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New Army Uniforms Cycled Into Rotation; Transition to Be Completed in 2019

By    |   Tuesday, 02 June 2015 11:49 AM

The new Army uniform will be cycled into use starting next month, with a target transition completion date of 2019.

The combat uniforms are designed in the Army’s new operational camouflage pattern and feature nine design changes from the current outfits, according to USA Today. The clothing will appear in exchanges starting July 1.

In order to save expenses for the Army and soldiers alike, the implementation of the new uniform will occur over the next four years.

“We're going to transition over time,” Col. Robert Mortlock, Army program manager of soldier protection and individual equipment, told USA Today. “That's to relieve the burden to our soldiers initially, but it also allows us to make maximum use of our residual stocks.”

The transition is scheduled to be completed Sept. 30, 2019.

Soldiers will have three authorized uniforms through the transitional phase: Gray-green universal camouflage patterned combat uniforms, flame-resistant MultiCam combat uniforms that have been deployed since 2010, and combat uniforms with the new camouflage pattern.

Units may not look as orderly throughout the transitional stage, according to Mortlock, since commanders cannot force unit members to replace the uniforms to match other soldiers.

In addition to the new camouflage pattern, the Army is releasing a darker shade of belt and T-shirt. Coyote brown boots will be introduced in August.

While the old accessories may be worn with the new uniforms, these new ones must be worn with the camouflage pattern gear, according to USA Today.

Some posts will receive the new clothing July 1, others Sept. 1, and still others Nov. 1, Mortlock said. They will become standard issue starting in January.

Since 2010, much research and many tests have gone into deciding what pattern of camouflage would work best for several different environments.

“We've gone through the most rigorous combat uniform camouflage testing in history,” Mortlock said.

While similar to the popular MultiCam, the operational camouflage uses similar greens, browns, and beige, but with less intricate patterns and subtle vertical elements.

“They are different patterns,” Mortlock told the Army Times. “But they perform very similarly in providing that concealment to soldiers."

The cost of the uniform will be similar and perhaps slightly higher than the current enforced apparel, which is priced at $102.04.

In the future, rucks, body armor, and helmets will be covered in the new pattern.

“Our testing indicates that it's better for concealment if OCIE [organizational clothing and individual equipment] camouflage pattern matches your uniform,” Mortlock said.

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The new Army uniform will be cycled into use starting next month, with a target transition completion date of 2019.
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Tuesday, 02 June 2015 11:49 AM
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