That Pixellated Uniform Pattern Was So Bad, The Army Trashed $5 Billion Worth | Smart News | Smithsonian
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That Pixellated Uniform Pattern Was So Bad, The Army Trashed $5 Billion Worth

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Digital camouflage doesn't work so well. Photo: U.S. Army

The army spent $5 billion on those new-fangled pixelated camouflage uniforms that peppered Iraq and Afghanistan, only to find out that they do not work at all, The Daily reports:

“Essentially, the Army designed a universal uniform that universally failed in every environment,” said an Army specialist who served two tours in Iraq, wearing UCP in Baghdad and the deserts outside Basra. “The only time I have ever seen it work well was in a gravel pit.”

Since they had to trash the pixellated uniforms, the Army is working harder to this time to make sure they get the design right:

The researchers say that science is carrying the day this time, as they run four patterns through a rigorous battery of tests. The goal is to give soldiers different patterns suitable for different environments, plus a single neutral pattern — matching the whole family — to be used on more expensive body armor and other gear. The selection will involve hundreds of computer trials as well on-the-ground testing at half a dozen locations around the world.

In theory, at the end of this process, soldiers will feel safer in places other than gravel pits.

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About Sarah Laskow
Sarah Laskow

Sarah Laskow is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor of Smart News. Her work has appeared in print and online for Grist, GOODSalon, The American Prospect, Newsweek, New York among other publications.

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