JWP September 15, 2009 at 12:40 pm

I have been a Marine for 16+ years and it never ceases to amaze me how the Army spends money like they are Congress. I can only imagine what we could do with just a small fraction of their budget… oh wait that is how it is now. :)
Why can’t they just do a desert and a woodland option? It seems to work fairly well for us and most of the soldier I have talked to like the idea as well. –KISS (keep it simple stupid)–

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Ed September 15, 2009 at 12:42 pm

At this point couldn’t we just give our soldiers some magic markers with the brown color and have them color in parts of their own ACUs?
I recall though that the ACU originally was supposed to have different “phases” when it was being sold to the Army. They were supposed to have a Desert uniform version and also a greyed version for urban environments.

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Eric Daniel September 15, 2009 at 12:45 pm

While we all might be losing sleep at night wondering what pattern the Army will eventually adopt, at least we can rest assured that they won’t take our beloved velcro pockets and patches away.

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Riceball September 15, 2009 at 1:32 pm

UCP Delta is sort of reminiscent of both German Flektarn and Swiss Alpenflage but it’s far paler and cooler in hue than either and it sill doesn’t look like it would work too well in a woodlands environment. I still say that it looks like someone splashed mud all over a set of ACUs so now the new UCP Delta will allow you to blend in to mud pits along with gravel beds and floral sofas.

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Spiff September 15, 2009 at 2:19 pm

I think the decision is whether to look “good” in the chow line or airport terminal OR disappear in the field. Which will the Army choose for you – to let you look “good” and dead in the field or help you live to fight another day? Beret, anyone?

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Wes September 15, 2009 at 3:52 pm

I recall though that the ACU originally was supposed to have different “phases” when it was being sold to the Army. They were supposed to have a Desert uniform version and also a greyed version for urban environments.
Posted by: Ed at September 15, 2009 12:42 PM
*****
No, that was just bad wording on the initial press release. What they meant was that ACU had Sand (for deserts) and Grey-green (for urban environments) in the pattern, along with Green (forests/jungles). One uniform for all environments; at least that was the theory….

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decent weasel September 15, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Does anybody see a sort of snakey motif to the new coyote elements? Too bad they didn’t bring that out more for a macropattern; it seems like it would break up your shape. Unless I’m just tripping out. I’d certainly like to see this with the colors swapped and switched around.

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Peter Lettkeman September 15, 2009 at 10:18 pm

And when it is all said and done the Army and the AF should have adopted the MARPAT and saved both services tons of money and time. If anyone in the SECDEF office has a clue it would have been a done deal a long time ago.

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JJ September 15, 2009 at 10:00 pm

ACU works in SOME environments well, other pats work well in different areas. Because Geography is different so must our patterns. I hope they realize the weight of this decision…let the men who may die in it decide for themselves and give them the options. My humble and likely worthless opinion.

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mok September 15, 2009 at 10:05 pm

I thought the problem in Astan were the ‘green zones’, in which case this doesn’t solve anything.

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Mike September 15, 2009 at 11:07 pm

From A lot of the photos I have seen from Afghanistan, It looked like the standard ACU pattern blended in pretty well in the mountains, rocks, and overall country side. Seems like a decent camo, but maybe i’m wrong? Maybe all they needed to do was plash some mud on it and call it good? This is better?

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B September 16, 2009 at 7:26 am

Digitize Multicam if pride gets in the way or Natic will have to eat some crow and just issue Multicam. Does anybody have any images or words on the 173rd going to or in Afghainstan using Multicam?

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GabeR September 16, 2009 at 8:18 am

Jesus christ, the retards that run Natick are going to make a ton of money from the company that is backing this ludicris looking uniform. That is to say, when he or she retires. this is some POS officer screwing over every soldier in the army, so he can live like a king upon retirement. his service to the country is smeared with shame for putting out that rediculous POS called the ACU and will be for the god aweful thing. there was absolutely no reason to change from BDU/DCU. NONE!

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TE September 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm

First multi cam is actually a Natick Developed pattern, Second the Army is not going too wear a Marine Corp Eagle Globe and Anchor, the Marine Corps Uniform desert and Woodland patterns Both have them built in Third, Although the new UCP Scheme looks ugly and Lacks the Slickness of the old one It might work better that’s up too testing. Although I still have no Idea why the Army is in such hot watter when the USAF and NAvy’s new Digs Work just as bad if not worse. And the Army has had no Operational needs Statements Demanding new threads.

