Union Tribune

January 17, 2002

Marine Corps fashion has become quite pixilated


WASHINGTON -- The Marine Corps goes digital today.

The Corps' new field uniforms with a computer-generated
pixilated camouflage design become available in stores at Camp
Lejeune, N.C., after an 18-month, $500,000 development and
test program.

They will be in the stores at Camp Pendleton on Feb. 1 and will
be issued to recruits at the two recruit training depots and to
officer candidates beginning in March, the Marines said.

Marines will have until March 2006 to change to the battle dress
utilities, which commonly are called "cammies."

The design replaces the camouflage uniforms that have broad
swaths of brown, black and green for the "woodland" cammies
and tan and brown for the desert gear.

The new garb uses thousands of small squares of color, much like the pixels on a computer generated graphic that, at a distance, merge into a form-masking pattern. The concept is similar to the pointillism visual trick used by some of impressionist painters.

They will come in woodland and desert designs, but will be
available only to the Marines.

Development of the cammies was initiated by the Marine Corps
commandant, Gen. James L. Jones, with the dual purpose of
making his Marines less visible in combat while letting them
stand out from the other services in normal settings.

Various designs were tested by experts on camouflage and by
Marines in forest, jungle and desert conditions.

Bravo Company, 1st Marines, of the I Marine Expeditionary
Force at Camp Pendleton was one of the test groups.

The trials indicated the pattern was better than the current
cammies in hiding the Marines in the field. But, judging from
letters in Marine publications, many tradition-minded Marines
objected to the change.

The new uniforms will cost about the same as the current ones,
about $60 a set.