The Army officially launched the brand-new Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) uniforms on July 1.
Select Military Clothing Sales stores currently have the new uniforms, including Fort Bragg, Fort Benning, Fort Hood, Fort Carson and a handful of other Army installations.
Since the new pattern has been on the shelves of the select clothing sales stores, soldiers have been purchasing the new uniform in record numbers. Military.com reports that stores received $1.4 million in the first day of sales!
Full distribution should roll out in the next 6 months. Military Times includes the different phases in their story on the subject here.
It’s projected by November all stores will have the Operational Camouflage Pattern uniforms. Gear and accessories won’t be available till the current inventory is depleted, so keep an eye out for that announcement.
New soldiers entering the Army will be issued OCP uniforms starting January 1, 2016, and current soldiers can gradually transition into the OCP uniform. The Army plans to finish the transition period by October 1, 2019, so it will take about 4 years to get the whole force into Operational Camouflage Pattern uniforms.
An important note: commanders cannot force soldiers to wear a full Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform until the transition is completed, so mismatched uniforms are allowed.
What does mismatched uniforms mean?
Soldiers can wear their sand-colored shirts and belts with the OCP instead of the tan shirt and belt that the uniform requires. In addition, the sand-colored boots can be worn till tan boots are purchased. It doesn’t work the other way around, so you can use the new shirts, belts and boots with ACUs. Detailed chart of the appropriate look of each uniform is outlined here.
The aspect that several soldiers are looking forward to in the new change is the modifications in design. All the updates are said to be a result of soldier feedback, which is awesome to hear. My husband is tired of all the velcro in his ACUs and the new OCP uniform has less velcro!
Additional modifications are:
- The upper sleeve pocket has a zipper and it will be longer by one inch.
- The collar folds down easily.
- Double fabric reinforcing the elbow and knee area.
- Two pen pocket sleeves instead of three.
- Drawstring at the waistband is removed.
- Cargo and lower leg pocket only has a button close, which means hook-and-loop closures go away.
Good news for those that have been issued Mutli-Cams for deployment, the unit patches are said to be the exact same, so you can use those if need be.
Although Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform items are actually more expensive in the initial cost, it’s said to save the Army and soldier money over time.
Something that is still being discussed is having different variants of the OCP pattern in both desert or woodland colors.