What is OCP?

What is OCP?

Combat Uniform History

On July 31, 2014 the Army officially announced that a new camouflage pattern, known internally as Scorpion W2, will be named the Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP). Not only did this new pattern replace MultiCam, which acted as the OCP until 2015, but it also replaces Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) as the official uniform pattern. For more than a decade, the Army has relied on the widely unpopular UCP as the official standard-issue pattern. Along with the camouflage update, the uniform construction, accessories and footwear were also changed.

The Air Force followed suit with an announcement made Monday, May 14, 2018 that the branch would be replacing the digital tiger stripe Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) with the OCP uniform. Shortly after the creation of the U.S. Space Force, its adoption of the uniform was announced January 17, 2020.

Combat Uniform History

Construction changes were also implemented with the release of the new OCP uniforms.

  1. The upper-sleeve pocket features a zipper closure instead of a Velcro closure for easier access.

  2. The upper-sleeve pocket is at least 1 inch longer. Feedback on post-combat surveys showed that soldiers require roomier pockets and more room for patches.

  3. The new uniforms no longer offer internal elbow pads and Velcro elbow patches. Both those characteristics were found useless in the field and deemed a waste of money. However, one feature that will stay the same is the doubled fabric for extra reinforcement on the elbow area.

  4. Removal of the cord-and-barrel lock on the cargo pocket.

  5. Uniforms no longer feature knee pads or patches. There is still reinforced fabric in the knee area.

  6. The lower-leg pocket has previously used a Velcro closure. It now features a one-button closure instead.

  7. The mandarin collar is no more. Instead, you'll see a traditional fold-down design.

  8. Only two pen pockets instead of the usual three.

  9. After complaints that the drawstrings on the uniform pants' waistband looks unprofessional, it was proposed they be removed from new pants.


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