The Army Times reports on this inter-service squabble:
“The Army in coming weeks will select its top camouflage contenders to cover your next combat uniform. A leading choice is the Marine Corps’ MARPAT.
But although the outgoing top enlisted Marine says you can’t use it, the Army general who launched the effort begs to differ.
The Army is spending as much as $10 million to field three new combat uniforms — a woodland variant, a desert variant and a “transitional” variant that covers everything in between. The Army in July will select five contenders: three from industry and two from the government. Wear and field tests will follow. If all goes as planned, production will begin in October 2012.
MARPAT is a leading contender. The pattern is so effective that the woodland and desert variants will be among the baseline patterns used in the forthcoming tests. The others are the Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern, or OCP; and AOR 1 and 2, which resemble the Marine desert and woodland digital patterns but are specially treated to reduce the wearer’s infrared signature.
Army officials have said they want soldiers to wear the best possible camouflage — even if that is the MARPAT. But Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Carlton Kent says don’t count on it.
The Corps owns the rights to MARPAT and wants to retain it for its own use, Kent said late last year. Marine officials said they have no beef with anyone researching and testing MARPAT, but they want Marines distinguished from other service members on the battlefield.
“The main concern for the Marine Corps when it comes to other services testing our patterns is that they don’t exactly mimic them,” said Kent, who is scheduled to retire June 9. “The MARPAT design is proprietary, and it’s important those designs are reserved for Marines. We just need to make sure each of our designs is unique to each service.”
Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller, the former Program Executive Office Soldier, dismissed the territorial stance. If the pattern proves to be the best, the Army would simply remove the Corps’ signature anchor and move forward, Fuller told Army Times in his last interview as PEO Soldier.”
You can read the full story here.