The U.S. Army’s new camouflage pattern uniforms will be available July 1, the military announced Monday.
The Operational Camouflage Pattern uniforms will be available in select military clothing stores. In statement, the Army said that the new clothing is the result of the most comprehensive uniform camouflage testing effort it has ever undertaken.
Stores will receive the uniforms from July to November. New soldiers will receive Operational Camouflage Pattern Army Combat Uniforms, or ACUs, beginning in January 2016.
In addition to the camouflage change, the new uniforms 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.
Uniforms and equipment in the new camouflage pattern will be available for Army National Guard, Army Reserve, and Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps during summer 2016, according to the Army.
During a transition period, which is expected to run through Oct.1 2019, soldiers are authorized to mix and match T-shirts, belts, and boots with either the Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern or the Operational Camouflage Pattern. Soldiers who already have Flame Resistant combat uniforms in the Operational Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern will also be authorized to wear them during the transition.
"I have asked noncommissioned officers to ensure their Soldiers understand that during this transition period, several uniforms and variations will be authorized in our formations," said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey, in a statement. "Presenting a professional appearance is very important to Soldiers. But, we will not inconvenience or burden our troops. 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."