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I've said it before I'll say it again; "Why the hell does the crew aboard a FFG or any other type of surface vessel need camouflage? Why do rank-and-file Airman who do admin work need camouflage?" My opinion is they don't. When MARPAT was created no other service would use it because the little black EGA on it. So, copy MARPAT 99% and turn the EGA into a little black blob. That being said, to my 50 y/o brain multi-cam looks awesome, I my opinion it is the cure all.
 

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A Stickler for Accuracy
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I've said it before I'll say it again; "Why the hell does the crew aboard a FFG or any other type of surface vessel need camouflage? Why do rank-and-file Airman who do admin work need camouflage?" My opinion is they don't. When MARPAT was created no other service would use it because the little black EGA on it. So, copy MARPAT 99% and turn the EGA into a little black blob. That being said, to my 50 y/o brain multi-cam looks awesome, I my opinion it is the cure all.
Actually, no other service could use it, because the Corps wouldn't allow it. That being said, removal of the EGA would make sense to me, for the desert version at least. IMO there's too much black in the woodland MARPAT. The CADPAT, from which MARPAT was developed, looks more effective due to the lack of any black in the pattern. I agree that multicam is pretty much the bee's knees.
 

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FWIW SteveO I got involved in a discussion about comparative camo pattern effectiveness. The applicable quote and links are below. Bottom line is MARPAT (especially desert) is clearly more effective which raises the question about why the almost singular focus on multicam and the lack of any discussion why we aren't issueing the "most effective" camo pattern to our troops. Tha answer of course is the ridiculous partisanship that branches have displayed with camo patterns. Another perspective (with evidence vs. opinion) to consider when the Camo/MARPAT/UCP discussion rears its head.

Even though these tests were years after the decision to adopt UCP, I was very surprised and even more curious about the near total lack of reporting about how well MARPAT performed when compared against Multicam!

From the '08 analysis (p15), in ELEVEN of twelve tests (over 90%) a version of MARPAT beat Multicam! In EIGHT of twelve (75%) Desert MARPAT beat Multicam. In three tests BOTH MARPAT patterns beat multicam. We always hear how Multicam did so well vs UCP. UCP was more effective than Multicam in ONE test, the same number of times Multicam was more effective than MARPAT. That's incredibly strange that no one picked up on that! hmmmmm?

In the '10 analysis Soldiers rated MARPAT and Multicam about the same across the board but again the focus was exclusively about how Multicam was better than UCP. I wonder why there's a total lack of interest in reporting that result (MARPAT is as good if not better)?

It's like Multicam fans and journalists are as partial to it and blind to the effectiveness of MARPAT as allegedly the Army was with fielding a digital pattern. Wonder if there will be any empathy for the Army's myopia or soul searching on why MARPAT is never discussed?

'08 analysis
http://www.scribd.com/doc/19823845/Photosimulation-Camouflage-Detection-Test
'10 analysis
http://www.scribd.com/doc/46036323/ASC-Paper-PIP-Technique
 

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Whatever Works, Dude
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From the outside looking in, it always seemed to me that there was a somewhat unhealthy obsession in the Army for a "one-size-fits-all" camo pattern rather than issuing separate desert and woodland uniforms. UCP was always sold as an all-environment camo right from the name (and it was -- equally ineffective everywhere, apparently).

Regardless of how plausible this goal is, if it is one of your base criteria for judging a camo pattern, then separate desert and woodland patterns are starting with a significant, if not insurmountable, handicap. Doesn't make sense to me, but the false economy of scale isn't exactly unknown in the military (one rifle fits all vs the "golf bag of guns" I've heard described in Spec Ops circles, or the insane search for all-role aircraft that just leads to stupidly expensive and impossibly late deliverables that are often less effective than the prior generation's single-taskers).
 

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I guess you didn't get it the first time I posted it...

You can keep restating what you think and how you feel the world should be. It doesn't change the facts.
Quotes from GAO report.

government-owned
patents on elements of the Marine Corps' uniforms presented no legal
barrier to allowing other services to use these elements
We have previously reported that the Marine Corps patents on
elements of the uniform do not preclude another service from adopting
the Marine Corps' uniform. However, given the prevailing military service
culture that places a high value on having distinctive and unique combat
uniforms, the printing of a service's logo on a uniform's fabric might make it difficult for another service to adopt the uniform for temporary mission
needs or as a permanent replacement unless the printed logo was
removed.
You keeping using articles from the Army Times which has used the same two quotes in numerous articles to blame the Marines for the the Army's failure in the UCP debacle.

