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Army Gives Sneak Peek at New Pattern

The Army is unveiling a new camouflage pattern for troops, to replace the current one used in the Army Combat Uniform. The pattern is replacing one currently in use, the Universal Combat Pattern (UCP).

MSGT Owens models the new Army Combat Uniform in the Operational Combat Pattern camouflage.
(U.S. Army photo)

According to an Army release, the new Operational Combat Pattern (OCP) will become available next summer, and will be mandatory by 2018. The previous pattern, the UCP, has been less than popular among troops. The new uniform will also feature leg pockets that open more quietly. The Army Times reported that the OCP bears a resemblance to MultiCam. The Army is also considering four other modifications to the ACU that would come with the new pattern, including changes to the collar, the removal of a drawstring from the trousers, a change in the IFF tab, and the removal of a penholder on the arm.

"The Army has selected a pattern as its base combat uniform camouflage pattern," a “senior Army official” explained in an Army News Service release. "The Army has confirmed through testing that the pattern would offer exceptional concealment, which directly enhances force protection and survivability for Soldiers."

This marks the third combat uniform in the 21st Century for the Army. At the start of the War on Terror, troops used the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU), which was first introduced in 1981. In 2005, the Army Combat Uniform was introduced, using the UCP pattern, which will be replaced by the new patterns.

Do you think this new pattern makes the ACU workable, or should the BDU make a comeback?