The Army announced Monday the release of the Operational Camouflage Pattern in Soldier uniforms. The Operational Camouflage Pattern will be available for purchase in select military clothing sales stores beginning, July 1.
Stores will receive the uniforms over a period of six months from July to November, and new Soldiers will receive Operational Camouflage Pattern Army Combat Uniforms, or ACUs, beginning in January 2016. The Operational Camouflage Pattern was selected following the most comprehensive uniform camouflage testing effort ever undertaken by the Army, reflecting the Army’s paramount commitment to force protection.
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Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey encouraged enlisted Soldiers to purchase new uniforms with their annual clothing allowance. “All enlisted Soldiers receive an annual stipend for the purchase of uniforms and accessories. I myself will wait until I am issued my clothing allowance before purchasing a uniform with the Operational Camouflage Pattern. I encourage all Soldiers and leaders to do the same by budgeting for a new uniform, belt, boots, and T-shirts as you receive your clothing allowance over the next 2-3 years.”
The cost of the uniform in the Operational Camouflage Pattern will be similar to the cost of the uniform in the Universal Camouflage Pattern. Enlisted Soldiers will continue to receive a clothing allowance to replace their worn uniforms.
Uniforms and equipment in the Operational Camouflage Pattern will be available for U.S. Army National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, and Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps during summer 2016.
Soldiers are authorized to mix and match T-shirts, belts, and boots with either the Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern or the Operational Camouflage Pattern during the transition period – expected to run through Oct. 1, 2019. To further ease the change, Soldiers, who already have Flame Resistant ACUs in the Operational Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern, will be authorized to wear them during the transition.
“I have asked noncommissioned officers to ensure their Soldiers understand that during this transition period, several uniforms and variations will be authorized in our formations,” Dailey said. “Presenting a professional appearance is very important to Soldiers. But, we will not inconvenience or burden our troops. We will still be the most lethal fighting force the world has even known even if our belts don’t match for the next few years.”
In addition to the camouflage change, the Operational Camouflage Pattern ACUs will incorporate minor design changes. These include redesigned shoulder sleeve pockets with a zipper opening, no trouser drawstring, a button on the lower calf pocket, two pen pockets on the sleeve instead of three, and the elimination of the elbow and knee patch hook and loop.