Full disclosure here. I've modified blackrazor1's post by dividing it into sections so that I can better address them in my response.

blackrazor1 posted the following:

It's not logic.

1) Having the Marines start a new logistics chain to solve a problem that doesn't exist is a waste of funds.
2) Also Multicam can be purchased by anyone from a number of retail outlets. If the Army picks a camo from a commercial developer it will be more expensive in the long run.
3) I have no idea why the Navy doesn't immediately allow desert AOR for all its sailors. The CNO can make that happen with a memo.
4) The Army and Air Force could have adopted the AOR patterns and saved some development money.
5) According to the GAO report, there is nothing stopping the Army from adopting MARPAT(MARPAT is a government owned pattern).

1) A problem does exist. It is currently very easy for an enemy to determine, from the uniform being worn, that he is facing a Marine unit rather than an Army, Air force or Navy unit. Have you read the points raised earlier in this thread concerning how this puts those Marines, and by extension, other US troops at risk? I'm not going to restate those points, so please look back and read the entire thread.

2) I honestly don't understand what point you are trying to make here that would be relevent to this conversation.

3) All of the Navy's Sailors don't require a fatigue uniform that will blend in with an operational environment, so there's no need to oufit the entire Navy with the AOR uniform.

4) I agree with this. And I would add that the Corps should have been be directed to adopt it.

5) Please provide a link to that GAO report. Lacking that, I'll defer to Will's (major.rod) expertise, research, and published examples of the Corps' unwillingness to allow the other services to use their proprietary camo pattern.
1) Considering who we fight nowadays this a minimal issue. We've been fighting ununiformed irregulars. A hit and run enemy doesn't have the time formulate plans based on uniforms. The stars and stripes are all they care about.

2) The enemy can buy multicam if they wanted to and really confuse the battlefield.

3) I know the whole navy doesn't need operational camo, but those that need desert camo have been wearing three different camos( DCUs, Multicam, and desert AOR). That's two extra logistics chains the Navy doesn't need to carry.

4) I don't really care if the Marines are included or not, or if all the services adopt MARPAT. It's just the the Army and Air Force were given a chance to develop their own camo and failed miserably. The Army didn't finish its first camo trials or do field testing before doing a service wide change. The Air Force made a garrison utility uniform without regard to its ground operation Airmen. Both services should have to wait before being allowed to waste that kind of money again.

5) links above

I'm going to provide some additional elaboration here and remind blackrazor1 of a point I made earlier. NWU Type I (the black/black digicam) is appropriate for the fleet because it's coloration is designed to hide grease/oil stains and similar grime accumulated from working with heavy machinery. However, for most Naval units that would operate in an arid environment (CB's, Riverines, etc...), the use of NWU Type II (aka AOR-1) is forbidden because the Marines threatened action against the Navy unless they restricted the pattern to use only by NSW forces and their support personnel. In other words, because it was too similar to MARPAT, the Corps refused to allow the Navy to generally issue NWU Type 2 to sailors who could've used it.
Just would like the Navy to use its AOR1 as originally intended. I don't want to see Sailor in a desert environment having to wear woodland AOR due to a stupid agreement between two officers.

Quote from GAO report.

In hearings before the Subcommittee on Readiness and
Management Support in April 2010, the Assistant Commandant of the
Marine Corps testified that Marine Corps and Navy discussions prompted
the Navy's policy to restrict the use of its Type II desert combat uniform.
When the Marine Corps first learned that the new Navy uniform looked
very similar to the Marine Corps' combat uniform, the Assistant
Commandant testified, the Marine Corps suggested the selection of a
Navy pattern that was different enough to distinguish it from the uniform
worn by the Marines. However, the Assistant Commandant testified, the
Marine Corps Commandant and the Chief of Naval Operations later
reached an agreement that forward-deployed Navy SEALS and similar
40Chief of Naval Operations, NAVADMIN 259-11, Navy Working Uniform Type I, II, and III,
Camouflage Utility Uniforms (Aug. 30, 2011). The Navy guidance was revised, in part, to
allow U.S. Coast Guard personnel to wear Navy uniforms under certain conditions.
41See S. Rep. No. 111-201, at 117 (2010).

personnel could use the Type II desert uniform. The effect of the
agreement, however, is that it does not allow other Navy ground support
units to wear the Type II uniform. According to Navy officials, the Navy did
not approve a waiver requested by the Commander of the Navy
Expeditionary Combat Command to allow expeditionary sailors, not
directly supporting Naval Special Warfare, to wear the desert uniform in a
desert environment. The Navy's restriction on the use of its Type II desert
uniform appears inconsistent with the department's prevailing view of the
modern-day battlefield.
 

