Another one bites the dust: Army ditching “gravel camo” after just 14 years

Another one bites the dust: Army ditching “gravel camo” after just 14 years Another one bites the dust: Army ditching “gravel camo” after just 14 years

WIB culture October 3, 2019 0

The Army’s “gravel camo” is gone forever- and U.S. Soldiers of the past, present and future couldn’t be happier. Known as the Universal Camouflage... Another one bites the dust: Army ditching “gravel camo” after just 14 years


The Army’s “gravel camo” is gone forever- and U.S. Soldiers of the past, present and future couldn’t be happier.

Known as the Universal Camouflage Pattern, the grey-green pixelated pattern was adopted against all advice in 2005 and remained the standard pattern until 2014. During its time as the U.S. Army’s official camouflage pattern, it was known for being effective in roughly zero of the environments where it was deployed.

“It was a camouflage pattern that was intended to be universal but ended up being subpar in most environments, causing the Army to move to a new camouflage pattern not drastically different from the one the [Army Combat Uniform] replaced,” said Nick Smith, a U.S. Army Reservist.

The UCP pattern was universally hated by military personnel, who frequently went to great lengths downrange to subtly stain/soil or even dye the materials it was printed on- in hopes that more camouflage capability could be provided without being reprimanded by higher-ups.

UCP cost around $5 billion to the U.S. taxpayer with no evidence of proper field testing prior to approval, and proved so controversial that House of Representatives Bill 2346 required the Department of Defense to “take immediate action to provide combat uniforms to personnel deployed to Afghanistan with a camouflage pattern that is suited to the environment of Afghanistan.”

In 2014, the U.S. Army began fielding the Operational Camouflage Pattern, which in itself is just a license-free relative of the Multicam pattern that many UCP critics felt was the way to go from the start.


According to the Washington Examiner, UCP had a negative effect on morale, despite being overly displayed in the Army’s “Army Strong” recruiting campaign.

“The only universal thing about it was that it was universally disliked,” said Joe Karle, a former Army infantryman who served in Afghanistan. “You didn’t feel like a real soldier in it.”

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