... and before long you're talking about real money: The US Army spent $5 billion on new camouflage uniforms over the last eight years and now is ditching them altogether.
NATICK, Mass. — The Army is changing clothes.However, maybe things will be different this time:
Over the next year, America’s largest fighting force is swapping its camouflage pattern. The move is a quiet admission that the last uniform — a pixelated design that debuted in 2004 at a cost of $5 billion — was a colossal mistake.
Soldiers have roundly criticized the gray-green uniform for standing out almost everywhere it’s been worn. Industry insiders have called the financial mess surrounding the pattern a “fiasco.”
As Army researchers work furiously on a newer, better camouflage, it’s natural to ask what went wrong and how they’ll avoid the same missteps this time around. In a candid interview with The Daily, several of those researchers said Army brass interfered in the selection process during the last round, letting looks and politics get in the way of science.
“It got into political hands before the soldiers ever got the uniforms,” said Cheryl Stewardson, a textile technologist at the Army research center in Natick, Mass., where most of the armed forces camouflage patterns are made.
The researchers say that science is carrying the day this time, as they run four patterns through a rigorous battery of tests.Well, maybe.
The leading contender is called Multicam.
MultiCam® is a single camouflage pattern designed to help the wearer hide in varied environments, seasons, elevations, and light conditions. It was designed to address the real-world need for concealment in different environments, with one basic kit of gear. While there are many great location-specific patterns, MultiCam® is designed to work well across a very broad range of environmental conditions when observed in both the visual and near infrared (night vision) spectrums.
The pattern is designed to reflect some of the surrounding colors of the environment. It takes on an overall green appearance when under a green forest canopy and an overall tan look when in the open desert.
It looks like they sort of imitated the famous Chinese Invisible Man.
And since we already have developed an invisible tank, why not an invisible soldier?