This month, soldiers will begin testing a camouflage pattern that looks more like reptile scales than terrain as part of the field-trial portion of the Army’s camouflage improvement effort.
The start of the field evaluation comes five months after Army uniform officials announced the finalists that had emerged from the service’s exhaustive Phase IV Camouflage Improvement effort. A handful of vendors were awarded contracts to make camouflage-patterned material for uniforms and equipment. Ultimately, the winner’s pattern could end up replacing the Army’s embattled Universal Camouflage Pattern, known as UCP, which was adopted in 2004.
Really, unless there’s a terrible clash between the colors of the uniform and the background, the pattern just doesn’t matter that much. Tweaking the pattern is an exercise in diminishing returns.
In mounted warfare, it really doesn’t matter what pattern you wear.
In dismounted, light infantry, most folks don’t get spotted (or not) because of the uniform. Movement is the thing that catches the eye.
The only good thing about the ACU was adapting the uniform for wear with body armor. The old BDU uniform had a four-pocket coat in which all pockets were covered when wearing armor.
The “multi-cam” pattern uniform issued for use in Afghanistan is quite good, from a camouflage perspective. The Army would have done well to just adopt it across the board.
Heck, just abandoning camo and going to a single color uniform would have been fine. Oddly, olive drab (or really, Olive Green 107) isn’t the best color. Green really sticks out in a lot of places. The brown shade from the old BDU pattern would be a better choice.