The evolution of US military camouflage: From basic green and khaki to digital patterns and beyond

Last summer, the U.S. Army confirmed that soldiers will begin wearing the new Army Combat Uniform (ACU) that bears the Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) – also known as Scorpion W2. They are now being issued, and soldiers are expected to retire their prior uniforms by summer 2018.

This means it’s the end of the line for the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP), which was known for its digital-like appearance. Camouflage has undergone numerous changes in the past decade, and the new OCP is just the latest effort by the U.S. military to develop the “perfect camouflage.”

Related: New Army camouflage uniform hits stores

While not standing out on the battlefield would seem fairly obvious, the use of camouflage by the U.S. military only dates back 60 years. And, the use of camouflage by any army dates back just a couple of centuries.

FK – Someone must’ve been getting paid off all those years to keep them dressed in that absurd nearly baby blue crap they wore. Our ‘troops’ are pawns and their lives and health are tertiary at best. Here’s the WIkipedia page on this stuff and an article they linked to. Multi cam is the best thing I’ve ever seen in real use. There are probably better patterns out there. The old woodland we used is not good for temperate climates in the winter, too much green. I use the multi-cam to hunt and it looks like a much better all-around pattern if that’s all they claim they can afford.

  • KUETSA

    Scorpion is an early version of multicam that the army already had bought the rights to from Crye. The army liked multicam but must’ve figured scorpion is close enough (it lacks the vertical elements in the pattern).