first published on January 15, 2015 by Funker
Finally, the US Army is replacing the highly detested Universal Camo Pattern (UCP) with a print that closely resembles Multicam.
The Scorpion camo pattern is actually owned by the Army and was developed, among others, in 2002 by Natick Army Labs. The pattern was dropped from contention during the testing phase because it so closely resembled Crye Precision’s Multicam. Now let’s take a look at some prime examples of UCP’s repeated failures to conceal soldiers.
The Army failed to adopt Multicam from Crye due to the $25 million price tag, plus additional printing fees. Due to its apparent effectiveness on the Afghanistan battlefield, the Army’s decision to not purchase the pattern, thereby denying our soldiers added survivability because of frugality, upset many. Yet, due to economic downsizing, I don’t think anybody was surprised. Although Multicam scored better than Scorpion during testing, the differences may be negligible. In my opinion, the Army has made a great decision by adopting Scorpion and redeems itself for passing on Crye’s Multicam bid. I’m not sure they are forgiven, however, for a decade of presenting our soldiers as bluish bullseyes on the battlefield. I joke. UCP is like the F-35 in the sense that it was designed to work in all environments and ended up working in none.
According to an article on Military.com, there are no dates set for the introduction of the new camo pattern or retirement of the UCP. Contracts are still waiting to be awarded, and then several weeks of printing and manufacturing will take place before we will see soldiers rocking their new suits. The uniforms themselves, are expected to be in standard ACU format and carry the same button, Velcro, and pocket configurations.
The following video is leaked footage showing how the Army initially decided on the Universal Camo Pattern:
In all fairness though, UCP did alright in the urban environments of Iraq. It wasn’t terrible. I think it actually did pretty well in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan as well, especially after a couple of weeks worth of filth saturated the fabric. Let’s look at a few examples of UCP not totally sucking from some of my deployment pics:
However, we all know the environment in which UCP offers the wearer total indectibility. That environment is the day-room couch, and the wearer is any SPC/E-4. Although trained and proficient in all warrior tasks and drills, the Army Specialist is also a master of concealment allowing him to evade any such tasks.
The UCP offers the added benefit of couch camouflage, causing the sham artist to fly under the radar of most NCO’s, thus allowing him to concentrate on hand-to-hand combat techniques demonstrated in mid-day television marathons of Walker Texas Ranger. Personally, I think this is a great day for our Combat Arms troops. The Army was able to do the right thing while saving money in the process. For an awesome article on the US Army Scorpion Camouflage Pattern, it’s development, and how it compared to other candidates click this (LINK) to HyperStealth.com