By Todd Lopez, Army
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Starting this summer, Soldiers sent to fight in
Afghanistan will wear an Army Combat Uniform with the “MultiCam” pattern
instead of the standard-issue universal camouflage pattern.
Secretary of the Army John McHugh made that announcement Feb. 19, after
the service conducted a rigorous four-month evaluation of various
uniform patterns to determine what could best protect Soldiers in
Spc. Jesus B. Fernandez
crosses a stream during a unit visit to Angla Kala village in
Afghanistan’s Kunar province. International Security Assistance
Force troops regularly meet with village elders to improve
communications between residents and government officials.
Fernandez is an assistant team leader assigned to the 2nd
Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Gary A. Witte
The new uniforms are of the same material and cut that Soldiers are
already wearing in the Army Combat Uniform or ACU. It is the camouflage
printed on the fabric that will be different.
The change allows commanders in Afghanistan to have more options in
deciding how best to equip their Soldiers.
“As a material provider, I want to be responsive to the Soldiers I
support,” said Col. William E. Cole, project manager for Soldier
Protection and Individual Equipment. “I want to give commanders options,
I want to be responsive to Soldiers. That is what we were trying to do —
we’re working to give (them) more options.”
The uniforms bearing the new pattern, like the latest ACUs, are fire
resistant. They are officially called the Fire Resistant Army Combat
The decision to use the MultiCam pattern came after the Army evaluated
its effectiveness at providing camouflage protection in Iraq.
That was done, in part, by consulting with nearly 750 Soldiers who had
deployed to Afghanistan. Those Soldiers participated in a “photo
simulation” study administered by the Army.
Additionally, feedback from Soldiers who already have worn the uniform
in Afghanistan was used to make the final decision.
About 2,000 Soldiers were involved in tests to see how effective
patterns such as MultiCam and UCP-Delta were at providing concealment in
the varying terrain of Afghanistan, Army officials said.