Here are your tax dollars hard at work: after years of use in the field of two major wars, and heavy criticism from a number of troops which claim that the pattern makes them actually more visible, the Army has decided to stop using the pixel “camo” pattern used on its uniforms. It is similar to the Marines MARPAT (MARine PATern) which was introduced around 2002 in the field. In theory, this digital pattern is supposed to make the soldiers less visible as it was the product of science – fractals in particular.
In theory, it should have worked, but The Daily reports that people familiar to the issue said that this got “political” and that the testing was not done properly. Also, with two active war theaters in Iraq and Afghanistan, the equipment supply was behind. Soldiers were running around with desert-colored clothing, but their backpacks, vests and body-armor would be colored differently with black or green. In a way, this shows exactly where their chest and back were.
Critics say that the Army brass simply thought that if the “camo” pattern was good enough for the Marines, then the Army should use it too. Plus, it looks really cool. In the end, the soldiers aren’t less visible than they were before the pixel pattern – on the contrary say many veterans. The only good thing that came out of that “rush” is that soldier were no longer wearing mismatched equipment that clearly showed to the enemy where to shoot.
“That’s what this really comes down to: ‘We can’t allow the Marine Corps to look more cool than the Army” says Eric Graves, the editor of Soldier Systems Daily. In the meantime, the MultiCam pattern and colors as shown below will be used in Afghanistan.