After eight years and billions of dollars, the Army has given up on an ambitious effort to clothe its soldiers in a “universal camouflage pattern.” The grey uniform, widely issued and widely loathed, was supposed to blend in equally well in all environments, from desert sand to green forest to city streets. It just didn’t. Now the Army’s going back to the old, obvious approach of having different designs for different places.
“It definitely makes a difference in Afghanistan, because Afghanistan is primarily brown, and there’s no brown in the universal pattern,” said one Army officer who’s deployed wearing the universal camouflage, also called the Advanced Combat Uniform (ACU). Under pressure from unhappy soldiers and the late Rep. John Murtha, the Army had already given up on the universal pattern for troops in Afghanistan, who now wear a “multi-cam” design better suited to the terrain. Keep reading →