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decent weasel September 16, 2009 at 2:19 pm

I was under the impression, and I may be wrong, that the Navy and AF aren’t getting quite as much flak because they don’t place as heavy an emphasis on ground combat, and those in the air force and navy who do have to worry about infantry camouflage are allowed to pick and choose whatever patterns they feel will work best anyway. Though, to be fair, a lot of AF personnel do seem rather dissatisfied with their new pattern.

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Michael September 16, 2009 at 4:59 pm

The way this is going the army and the USMC will be wearing solid OD as in what we wore in West Germany in the early 1960s. Or, how about the camo fatigue shirt worn by the marines in the Pacific War? Maybe the camo worn by German Waffen SS troops in Russia will be a good choice…

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Rick September 16, 2009 at 6:34 pm

this is sooo ridiculous just read this army times article about how bad the UPC fairs vs mulitcam and others
http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/09/army_camo_test_091509w/

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Rick September 16, 2009 at 6:34 pm

this is sooo ridiculous just read this army times article about how bad the UPC fairs vs mulitcam and others
http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/09/army_camo_test_091509w/

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rigma September 16, 2009 at 7:56 pm

It looks eastern block!

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Jason September 16, 2009 at 8:08 pm

UCP Delta is slightly less horrible (or maybe just as, I can

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Kevin Lynch September 16, 2009 at 8:15 pm

It looks liek what the East German GAKS were wearing when I was patrolling the East German border in the 1980′s.

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Gary September 16, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Alot of money & time being wasted. Good grief ,just issue basic od for allservices. If you need woodland, rub dirt on it. Desert? Wet Sand, etc.
Does not take an overpaid RocketSto figure this out!
Only folks doing any “good” are the people making up & producing these overpriced clothing items!

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Bradd Buckingham September 17, 2009 at 7:43 am

The Morons t NATICK need to make it reversable and save some friggin money for a change.
Version 1 : Urban 1 side – Desert ohter
Version 2 : Woodland 1 – Snow Other

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Kayaker September 17, 2009 at 12:17 pm

JUST USE THE WOODLAND BDU WINTER WEIGHT UNIFORM !!! Its rugged and it worked for years. Its not rocket science here.

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Ontos September 17, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Is it just me, or does this look like some kind of an old cold-war style eastern block uniform?

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Timothy September 17, 2009 at 1:22 pm

For God sake man can we stop wasting money on this crap…? First I’d much rather take my Level IIIA Law Enforcement vest with me when I deploy as 1 I’m more confident in it then the current IBA 2 it’s cheaper more effective and more comfortable. I know I know someones cousin from D.C. isn’t going to get rich if Second Chance or GForce land a contract like that. 3 these proposed uniforms are suck, but as we’re Army we’re supposed to embrace the suck Soldier up and march on, unless the equipment Good Ol Uncle Sam fails to provide the camoflauge and concealment that you need. Lets get back to putting rank on the collars, trash the velcro, heel keep the pockets but put buttons back on. Make the damn thing pressable so in Garrison a soldier can look professional and be effective and comfortable. I swear when my home state re-designed their new license plates no one though to ask us Cops who were actually enforcing the laws what be easiest to read and just as effective because someone wanted something pretty and someones cousin got rich off the design and manafacture. Washington will NEVER get it as far as what the troops actually need in Iraq/Afghanistan. Lets put a bunch of NCO’s in charge of the Pentagon and Policy for a yr and see how many actual positive changes take place…

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political_observer September 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm

The uniforms are designed to please all the Czars in DC make them feel at home. Next we will be issued jack boots with hobnail soles.
There are a better things to spend money on than this senseless nonsense. The BDU’s were indestructable and functional.

