The Army expects combat uniforms made of the new Operational Camouflage Pattern to start hitting store shelves on July 1, an Army official has confirmed.
New recruits should start receiving them in their clothing bags by January, according to the source, who has knowledge of the roll-out but requested anonymity.
Army public affairs declined to discuss the roll-out plan at this time.
Army Times' source said the target wear-out date of old ACUs made of the unpopular Universal Camouflage Pattern, has been set for October 2018. That means, until then, soldiers in garrison could see a mix of uniforms including MultiCam, which has been issued to soldiers deploying to Afghanistan since 2010 and more recently to those in Iraq.
A soldier, deployed to Iraq, wearing MultiCam. The pattern is very similar to the Army's new camo.
Photo Credit: Sgt. Cody Quinn/Army
The Army has yet to issue guidance on whether new darker accessories (boots, T-shirt, belt) can be worn with old uniforms or vice versa.
Both MultiCam, and OCP feature a more traditional (non-digital) camo pattern of muted greens, light beige and dark brown.
The Army had said there would be desert and jungle variants of OCP, but this far there have been no details or imagery of potential variants.
The source confirmed that the ACUs will incorporate previously-announced design changes, including:
- The internal knee and elbow pads will be gone.
- The upper-sleeve pocket will be an inch longer and zippered instead of Velcro.
- The cargo pocket will lose its cord-and-barrel lock.
- And the lower leg pocket flap will have a button rather than Velcro.
All units deploying to combat theaters will continue to receive flame retardant ACUs, the source said. There will be non-FR versions of OCP, though the Army plans to continue to relegate those to garrison use.
Previously only certain MOS classifications received FRACUs, but with accelerants heavily used during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Army moved to give them to all soldiers deploying to combat theaters. All MultiCam uniforms were intended for soldiers deploying, so all were FRACUs.