This article is intended as a short guide to the new US Army camouflage unform that has replaced the desert and woodland BDU's, the ACU.
On 14 June 2004 the Army today officially unveiled its new combat uniform designed with input by the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Corps and enlisted Soldiers.An early prototype of this uniform (see CCU article) was tested by Stryker Brigade Soldiers in Iraq during October 2003.
This isn't a cosmetic redesign of the uniform. It is a functionality change of the uniform that will improve the ability of Soldiers to execute their combat mission. The bottom pockets on the jacket were removed and placed on the shoulder sleeves so Soldiers can have access to them while wearing body armor. The pockets were also tilted forward so that they are easily accessible. Buttons were replaced with zippers that open from the top and bottom to provide comfort while wearing armor.
There were 18 changes made to the uniform, to include removing the color black and adapting the digital print from the Marine Corps uniform to meet the needs of the Army.
The Army's Natick Laboratory in Natick, Mass., took the original digital Marpat pattern to the next level by developing a pattern for world-wide theaters to encompass both the BDU (woodland) and DCU (Tri-desert) requirements. Black is no longer useful on the uniform because it is not a color found in woodland areas. The current colors on the ACU are green and sandy brown. The pattern is not a 100-percent solution in every environment, Myhre said, but a good solution across the board.
This article covers most of the issue items in the new ACU pattern from Holsters to Helmet Covers, Berets to Body Armour
In Action photos Copywright US DOD
All other photographs Paul Bishop Collection