Soldiers in the 75th Ranger Regiment can start wearing their MultiCam uniforms while in garrison, the Army announced Friday.
The authorization comes as the storied regiment celebrates its 30th anniversary and as the Army prepares to transition from the unpopular green and gray Universal Camouflage Pattern to a new camo pattern that looks similar to the popular MultiCam, which carries the official Army title of Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern.
It’s been worn in Afghanistan since 2010.
“This uniform is indicative of the operational success overseas of one of the most deployed units in the U.S. Army, and authorizing its wear in garrison by the Rangers symbolizes the first step in the Army’s phased transition from the Universal Camouflage Pattern to a more operationally relevant uniform,” Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Alayne Conway said.
The Army announced in August it had selected a new camo pattern, called the Operational Camouflage Pattern, to replace the version of the Army Combat Uniform made of UCP.
The new camo, which has been referred to in previous tests as Scorpion W2, is similar in appearance to Crye Precision’s MultiCam.
The OCP was developed by Army Natick Labs in Massachusetts and uses a color palette of muted greens, light beige and dark brown.
While only Rangers are eligible to wear the MultiCam uniform in garrison, the Army is on track to field uniforms and equipment bearing the new OCP camo in summer 2015, Conway said.
The Army has not released additional information about how the new camo will be rolled out.
“We’re still working our way through it,” Odierno said during an interview Sept. 25 with Army Times. “We’re still working the logistics of it.”
The Army conducted “extensive studies” before selecting the OCP, Odierno said.
“For us, camouflage uniforms are incredibly important,” he said. “It’s part of our protection system for our soldiers. The current one we have, frankly, was not doing very well in multiple environments, so we felt it made us more vulnerable.”
The OCP, on the other hand, tested “very well,” Odierno said.
“That’s why I think it’s important we change, because it does make a difference in protecting our soldiers as we deploy to multiple environments,” he said.
Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler has said the new camo pattern was selected scientifically, over hours of testing and pattern analysis.
The results will give soldiers a quality uniform, he said at the time.
Army uniform experts also have said there are plans for a family of camo patterns, with a dark jungle-woodland variant and a lighter pattern for desert environments.