July 19, 2001
The Marines will start issuing a new set of camouflaged uniforms at the end of this year. (The Army is jealous and admits that the new fatigues have some advantages. The Army, however, has too many uniforms stockpiled to switch anytime soon.) The new uniform has several new features:
@ The uniform has permanent creases and is designed not to be ironed. Army BDUs were designed to be worn without being ironed, but commanders quickly decided that they looked better when ironed.
@ The material is 50/50 cotton/nylon.
@ The lower pockets on the shirt have been eliminated as everyone leaves them empty because this looks better.
@ Two new pockets have been added, one on each upper sleeve.
@ The main shirt pockets have angled flaps held down by Velcro rather than buttons.
@ The camouflage (one set is woodland, the other desert) uses a "pixel" pattern where the color is actually printed in small squares that form larger irregular blocks. This type of pattern is harder to see in optical systems.
@ The pants are made of heavier cloth to wear better.
@ The Marine emblem is embroidered, rather than printed, on the left shirt pocket.
@ The uniform includes new light brown leather boots with the rough side out, designed not to be polished and to reduce infrared signatures. One pair (lighter in weight) is designed for hot weather in the desert or jungle, the other for standard climates.
@ The uniform also includes a new "boonie hat" which will become the standard Marine headgear when not wearing a helmet. The broad brim protects the Marine from rain and sun.--Stephen V Cole