The Hard Truth About Camouflage

| October 2, 2012
Categories: Op-Eds
Tags: Camo

It’s always entertaining to post or read the comments about camouflage. The immediate reactions – frequently by people who’ve had little or no exposure to the camouflage pattern in question in the field – is to criticize it. Too much of this color, too much of that color, too much like the Power Rangers (looking at you, Air Force and Navy). Here’s the hard truth of it -some camouflage patterns suck, many are awesome, NONE will ever be perfect. As this article so cogently explains, it’s also not a matter of having the best camouflage pattern, it’s a matter of having the camouflage pattern at the right place, at the right time, on the backs of the right shooter. This is a huge logistics issue, as many of you old-timers no doubt would agree. Throw in the need (or at least the desire on the part of the brass) to have all the exterior equipment match the uniforms and you start talking about real money.

We believe all branches should adopt reversible 2-pattern camouflage pattern jumpsuits like Kim Jong Il used to wear, if not reversible flight suits. It’s the only answer.

The bottom line is, until we have reversible jumpsuits of at least two different camouflage patterns (perhaps modeled on the ones Kim Jun Il used to wear) and reactive-pigment LBE, you’re going to have to settle for somethng that is ‘just good enough’ in a reasonable array of terrains.

Oh, and one other thing about camouflage…did we just stop teaching our boys and girls how to cammie their face up and use elements of the local terrain on their gear, do they just not do it anymore or is there a practical reason why faces, ears and the backs of necks are still skin-colored? (That’s a genuine question, not smart-assery.)

If anyone wonders, we’re huge fans of the PenCott stuff and that’s the pattern on our pajamas. We also think A-TACS is going to be really hard to beat. We dress all our single dancing moms in that.

Anyway, this is the Second. Best. Camo. Article. Ever.



What’s Old Is New – Some Thoughts to Ponder Ref Camo

via Soldier Systems Daily

“Regarding camouflage, this is the most general rule. The more specialized a camouflage is, the less utility it provides. What does this mean? It means, camouflage has to be relevant to the environment it is pitted against. For example, you could have the most perfect of camouflage, making yourself out to blend in like a bush in the desert. But the second you move, you no longer blend in. You might have a great desert camo suit but the second you get near water, everything turns green and you stick out.

This was the point of the holy grail of camouflage, the so-called universal camo pattern. Unfortunately, the pattern the US Army decided to call UCP is anything but. Instead, we’ve all seemed to latch on to something that is in fact the great compromise; Crye Precision’s MultiCam. It blends in to every environment at about the 70% level across the board. A true universal pattern isn’t designed to be perfect in any one environment but rather to be “ok” in ALL environments.

The lesson here is that, while well intended, the adoption of multiple specialized patterns guarantees that Soldiers will inevitably find themselves in environments where their uniform becomes a hindrance rather than a help.

The problem isn’t new. We’ve seen it time and time again.

Many may not know this but the so-called ERDL camouflage pattern adopted by the US military at the end of the Viet Nam conflict actually had two variants; a green and a brown dominant version. This is because Viet Nam wasn’t all jungle but rather consists of multiple micro environments. There are the brown dominant central highlands and the verdant jungle areas. Unfortunately, the supply system had trouble making sure that the right uniform was on the right guy for the right environment. In fact, issues with different patterns infiltrated all portions of the supply chain. There are examples of the ripstop poplin jungle fatigues that were manufactured using both pattern variants in a single garment! History shows this has been the case time and time again…”

Read the original (well, reprinted) article here:


If you were wondering, this is the Best. Camouflage. Article. Ever.


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