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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

S.1197 SEC. 351: Revised Policy on Ground Combat and Camouflage Utility Uniforms

The camouflage of the United States Military is becoming legislated assuming the 2014 National Defense Authorization act makes its way through congress and is signed into law. Below we have provided the complete wording for SEC. 351 of S.1197 as presented by the Senate with slight adjustments from from the bill passed by the House of Representatives H.R. 1960. 

A key differentiation from the Enyart Amendment, which initiated this whole shindig is the restriction of any service from keeping a camouflage pattern from being utilized by other services. Essentially, if the Army decided they wanted to change their camouflage pattern(s) to MARPAT, there would be nothing in there way. There also isn't an explicit due date for all services to adopt one combat uniform or camouflage pattern. The restrictions therein and the U.S. Army's desire to improve their current camouflage would still drive multiple services to adopt the same pattern(s) sooner than later. 

We don't know the true reason as to why the U.S. Army is not announcing their final decision on new camouflage patterns, but it would be interesting to see them to try and push the issue before the NDAA 2014 does pass in its current form. Presumably the U.S. Army could just take on the MCCUU and no waves would be made in the event this passes. Alternatively, all services would have to get on board with whatever is decided from Phase IV of the U.S. Army Camouflage Improvement Effort for the Army to change out of UCP unless they can get a waiver from the Sec. of Defense. 

SEC. 351 Revised Policy on Ground Combat and Camouflage Utility Uniforms 

(a) Establishment of Policy.--It is the policy of the United States that the Secretary of Defense shall take steps to reduce the separate development and fielding of service-specific combat and camouflage utility uniforms, in order to collectively adopt and field the same combat and camouflage utility uniforms for use by all members of the Armed Forces to the maximum extent practicable.

(b) Prohibition.--Except as provided in subsection (c), each military service shall be prohibited from adopting after the date of the enactment of this Act new designs for combat and camouflage utility uniforms, including uniforms reflecting changes to the fabric and camouflage patterns used in current combat and camouflage utility uniforms, unless--
        (1) the combat or camouflage utility uniform will be adopted by all military services;
        (2) the military service adopts a uniform currently in use by another military service; or
        (3) the Secretary of Defense grants an exception, based on unique circumstances or requirements.

(c) Exception.--Nothing in subsection (b) shall be construed as prohibiting the development of combat and camouflage utility uniforms for use by personnel assigned to or operating in support of the unified combatant command for special operations forces described in section 167 of title 10, United States Code.

(d) Limitation on Restrictions.--No military service may prevent another military service from authorizing the use of any combat or camouflage utility uniform.

(e) Guidance Required.--
         (1) In general.--Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall issue guidance to implement this section.
         (2) Content.--At a minimum, the guidance required by paragraph (1) shall--

(A) require the secretaries of the military departments, in cooperation with the commanders of the combatant commands, including the unified combatant command for special operations forces, to collaborate on the development of joint criteria for the design, development, fielding, and characteristics of combat and camouflage utility uniforms;
          
(B) require the secretaries of the military departments to ensure that new combat and camouflage utility uniforms meet the geographic and operational requirements of the commanders of the combatant commands; and
     
(C) require the secretaries of the military departments to ensure that all new combat and           camouflage utility uniforms achieve interoperability with all components of individual war fighter systems, including body armor, organizational clothing and individual equipment, and other individual protective systems.

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