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U.S. Army unveils new camouflage combat uniforms slated for release next month

By Andrew V. Pestano
U.S. Army unveils new camouflage combat uniforms slated for release next month
The U.S. Army revealed the new Operational Camouflage Pattern Army Combat Uniform on Monday, slated for release on July 1. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army

WASHINGTON, June 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army on Monday revealed its new Operational Camouflage Pattern combat uniforms slated for release next month.

The Operational Camouflage Pattern for the Army Combat Uniforms, also known as ACUs, will be available for purchase in select military clothing stores beginning July 1 for a price similar to the cost of the current Universal Camouflage Pattern.

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Stores will not receive the uniforms until November.

New soldiers will be given ACUs starting January 2016 and enlisted soldiers will continue to receive a clothing allowance to replace worn uniforms.

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"The Operational Camouflage Pattern was selected following the most comprehensive uniform camouflage testing effort ever undertaken by the Army, reflecting the Army's paramount commitment to force protection," the U.S. Army said in a press release.

Army Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey said he encourages soldiers to purchase new uniforms with their annual clothing allowance.

"All enlisted soldiers receive an annual stipend for the purchase of uniforms and accessories. I myself will wait until I am issued my clothing allowance before purchasing a uniform with the Operational Camouflage Pattern," Dailey said. "I encourage all soldiers and leaders to do the same by budgeting for a new uniform, belt, boots, and T-shirts as you receive your clothing allowance over the next 2-3 years."

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The new ACUs will also incorporate minor design changes.

"These include redesigned shoulder sleeve pockets with a zipper opening, no trouser drawstring, a button on the lower calf pocket, two pen pockets on the sleeve instead of three, and the elimination of the elbow and knee patch hook and loop," the U.S. Army added.

The U.S. Army National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, and Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps will receive uniforms and equipment fitted in the Operational Camouflage Pattern during the summer of 2016.

Soldiers will be allowed to mix and match T-shirts, belts, and boots with either the Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern or the new ACUs during the transition period expected to end in October 2019.

"Presenting a professional appearance is very important to soldiers. But, we will not inconvenience or burden our troops," Dailey said. "We will still be the most lethal fighting force the world has even known even if our belts don't match for the next few years."

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