USAF Officially Transitioning to OCP Uniform

A section of the Operational Camouflage Pattern the Army uses. US Army.

The Air Force is officially making another uniform change, transitioning to the US Army’s Operational Camouflage Pattern in a phased approach with the goal to fully transition by April 1, 2021.

Beginning Oct. 1, airmen who own serviceable OCP-patterned uniforms can wear them, and airmen will be able to purchase the uniforms first at Army and Air Force Exchange Services locations at Aviano AB, Italy; JB Charleston, S.C.; Shaw AFB, S.C.; and MacDill AFB, Fla., according to a USAF release. The distribution is limited at first to allow manufacturers to produce enough stock for other locations.

Enlisted airmen will see an increase to their clothing allowances on Oct. 1. Beginning April 1, 2019, airmen can purchase the uniform at any AAFES store that carries them. AAFES will sell them online around October 2019, according to the release. Those in Basic Military Training, Reserve Officer Training Corps, and Officer Training School will receive the uniforms beginning Oct. 1, 2019.

The decision to transition to the Army uniform came after feedback from airmen that it is the “best, battle-tested utility uniform available,” according to the release.

“We looked at all utility uniforms currently in our inventory to find the best-of-breed,” USAF Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said in the release. “We spoke to and listened to airmen on this, and the OCP was the clear choice.”

The uniform can work in all climates—”from Minot to Manbij,” he said.

More than 100,000 airmen already have OCPs, including those deployed to US Central Command, in special operations, mobility crews, and security forces in Global Strike Command. The transition means these airmen will only need one uniform, instead of separate uniforms to be worn while deployed and while at their home station.

The Air Force’s take on the OCP will include the wearing of squadron patches, spice-brown lettering on the name tape and Air Force lettering, along with tan T-shirts and belts. Special functional identifiers—security forces, combat controller, etc.—and unit patches will be worn on the left sleeves, with the US flag and headquarters patches on the right sleeves.