After four long years, the Army is soon to announce its next camo pattern. It’ll likely look like a bigger version of MARPAT, but the decision is being closely guarded. Soldier Systems Daily (SSD) is doing an excellent job keeping up on that issue, but before the decision comes out and the screaming starts, I wanted to discuss some camo issues that have been ‘camouflaged’ over the last decade.

Camouflage?  ACUs, MARPAT, MultiCam, ABUs, NWU (Aquaflage), AOR 1 & 2…  (Sigh) Reams have been written. Enough epithets have been thrown out there for the spit to fill a virtual lake. HOW did we get from two pretty effective patterns to eight? Where are we? Who messed up and where? How can we ensure we don’t do this again? I’ll likely write a dozen pages someday, if for no other reason than a case study for how not to do things. In the meantime, let’s look at this decades-old controversy in a new way.

Just like ACUs, it’ll be sure to make everyone angry.

The camo saga, where to start? I could go back to BDUs, but most start with ACUs. Unfortunately, the current fiasco started with MARPAT, and it’s shocking how the narrative has ignored where the problem started.  Why? I don’t think it’s just because MARPAT is effective and ACU’s (or UCP, to be technically accurate) were not. *Universal Camo Pattern is what the pattern is actually called. Technically, ACUs apply to the style/cut of the uniform. ACUs have been fielded in coffee stain, UCP and MultiCam.