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In 2004, the Army decided to scrap the two traditional camouflage uniforms that had long been used by the military—one meant for woodland environments, another for the desert—and claimed to have come up with a universal pattern that could be worn anywhere and blend in with any environment. The $5 billion dollar experiment with the universal pattern is over as the Army is phasing out the uniform after less than a decade of use. But many soldiers and observers are wondering why it took this long and cost this much to replace an item that performed poorly from the start during a period when the money could have been spent on other critical needs, like potentially life saving improvements to military vehicles and body armor.
In an attempt to blend in with all kinds of environments, the pattern instead wound up sticking out everywhere, its grey, gravel design that only a help to soldiers hoping to blend in with a parking lot. Gallagher said his soldiers would call the uniform pajamas, “both a testament to its comfort and its inability to look right on anyone, no matter their build.” But Gallagher found that the biggest concern with the UCP in Iraq was shoddy velcro.
“On a night raid, if it gets caught on a wire or something, it would make a crunchy sound that might alert insurgents to a soldier’s location,” he said.
I have read that the Navy is also going to replace the stupid (my opinion) digital blue camo uniform. Sailors joke about not being seen or found if they fall overboard! What does it hide you from?