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Different Types of OCP Camo

a man wearing an OCP camo uniform.

Operational Camouflage Pattern, aka OCP, is the current camo design for the United States Army, Air Force, and Space Force.

It replaced the widely unpopular Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) as the official camo pattern in 2015. 

The History of OCP 

UCP was the official camo pattern of the US Army for much of the early and mid-2000s. However, soldiers didn’t like it because they felt it did a poor job of concealment in many environments. 

In the meantime, a new camo pattern called MultiCam® was gaining in popularity, especially for deployment to the Middle East and particularly Afghanistan. There, the terrain varied drastically, with desert landscapes quickly turning into mountainous regions and even woodland terrain. 

In 2009, the United States Congress passed a bill requiring the Department of Defense to begin the search for a new camo pattern that was better suited to the varied terrain in Afghanistan. After much testing and careful consideration, a new, permanent replacement for UCP and MultiCam® was announced. Its codename – Scorpion W2. 

Scorpion W2 was eventually christened Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) and was officially adopted as the official camo of the United States Army in 2015. The name Operational Camouflage Pattern was chosen to help distinguish it from the former UCP and MultiCam, and to let it be known the pattern was for all combat environments, not just Afghanistan. 

In 2018, the US Air Force announced OCP as their official combat uniform, while in 2020, the US Space Force did the same. 

OCP Camo Description 

The MultiCam® design the Army had been using had a sharper, more rigid design with both its colors and pattern. Although similar in coloring, OCP has a softer feel in terms of coloring and shapes. 

OCP camo features a combination of seven shades of browns, beiges, and greens. These soft, earth tones blend seamlessly to offer the desired concealment in a wide variety of natural environments. 

In fact, the US Army’s testing showed that in varied environments, OCP was 20% more effective than UCP at shielding soldiers from detection. This falls right in line with their primary decision criteria – soldier force protection and safety. 


We’re throwing a lot of abbreviations at you, but it’s beneficial to note that OCP is the pattern of camouflage, while ACU stands for Army Combat Uniform. OCP is the pattern of camo worn on Army Combat Uniforms (ACU) for the US Army, Air Force, and Space Force.  

How OCP is Used Today 

The OCP uniform used today by the US military not only offers outstanding concealment in most environments, but they also feature enhanced protections for soldiers. These include fire resistance and protection against insect-borne diseases like Lyme disease and malaria. 

OCP is not only worn by the US military branches mentioned above, but also by other militaries around the world in some capacity. These countries include South Korea, Ukraine, Australia, and Lebanon. 


OCP vs MultiCam 

OCP and MultiCam® are similar in appearance, and you may not notice the subtle differences right away. However, there are a couple differences that you should be able to spot.

  • First, the background color – the OCP base goes from a light green to light brown with wider, horizontal bands. Conversely, MultiCam® featured vertical elements as opposed to horizontal. 
  • Second, the MultiCam® pattern is much denser, with sharper design elements, for a more rugged look, while OCP features a softer feel. 

OCP is the official pattern of the US Army, Air Force, and Space Force, but MultiCam® remains a popular option for civilians who want or need to wear camouflage.

Tactical Camo Gear and Apparel from 5.11 Tactical  

While 5.11 doesn’t stock OCP uniforms or apparel, we do offer a variety of other camouflage options for your needs. Our collection of MultiCam® camo provides the concealment you want and can be worn for everything from hunting and hiking to tactical training and everyday wear. 

Check out our MultiCam® TDU Long Sleeve Shirt and pair with the MultiCam® TDU Pant for a head-to-toe MultiCam® look that will provide concealment and safety in any situation. 


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