MultiCam TRU ShirtIf you were left scratching your head over the decision to field the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP). You weren't alone.

Heck, everybody knows there is no such thing as a universal camo. Right? Is there really a pattern that can work in all environments?

Umm...not really, but with our current level of technology, MultiCam is perhaps the best. And by all indications that the Army is actually going to field it... sort of.

After a recent round of tests, the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. George Casey has recommended that the Army adopt MultiCam. For the time being, only for those serving in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and only after the Secretary of the Army gives final approval, which is expected soon.

So how did this happen? What is MultiCam? How is it so good?

Well dear reader, follow along and we'll give you the overview, pointing you to some great folks that have already done a lot reporting on this subject.

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What is MultiCam? Back when the Army was developing the next generation uniform, the successor to the BDU, the army was also trying to come up with a solution to a huge logistical problem: fielding different sets of uniforms every time our forces deployed to a combat zone. Now in the field of new camo, our neighbors to the north were actually leading the pack. Through research the Canadian military had discovered several key things: Black in a camo was bad (it attracts the eye) and digital was good (it helps break up the human figure). So combine a digital camo pattern with some colors that individually work in the desert, woodland and urban areas, throw in some angled pockets and you've got the new ACU.

So wait, what about MultiCam? Oh yeah. The Army actually conducted tests pitting their UCP pattern against a new design by Crye Associates. These guys did their homework, they did all these photographic measurements of environments in different lighting, the whole nine yards. Basically Crye used Photoshop to build a color palette that worked with the majority of their environments and MultiCam was born.

After the tests, the Crye pattern along with along with two others (Desert All Over Brush and Woodland Track Mod) came out ahead of UCP in the Army tests.

So how come the Army went with UCP? No freaking idea. Guess it was the home team advantage. Money. Family ties. Who knows.

So fast forward to 2009. The recently departed Rep. John Murtha actually had a hand in all of this because he pressured the Army to conduct another camo trial based on the feedback coming from Afghanistan. The ACU sucked in Iraq and it really sucks here!

Late last year, the Army took samples of the available camo patterns and actually sent a team to Afghanistan to the do the light test thing again. After that, MultiCam and UCP, now with a fourth color (Coyote) would battle one more round. This time the two camo patterns would actually be fielded by two battalions, each with a different pattern.

Not much was known about this part of the test. Those following along would come across photos on the web, but no details have come out. One can only guess that MultiCam is finally getting the credit it's due and it's creators, hopefully, some measure of accomplishment.

So what makes MultiCam so good? Check this out.