Army and police samples of American camouflage, MARPAT, ACU and others, the effectiveness of camouflage pattern.

All camouflage patterns were not developed equally. Some of them are more effective than others. Some appeared as a result of complex research. Some are nothing more than commercial fraud, and some are so bad they can kill you.. 

Army and police samples of American camouflage, MARPAT, ACU and others, the effectiveness of camouflage pattern.

The existing MARPAT (Marine pattern) digital camouflage uniform of the United States Marine Corps has, in my opinion, the best camouflage pattern that has ever appeared. Designed in a brown / tan version for desert areas, or a green / brown version for wooded areas, this pattern works great both at close and long ranges.

Army and police samples of American camouflage, MARPAT, ACU and others, the effectiveness of camouflage pattern.

At close range, many small pixel dots of this camouflage pattern effectively, almost three-dimensionally, break the owner’s contour, mixing it with its surroundings. As you move away – when you reach the erosion range – these small pixels merge into large droplets that create irregularities to darken and break the outline of the marine.

For the first time ever, a sample has appeared that really works well, both close and at a great distance. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same thing about the ground forces digital camouflage pattern used in the latest army combat uniform (ACU).

Digital Camo Army Combat Uniform (ACU).

Despite the fact that this uniform in itself is an extremely good idea, the developers of its camouflage “got on a slippery track” when they decided that one universal design should work all over the world, in any place, for any color, at any time of the year, literally in any environment.

Army and police samples of American camouflage, MARPAT, ACU and others, the effectiveness of camouflage pattern.

Inevitably, when you design a camouflage pattern that will work everywhere, it will not work really well anywhere. Although the ACU Digital Camouflage concept offers the same performance potential as the Marine Corps model, it is too light in color. Mixture of green / tan / beige – for almost any terrain, except desert.

In a wooded area, with a predominant green color, it catches your eye like a protruding thumb. And yet, since the greenish-brown desert regions and brown mountains prevail in Southwest Asia, where the U.S. Army will operate in the near future, this pattern will prove acceptable..

US Army camouflage combat uniform for woodland.

The most effective camouflage pattern for any terrain, but only the second most effective after digital camouflage of the Marine Corps, is the US Army camouflage combat uniform for woodland. A sample of such camouflage, having randomly applied spots of four colors, masks well in any area except desert and snowy areas, and a special fabric that absorbs infrared rays helps to hide the owner from some high-tech surveillance systems.

Olive Jungle Combat Uniform.

The plain olive color in which the combat uniform for the jungle used in Vietnam was painted was not a bad color, but it left the owner’s silhouette unchanged. To increase efficiency, it was necessary to paint it from a spray gun..

Camouflage Tiger stripes.

The Tiger Stripes, another favorite camouflage of the Vietnam War, reminds me of fishing lures, half of which, as my father once remarked, are painted to catch fishermen instead of fish. This is an interesting pattern, but it is polarized in black. The stripes are oriented only horizontally. What happens when real shadows are vertical?

Army and police samples of American camouflage, MARPAT, ACU and others, the effectiveness of camouflage pattern.

To fully appreciate the danger, remember that prisoners are dressed in clothes with horizontal stripes, so that guards can confirm their presence by looking through the windows with vertical bars. I doubt it was a more interesting specimen, but tiger stripes can lead to your death. The coloring is gorgeous; polarization is bad.

Black uniform.

The black uniform, which is very popular with assault groups, suffers from the same drawback as the plain olive uniform, but the black color creates an even sharper outline that can put the sniper’s life at risk. I once argued about this with a Chicago police sniper whose tactical group wore a full black uniform because, as he said, this “scares” the bad guys.

This particular cop was a “know-it-all,” so my words were wasted. Hope they are not wasted for you. Understand that in order to be “intimidated,” the bad guy must see you. And if he can see you, he can shoot you. Bullying works against a shooter who is ready to enter into negotiations, but it looks like a death plea for a determined person who wants to kill someone, especially a police sniper.

Black color is not bad for assault groups, where they gain a short-term advantage by dumbfounding and intimidating the enemy. Especially wearing helmets and gas masks. But this is a terrible color for stealth and penetration. How can a bad guy armed with a shotgun call two cops dressed in black uniforms sneaking towards him in broad daylight? Morons.

We proved the relative weakness of the black outfit during the S.W.A.T. team competition. in Gulfport, Mississippi, when every single competitor dressed in black was discovered during an observation exercise. It convinced everyone. And enough about that.

Gray-White-Black Urban Snowflage Camouflage.

The only completely bad camouflage pattern is the gray-white-black combination, which sometimes is promoted as “urban camouflage”. It is so bright that it distinguishes the owner in any conditions except the snow – but this is the irony.

When it was first developed, this sample was called “Snowflage” and was not intended to be mixed with concrete and other urban elements. Use it on snowy fields, not on city streets. Military forest camouflage is much more effective in urban environments.

Based on the book “The Perfect Sniper. Study Guide for Army and Police Snipers ».
Maj. John L. Plaster, USAR (Ret.)

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