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Kilroy September 18, 2009 at 3:44 am

You people…
First off, all of you that say it’s ugly: You’re not picking up chicks in this outfit, you’re doing your job. You want to look sharp for the ladies? Wear your dress uniform. You crusty sergeants that want your troops to starch a combat uniform? Wear class A’s.
And those of you that want to go back to BDU’s. Stop living in the past, the military wasn’t better when you were in. Starched BDU’s are hot, suck to prepare, you had to sew on 8 different patches, they sucked ok? Wash and wear is where it’s at, with as little customization as possible. Shining boots sucks too. People have better things to do than maintain a uniform.
As for the actual patterns, it’s great to see some science being done. The army picked ACU, the Air Force copied the colors, why? Does anyone know why? Where’s the study that shows that ACU/ABU is better than anything? Where’s my 3D digital fractal reversible uniform? I think the Marines have the right idea, a woodland/dark and a desert/light pattern. Have gear be a neutral green or brown maybe? And I strongly believe services should have distinctive uniforms. Please don’t give everyone the same thing.
Joke of the day: The Navy’s new camouflage pattern! At least it’s better than that janitor outfit it replaces. And does salt water really turn it orange? (fill up water balloon with salt water)

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fa8ality666 September 18, 2009 at 4:16 pm

the thing everyone here seems to forgetting is that ACU is an amazing camo… in urban envrioments. yes it does suck in woodland, but considering the quality of other camo patterns out there then why not revive the concept of multiple uniforms and have plate carriers and such in OD or CB and have the army wear the marine patterns both arid and woodland aswell. considering that the soldier pays the expense and the plate carriers wouldnt have to be changed for differnt enviroments then surely this would solve the problem?

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PvtKnumbKnutz September 19, 2009 at 7:22 am

Looks like the guy works in an auto paint shop.

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SPC Reich September 19, 2009 at 3:36 pm

ACU’s work a lot better when they are dirty – looks like Natick made permanently dirty ACU’s and called it a fix.
From this report though, it looks like Marine uniforms are full of pure win.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/19823845/Photosimulation-Camouflage-Detection-Test

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Olternaut September 24, 2009 at 1:57 pm

LOL!
*sigh* I suppose it is better than the uniform available now. If I was preparing to go into the field and had a choice between this and the US Army’s current uniform I suppose I would go with the new one with the coyote brown. It certainly is…..better.
*shakes head* Seriously though, go with the freaking MULTICAM already!

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Gunslinger September 30, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Just got done listening to CSM McPherson’s take on the A-stan camo field tests. Sounds to me like soldiers in the field won’t get shit for quite some time…I’m talking late 2010. There was a lot of defense on the ACU pattern as some have claimed that soldiers are getting killed due to this uniform’s pattern. All I know is this, soldiers wearing the ACU stick out like sore thumbs. If target acquisition aids our oponents in killing our fellow warfighters then deductive reasoning tells me the ACUs sure as hell aren’t helping. If the Army ends up going with ACU-Delta it will at least be an improvement…albeit a very small one. Infantry guys and the like will continue to do what they have been doing for years now, buy their own kit in coyote or multicam patterns to better camoflague themselves. PEO Soldier needs some Infantry geardos working for them. Guys who have been with some legit units and combat experience. There is no need for a year of tests to figure out what camouflague works better…that’s what Crye did when they developed Multicam. This whole circus is just intended to get Murtha off the Army’s back and buy time for leadership to see if this issue goes away with the conflict. I say this whole thing stinks of corruption and it will eventually leak.

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Sniper September 30, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Leaders have not made more of an uproar on this issue because no one in the military likes someone rocking the boat. The soldiers’ mindset is always “do more with less”, so soldiers have simply opted to drive-on despite widespread dislike for their cammies. PEO Soldier rapidly introduced the ACU without much evaluation outside their own command. The surveys that were given to the units performing limited evaluations asked questions pertaining more to the pocket scheme and press-free fabric as well as the bug treated coating. Never did they intend to ask for pattern suggestions or honestly evaluate durability. Had they done so it would have taken far longer for them to introduce the rest of the RFI that was already waiting in the wings. I will guarantee that given this new round of tests, PEO Soldier will find a way to skew the results in order to justify the continued use of the UCP and only use the Delta variant in Afghanistan. That is afterall what they did over the Dragonskin controversy. This in there mind will save face and money that should have never been spent on this pajama-like atrocity.

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Raider October 17, 2009 at 8:57 am

This ACU idea is the work of some computer geek telling a combat soldier what he should be wearing!! ACUs digital suck, the zipper sucks and all the Velcro sucks. Camouflage is not digital. I love how the army gets its self into these giant screw ups and then can

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Mike December 31, 2009 at 4:03 am

Stop messing around and use what is available and effective! I have personally tested Multicam against the UCP and the Marine digicam. It is far superior to both and off the shelf equipment is already being made to match it. The person or persons that came up with the UCP should have had their asses kicked a long time ago. They were obviously not Infantrymen.

