May 14 (UPI) — The U.S. Air Force announced Monday it plans to adopt the Army’s Occupational Camouflage Pattern uniform starting in October.
The branch said it will move to the new single combat utility uniform in response to requests from airmen.
“The uniform works in all climates — from [Minot, N.D.,] to [Manbij, Syria,] — and across the spectrum of missions we perform,” said chief of staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein. “It’s suitable for our Airmen working on a flight line in Northern Tier states and for those conducting patrols in the Middle East.”
The transition to the new uniform will be gradual, and will be fully implemented by April 1, 2021. More than 100,000 airmen already wear OCPs, or flight-suit equivalent.
The Air Force said leaders opted for the OCP after reports from airmen “that it is the best, battle-tested utility uniform available.” It also eliminates the need for two uniforms, one for in-garrison use and one for deployments.
“We looked at all utility uniforms currently in our inventory to find the best-of-breed,” Goldfein said. “We spoke to and listened to Airmen on this, and the OCP was the clear choice.”
The Air Force said the airmen’s OCPs will have “distinctive Air Force features,” including the spice-brown color for name tape and letter, and tan T-shirts and belts. Airmen also will wear squadron patches.
“Unit patches express squadron identity and heritage — something our Airmen are incredibly proud of and want to celebrate,” Goldfein said.
The uniform comes in 20 female sizes and 37 unisex sizes.
“The Army has done considerable work to make the OCPs a better fitting uniform for female service members,” said Maj. Gen. Bob LaBrutta, director of military force management policy, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services.