The Army will soon start issuing combat uniforms in its new camouflage pattern to deploying soldiers.

Uniforms bearing the Operational Camouflage Pattern likely will be available at clothing sales in late summer or early fall, Odierno said. The uniforms will become part of the initial clothing issue bags in the fall, he said.

"One thing we learned, we did significant testing, is that pattern is very important in protecting ourselves in a variety of environments," Odierno said. "That's why we're going to it. It gives us an advantage in protecting us as we get concealment as we operate in a variety of theaters."

As the uniform is rolled out, matching equipment will follow soon thereafter, Odierno said.

"You'll start to see new gear available that'll match the new design over time," he said. "The issued items will be brought in over a period of time."

Odierno also said the new camouflage uniforms are "cost neutral."

"The money we're spending on buying these uniforms will be the same as we spend on the new pattern," he said. "The costs are about the same."

The Army announced last August that it had selected a new camo pattern, called the Operational Camouflage Pattern, to replace the unpopular green and gray Universal Camouflage Pattern.

The new camo, which has been referred to in previous tests as Scorpion W2, is similar in appearance to Crye Precision's popular MultiCam.

MultiCam uniforms, which carry the official Army title of Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage pattern, have been worn in Afghanistan since 2010.

The Operational Camouflage Pattern was developed by Army Natick Labs in Massachusetts and uses a color palette of muted greens, light beige and dark brown.

The camo pattern's name is intended to emphasize that the pattern's use extends beyond Afghanistan to all combatant commands. It also will be worn in garrison.

Recent photos of soldiers training Iraqi troops in Iraq show them wearing uniforms bearing the new camo. The Army also has issued the new uniforms to troops participating in Operation Atlantic Resolve, an ongoing series of exercises in Europe.