For the past few weeks the Army community has been flooded with discussion and controversy surrounding the Army Combat Uniform better known as ACUs to all of us who wear it. The Army times has published a series of articles concerning the original study and fielding of the ACU. The transition from the BDUs and DCUs was expected however many scratched their heads when the grayish ACU came out.
Brigadier General Peter Fuller who commands PEO Soldier announced that two Battalions will be deploying to Afghanistan with two different versions of a green/brown cammo pattern. The Multicam pattern and UCP Delta uniforms are headed downrange and apparently are going to be tested in real world operations to see if they blend better that ACUs do.
*Listen to my podcast with BGen Fuller http://bit.ly/3p9cj
ACUs are either loved or hated by those that wear them. Representative John Murtha D-PA who is the Chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee is one who doesn’t care for them. After hearing complaints from soldiers who have deployed and found that the ACUs didn’t work; Rep. Murtha told the Army they had till 30 September to come up with something new.
Having worked with the folks at PEO Soldier closely I am pretty confident that they are going to both meet the deadline set by Congress and get the results back that soldiers want to hear. Whether it turns out that Multicam or UCP Delta work better, the fielding of the new uniforms will most likely be out to units before they know it.
Considering the $5 Billion cost associated with the ACU shift, one has to assume that the Army chose the uniform that tested best and is truly the biggest force multiplier to soldiers on the ground. Whatever the outcome is, PEO Soldier and the two Battalions headed with the new digs will hopefully turn out some really useful feedback and test data from Afghanistan. And I am sure that uniform, body armor and gear manufacturers are all on the edge of their seats awaiting the announcement of what works and what doesn’t for Soldiers.
*** Update*** I’ll be interviewing CSM McPherson of PEO Soldier and have the podcast up early next week!!!