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Edwick - UCP was definitely the result of a faulty “one-size-fits-all” Army approach to camo. Multicam has its roots in that approach but the Army did not adopt for use in Afghanistan nor is the subsequent new Army camo effort ever been along “one-size-fits-all” lines. The Army abandoned its “one-size-fits-all” for almost five years now. You have to be careful and read who is saying what. Oftentimes writers and the MSM have an agenda. The source of the quotes or the strength of the evidence supporting analysis is key in determining what’s the truth. The Army’s approach since fielding multicam in Afghanistan has been a multi pattern approach. You read a lot about the single pattern because writers are confused or are just sensationalizing.

Razor – You can’t admit the Marines made a mistake “bogarting” MARPAT while pounding the fact that UCP and ABUs are a failure. The failure of UCP and ABUs is not being contested by anyone but the truth is none of this mess would have occurred hadn’t the Marine Corps for the first time in half a century decided to create a “unique” pattern and then not share it with any other branch as has been the case with the Army sharing its patterns for that same half century. That’s what I’m talking about when I speak of how destructive branch partisanship or hubris is. If the Army had a tool and refused to share it with other services it would be appropriately lambasted for such selfishness. Of course this selfish behavior doesn't excuse mistakes made by anyone else afterwards.

The quotes I’ve been sharing from various stories demonstrating the Marines selfishness over MARPAT don't belong to Army Times. They are the words of the Marine Commandant and Senior NCO.

The one quote you cite from the GAO report is both out of context and holds no weight with the military. “Elements” of MARPAT isn’t MARPAT. “Elements” include the colors, tech to print the fabric and the digitization that all together makes up MARPAT. For the third time, the Marines copyrighted MARPAT. The GAO has zero authority over the services. Congress or the Secretary of Defense must create legislation or regulation to wrest MARPAT from the Corps or dictate common patterns for the services. The GAO report also mentions this point but just like what it says about the elements of MARPAT it is not binding on anyone.

BTW, you are also ignoring casual collectors documented evidence that the Marines didn’t even want AOR issued to sailors at the risk of sailors being confused with marines as further evidence obe the branch partisanship which is keeping the best equipment out of troops hands because of a “cool factor”.

Finally, you cite our decades old conflict as evidence a single pattern isn’t necessary or that the enemy can buy multicam. The problem with that approach is no one can guarantee what the next war will look like. It’s been a common error to fight the next war like the last one.

The bottom line is the GAO report (which I’ve read) makes some good points about the multitude of mistakes made in camo development and fielding. It also totally ignores how we went from common camo patterns to eight different patterns. There's PLENTY of blame to go around. If you want to focus on some specific guys you have that freedom. You just can't say the Marines are as pure as the driven snow in this whole mess.

FTR I don't hold individual Marines responsible for dumb decisions made at the highest levels. As many of my Marine friends know I have the utmost respect for them but senior Marines can be just as dumb as any branch's leaders in doing dumb stuff.
 

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We're coming back to where we started with these points. I'm giving up on trying to reason here. I'm gonna agree with all of Will's points though. This mess is not the work of the Marine Corps, the Army, the Navy, or the Air Force. This mess is the result of poor management decisions by the leaders of those forces and the desire to create a "unique" fighting force for the sake of uniqueness. That desire is all well and good in peacetime, but in war, when every bit of intelligence can cost lives, these "special" uniforms serve only to assist our enemies.

1. Research and a develop a common, interservice pattern (or just go with MARPAT, per major.rod's rather enlightening post on the MARPAT vs. multicam testing).
2. Force all branches to use said pattern.
3. PROFIT!
 

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Razor - You can't admit the Marines made a mistake "bogarting" MARPAT while pounding the fact that UCP and ABUs are a failure. The failure of UCP and ABUs is not being contested by anyone but the truth is none of this mess would have occurred hadn't the Marine Corps for the first time in half a century decided to create a "unique" pattern and then not share it with any other branch as has been the case with the Army sharing its patterns for that same half century. That's what I'm talking about when I speak of how destructive branch partisanship or hubris is. If the Army had a tool and refused to share it with other services it would be appropriately lambasted for such selfishness. Of course this selfish behavior doesn't excuse mistakes made by anyone else afterwards.

