Military Connection: Next Era Army Uniforms: By Debbie Gregory

New army uniformAcross history, generations of U.S. Army soldiers have been known around the globe by the uniform they wear. There were the blue coats of the 18th and 19th centuries, and the dough boy helmets of WWI.  WWII and Korea saw the olive-drab uniforms,  and jungle camouflage was the uniform of Vietnam. More recently, the Army ushered in the desert camouflage of Desert Storm, and the gray-green Universal Camouflage Pattern used in the Global War on Terrorism. Throughout these wars, the U.S. Army uniform was a welcomed sight for our allies, and a dreadful sight for our enemies. With the draw-down of the war in Afghanistan expected at the end of this year, the Army is embracing the new era by introducing a new Army Combat Uniform (ACU).

On July 31, 2014, the Army announced that it will be implementing its new look next summer. The branch will be replacing the Universal Camouflage Pattern as the official ACU pattern with the new Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP).

The pattern was being tested by the Army under the name Scorpion W2. The OCP is similar in appearance to Crye Precision’s MultiCam pattern, and was developed by Army Natick Labs in Massachusetts. The pattern uses a color palette of muted greens, light beige and dark brown.

The OCP is expected to offer upgraded concealment from the old pattern, which, of course, is imperative to the survivability of American soldiers in combat.

The Army plans to transition to this new combat uniform over time. Rather than immediately replacing the Universal Combat Pattern next summer, they will instead phase out the older uniforms as they wear out.

There is a strong supposition by members of the military community that the U.S. Air Force will also adopt the OCPs, **or** at least a uniform that uses a similar color scheme.

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Military Connection: Next Era Army Uniforms:   By Debbie Gregory