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Grant January 1, 2010 at 10:36 pm

The ARMY and Marines wore the same uniform for the longest time. Its time for the military to stop being individualistic and be more uniform. The ARMY should adopt the MARPAT regardless of someone arguing tradition. Tradition should not get in the way of safety. The current ACU is ineffective and has an unprofessional appearance. The velcro is a horrible idea and serves as a tactical design relevant to special forces only. The ARMY should adopt the MARPAT before the US gets in more debt.

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mark January 12, 2010 at 11:32 pm

why is the department of the army trying to be so universal with the camo. remember DCUs and BDUs the marines are still doing it. Im just trying to say that a universal cammo pattern is all wrong.

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Miller February 25, 2010 at 3:49 am

"And as I’ve always said: An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance." Writer sits behind a desk and does not get shot at for a living. I'm sure he'd trade his combat boots for designer slippers if offered.

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dramirez February 25, 2010 at 5:18 pm

WE DO WASTE MORE MONEY ON CHANGING OUR UNIFORMS, WHY CAN’T WE HAVE SOME SORT OF TRADITION LIKE THE OTHER BRANCHES! LETS JUST GO BACK TO THE REGULAR CAMO.

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Patrick March 12, 2010 at 5:04 am

Everyone just needs to start using Multicam. Marines, army, navy, and air force. It's the best blend out there and will be for a long time.

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Alan August 28, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I'm with Jack …. The digital uniforms the marines have are perfect … Why not look the same … Heck were on the same side…. That tent of tan and brown is right on the money with the marines uniforms!!

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SPC Bratton October 26, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Served in the Army for 3 years, looks damn good to me, gave it some charcter, needed some brown!! Also if you have not served and never will why do you comment it does not matter cause you will never wear it, so shut up!!!

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Mike December 22, 2010 at 8:11 am

I don't see my the Army didn't just keep the uniforms that the Marines have now… the Army did design them after all

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Matt December 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Im preaty sure the officer that even considered this design ,is the same guy that makes us were clear eyepro every were and that stupid p.t. belt. Yes I understand the impotents of concealing ones silhouette, But come on that looks stupid, ask a marine if he’d put that on, he’d tell you no, most likely with a couple curse words too, That’s because they have pride.. that is why people join the core because they look good and there proud. sure inset for the benefits or the sign on bonuses. The army was like that when we had BDU's and DCU"s but once we got Velcro we became the stupid kid in the back of the class room. .So stop wasting money on stupid stuff and spend it on some good stuff like a weapon that doesn’t jam when you look at it wrong, non rusted bullets or a hmmvee that doesn’t explode every 20 feet because there’s no parts in Iraq.

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Mac March 10, 2011 at 12:12 am

UCP was awfull to begin with, this stuff is just as bad ! I'v seen UCP in the jungle in in the desert and it just doesn't work ! The only place I ever saw it work was in a gravel parking lot. As a Marine I was issued MARPAT, it works well enough. even better once it lighten's up a little. When UCP lighten's up it just get brighter ! There is a simple solution to all of the stupidity…. MULTICAM, it works just about anywhere, and the troop's know this and they want it , holds it's shadeing pretty good too. Most higher ranking officers though are to pridefull to ever addmit to makeing a huge mistake like UCP. Get MULTICAM to our troop's !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Steven March 12, 2011 at 12:38 pm

It looks like somebody was wearing ACUs and then a giant took a dump on him.

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alex October 31, 2011 at 10:40 am

depending on where you are the acu blends quite well compared to the new one.

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alex October 31, 2011 at 10:43 am

personaly though I like our new multicam uniforms eventhough this one is prety sexy I wasn't ever issued it

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Mike February 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Looks like someone threw mud at him.

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guillermo October 12, 2012 at 2:06 am

Whose feedback are we getting to decide the new army combat uniform? I am a soldier serving in active duty and I just found out about this, for the record, I think is hideous and I doubt the benfit justifies the spending. What ever happenned to multicam?

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Spectre October 24, 2012 at 7:16 pm

This seems like the kind of camouflage that would be used on somewhat of an arid mountain with patches of flora. I think its good looking camo, they just need to find a good use for it.

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Rob January 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm

One of the reasons I joined the US Army (instead of the other branches) was because It a cool looking camo. What the fuck is this ugly crap. However, I bet it works better than the current UCP…

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