The quotes I've been sharing from various stories demonstrating the Marines selfishness over MARPAT don't belong to Army Times. They are the words of the Marine Commandant and Senior NCO.
I never said those quotes belong to the Army Times. I said the Army Times kept using the same two quotes in all its MARPAT/Camo Search articles.You use the Army Times as reference in the majority of your qoutes on the subject in numerous threads.I'm just pointing out that the Army Times is milking these two quotes for all they are worth, basically helping to keep the bad blood flowing.

The one quote you cite from the GAO report is both out of context and holds no weight with the military. "Elements" of MARPAT isn't MARPAT. "Elements" include the colors, tech to print the fabric and the digitization that all together makes up MARPAT. For the third time, the Marines copyrighted MARPAT. The GAO has zero authority over the services. Congress or the Secretary of Defense must create legislation or regulation to wrest MARPAT from the Corps or dictate common patterns for the services. The GAO report also mentions this point but just like what it says about the elements of MARPAT it is not binding on anyone.
Here are the more complete quotes from the GAO report. The meaning doesn't change and they aren't out of context.

We reported that
combat uniform performance standards developed by some of the
services were not related to specific combat environments; the
introduction of flame-resistant fabric, insect repellent treatment, and the
increased pace of operations in Afghanistan accounted for increases in
uniform production and procurement costs; and government-owned
patents on elements of the Marine Corps' uniforms presented no legal
barrier to allowing other services to use these elements.
DOD Supply Chain Materiel
Management Regulation, chapter 8 (May 23, 2003).

In addition, DOD's supply chain regulation states that any desired
distinctiveness for clothing items should be accomplished by methods
such as using separate items of insignia and patches. However, two
services-the Marine Corps and the Navy-have printed their service
logos on the camouflage-patterned fabric during the manufacturing
process. We have previously reported that the Marine Corps patents on
elements of the uniform do not preclude another service from adopting
the Marine Corps' uniform. However, given the prevailing military service
culture that places a high value on having distinctive and unique combat
uniforms, the printing of a service's logo on a uniform's fabric might make

it difficult for another service to adopt the uniform for temporary mission
needs or as a permanent replacement unless the printed logo was
removed. Conversely, the Army and the Air Force have not found it
necessary to print their service logos on their combat uniforms. The Army,
for example, has been open in allowing members of another service to
wear its uniform to meet mission needs.
I shortened this quote to reduce confusion; because, it refers to a regulation that was introduced a year after the MARPAT MCCUU was adopted.

Never said the GAO had authority over the services. The GAO just does an audit of the relevant paperwork and presents its findings. When I looked up the MARPAT patent, everything you mentioned is included, but there are some interesting things to notice.

http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?CC=US&NR=6805957&KC=&FT=E&locale=en_EP

If you look at the patent applicants you'll notice a few of the inventors' names and The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy. The Marine Corps isn't listed as a patent applicant( MC Combat Development Command is listed as a contact address). If you read the abstract for the patent. One of the first things said after the summary is

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

[0005] This invention was made by employees of the United States Government and may be manufactured and used by or for the Government for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties.
I was always under the impression that Dod and SECDEF were part of the Government. Can please give the quote/source for the need of legislation created by Congress/SECDEF?

BTW, you are also ignoring casual collectors documented evidence that the Marines didn't even want AOR issued to sailors at the risk of sailors being confused with marines as further evidence obe the branch partisanship which is keeping the best equipment out of troops hands because of a "cool factor".
I didn't ignore it. I posted a relevant quote from the GAO report that mentions the deal made between the CNO and CMC. The CNO made a deal he didn't have to make. It's like me not wanting you to drive your car and then I agree to let you drive your car on a schedule I approve. It would be ridiculous for you to tell me anything other than GTFO. One thing the Marines do well is PR, and they've bluffed their way into causing the DoD to dance to the Corps' drumbeat on this issue. It's all bluster.

Finally, you cite our decades old conflict as evidence a single pattern isn't necessary or that the enemy can buy multicam. The problem with that approach is no one can guarantee what the next war will look like. It's been a common error to fight the next war like the last one.
Interesting point to make. You're not wrong, but in our history as a country there have only been a few times when our military all wore the same uniform. Eventhough it wasn't service specific, guys in the Vietnam Conflict wore multiple camos (OD, ERDL, Tiger Stripe, Duck Hunter).You've posted about the differences in Army and Marine uniforms in WWII. It seems like the only time we had DoD-wide uniforms was during our "weekend" wars( Panama, Grenada, Somalia, and Desert Storm/Desert Shield). Also Steve O and I were talking about issuing Multicam to Marines in this conflict.

