The U.S. military has changed its official uniform patterns several times over the past 20 years in an attempt to match the conflicts located in different countries. Some of these patterns have failed to provide true camouflage, necessitating yet another uniform change. Other patterns are immensely popular to the extent that other countries adopt them for their militaries.
Early 2000s Uniforms
Starting in 2002, the Army created the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) which had a digitized print. This was a unanimously unpopular print for one reason. It was created to blend into any type of battle landscape, but it failed to integrate fully into any type of environment.
During the wars in the Middle East, soldiers preferred to wear the Desert Tiger Stripe camo from earlier decades. This Army camouflage uniform reflected the colors of beige and browns that closely mimicked the colors of the deserts. The UCP was retired after just a few years of official use.
Multicam patterns, which were first invented at the turn of the 21st century, became popular around 2010. These colors include brown and green tones. The use of this print was officially phased out in 2018, although some special forces troops and contractors still wear it.
Current Uniform Patterns
In 2022, the U.S. military issued the Operational Camouflage Pattern for all branches. The colors are a variation of dark brown, muted tans and greens that can blend into a variety of battlefields. This uniform has been in official use since 2015.
With the inclusion of the Space Force, the new branch changed the text thread color to navy blue. Otherwise, it uses the same Operational Camouflage Pattern worn by the rest of the military. Other countries have also adopted this universal pattern for their own troops, owing to its versatility for use in many different landscapes.