The U.S. Army’s universal camo pattern (UCP), which worked halfway decent in some environment but stuck out like a sore thumb in more, is finally going the way of the dodo.
After eight years and billions of dollars, the Army has given up on an ambitious effort to clothe its soldiers in a “universal camouflage pattern.” The grey uniform, widely issued and widely loathed, was supposed to blend in equally well in all environments, from desert sand to green forest to city streets. It just didn’t. Now the Army’s going back to the old, obvious approach of having different designs for different places.
Despite what some have said about it, the UCP was not a horrible design. The digital camo pattern concept works and has been adopted by many armed forces. It a matter of color selections within the design to match a specific terrain environment.
If the Army is smart, they won’t look far for their next patterns, as there are several good ones already being usedby soem Army units and by other U.S. Armed Forces.
The most obvious choice would be following the CADPAT pattern base that the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy did, developing desert, woodland, and possibly urban variants.
A second option would be to developing more environmentally specific variants of the Multi-Cam pattern popular among soldiers in Afghanistan and civilians here in the States for it’s general adaptability… perhaps arid and urban flavor to compliment the existing pattern that works so well in vegetation.
A third option, theoretically “more organic” in design, is the A-TACS universal pattern that the developers were smart enough to break into an arid/urban and forest patterns.
All three options provide solid camouflage technology and can be adopted to varying color schemes. The problem is, as it always is, getting Army desk jockeys out of the damn way to get the troops the gear they really want and need.