The Army will begin its highly anticipated transition to the new Army Combat Uniforms in July. The new ACU, featuring the Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP), will start showing up at military Exchanges and PX stores on July 1. The new uniform has eight design changes to better meet soldier’s needs. I’ve had the opportunity to see it and it’s a smart look.
The upgrade will take place over a four year period and starting next month, through Sept. 30, 2019, there will be three different uniforms authorized for wear for soldiers in garrison:
• ACUs with the gray-green Universal Camouflage Pattern.
• Flame-resistant ACUs using MultiCam (issued to deploying soldiers since 2010).
• ACUs with the new OCP pattern.
The cost of the uniform in the Operational Camouflage Pattern will be similar to the cost of the uniform in the Universal Camouflage Pattern. Enlisted Soldiers will continue to receive a clothing allowance to replace their worn uniforms.
Uniforms and equipment in the Operational Camouflage Pattern will be available for U.S. Army National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, and Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps during summer 2016.
Soldiers are authorized to mix and match T-shirts, belts and boots with either the Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern or the Operational Camouflage Pattern during the transition period – expected to run through Oct. 1, 2019. To further ease the change, Soldiers who already have Flame Resistant ACUs in the Operational Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern will be authorized to wear them during the transition.
The rollout will consist of three phases. Some bases will see the OCP uniforms on July 1, while others will receive their first merchandise on Sept. 1 or Nov. 1:
• July 1 phase: 19 installations, including Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Lewis, Washington; Fort Stewart, Georgia; Fort Benning, Georgia; Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Drum, New York; Fort Carson, Colorado; and South Korea.
• Sept. 1 phase: 28 installations, including National Capital Region (including the Pentagon); Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Knox, Kentucky; and Germany.
• Nov. 1 phase: 63 installations, including Fort Gordon, Georgia; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Fort Lee, Virginia; and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
The uniforms will become standard issue in clothing bags in January 2016.