The bottom line is the GAO report (which I've read) makes some good points about the multitude of mistakes made in camo development and fielding. It also totally ignores how we went from common camo patterns to eight different patterns. There's PLENTY of blame to go around. If you want to focus on some specific guys you have that freedom. You just can't say the Marines are as pure as the driven snow in this whole mess.

FTR I don't hold individual Marines responsible for dumb decisions made at the highest levels. As many of my Marine friends know I have the utmost respect for them but senior Marines can be just as dumb as any branch's leaders in doing dumb stuff.
I don't think the Marines are "pure as the driven snow". They have a red-headed stepchild mentality from the various attempts members of Congress have made to disband them. They always have to prove their relevance. You keep confusing what certain Senior Marines want with what they have the power to control. If the other services acquiesce to the Corps demands, then that's not really the Corps' problem. I have nothing against Soldiers in general (my Dad was one). This particular issue gets under my nerves. This one of the few times that money was spent to "supposedly benefit the individual warfighter". Most of the money gets spent on jets, tanks, and ships. I wonder were all the development money went since the Army didn't finish their camo trials before selecting UCP. Also noone with any power seemed to have realized ( or didn't want to speak up about) what every E-2 grunt knows ( no single camo pattern works in every environment). That should have been the first clue that something was wrong. The Air Force was worse; because, the ABU is the one uniform in this debacle that is purely a fashion statement. They depended on the Army for the color scheme and rigged their camo tests to make their pattern appear more effective than it was. At least, the NWU had a function( it hid grease and dirt and could replace two different uniforms). I've read a number of blog and forum comments the last few years with the prevailling sentiment being let SOCOM and JSOC spend whatever they want to be more effective. I'm disappointed that we spent this much money to make common Soldier and Airman on the ground less effective. Sorry if this last part seems to ramble
 

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Razor - Ugh, we are going to disagree but I don't want anyone to be confused about how things work.

Quotes from the guys in charge aren't just points used again and again. They are official statements about the position of the branch made by the highest ranking leaders of the Marines. Where they just joking?

There is plenty of latitude regarding how branches operate. DoD is supposed to set limits when conflicts develop and promote efficiency. It serves a role of rule maker and mommy to make sure the branches work together. It has utterly failed when it comes to camo patterns. We've seen that role when it comes to aircraft and how the Army and Air Force use them. Over the last sixty years there have been numerous conflicts between who has responsibility for what and who can do what even with congressional law that establishes responsibilities and proponency. UAVs is an excellent example where the USAF stated it had proponency over all UAVs since it was an aerial weapon and the USAF had the knowledge, expertise and role. DoD and then even Congress had to get involved and is why each branch pursues different UAV programs that sometimes go across branch lines.

MARPAT is one of those issues. Marine Generals and SGMs have drawn a line in the sand and the Army has respected it in the interest of civility. The issue is tremendously political and the Army has chosen not to make it an issue in general and go along a different path. BTW, you will find that ERDL is also copyrighted by the Gov't. The Army paid for it. It never said it was unique to its branch.

Common uniforms is a different issue. I have always said common patterns. Even the WWII and Korea Army patterns were often used on slightly different Marine uniform items. That said, throughout our history except recently the Army and Marines have always shared MUCH equipment. It's only in the last decade where the Marines have seen fit to have totally unique equipment from the helmet to boots. It's NEVER been this "unique", inefficient or expensive. There's a lesson there...

Pointing out Marine General/SGM overarching desire to be unique resulted in copyrighting a camo pattern and prohibiting its use by any branch (and even limiting AOR use because it might look like MARPAT) caused the current mess we're in is no more fostering bad blood than harping on how camo programs were poorly run.

The last effort to disband the Marine Corps was six decades ago. None of those decision makers are alive anymore. The fact that the fear may still exist speaks to the petty thinking of some though it does serve as effective cover for dumb decisions.
 

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A Stickler for Accuracy
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blackrazor1, you continue to show a staggering, almost willful misunderstanding of this entire debate. I applaud Will's willingness to try to help you to understand, but I feel that it's a lost cause. Don't feel bad, but I don't see how I can further the discussion by engaging you, so while I will continue to monitor this thread, and comment when I get the urge, I won't be responding to your posts.
 
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