The USAF Will Soon Switch to the U.S. Army’s OCP Uniform

Yesterday was Armed Forces Day here in the United States and some of the breaking military news is that the new OCP (Operational Camouflage Pattern) Uniform for the USAF will be none other than that of the U.S. Army.  Does this look like going full circle: back to the roots of the Air Force – – – in the U. S. Army?The U.S. Air Force is adopting the Army‘s Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP – above) as its new combat uniform and will begin incrementally phasing it in beginning this coming Oct. 1.

The service will soon be scrapping the Airman Battle Uniform, known as the ABU, for the Army’s OCP over the next three years.  It is anticipated that all airmen will be wearing the OCP by April 2021, according to Maj. Gen. Robert LaBrutta, the Air Force director of Military Force Management Policy, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services.

“Enhancing our readiness, the OCP is a uniform for form, fit and function,” LaBrutta told reporters May 9. “It is the best-of-breed of utility uniform that we believe is in the inventory.”

Airmen will have the option to sew on their name tape, service tape or both. Officers will have their rank on their patrol caps. Both enlisted airmen as well as officers will have their last names on the back of their caps.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein concurred: “The uniform works in all climates — from Minot to Manbij — and across the spectrum of missions we perform,” he said in a news release. “It’s suitable for our airmen working on a flight line in Northern Tier states and for those conducting patrols in the Middle East.”

“Everything on the configuration is the same as the Army wears the uniform; we’re just going to make some small color variations,” according to LaBrutta.

LaBrutta said the uniform also helps promote joint services integration. Since 2012, nearly 100,000 airmen have already worn the new uniform when deployed overseas in places like Afghanistan or while operating outside Air Base boundaries.

Just like their Army counterparts, airmen who go into combat zones in deployed locations will receive the fire retardant OCPs, which is standard now, LaBrutta advised.

Service members have asked about the new uniform at almost every town hall gathering, said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.  The focus has been, “How do we make it easier [and] what works for airmen,” she commented on May 4.

2 thoughts on “The USAF Will Soon Switch to the U.S. Army’s OCP Uniform

  1. Norm Schippers

    In reference to your recent visit to Edwards AFB . Our son Burt is a engineer for Pratt & Whitney who build the engine (PW 135 ) for the F-35 AC He works at Edwards and lives in Palmdale. He presently is assigned to Anandola AFB in Italy to assist them with any problem’s that they may have. We hope to be able to visit him before he returns.

    We have been going to Pancho Villa State Park for several years with our trailer, I joined First Aero Sqd. in 2016. We enjoy going to the Pink store for lunch. We like to make Evone’s Valentines Fiesta that’s a real fun time.

    Norman Schippers 21 Placitas Trails Rd Placitas NM 87043

    On Sun, May 20, 2018 at 2:08 PM, First Aero Squadron Foundation ™ wrote:

    > fasfric posted: “Yesterday was Armed Forces Day here in the United States > and some of the breaking military news is that the new OCP (Operational > Camouflage Pattern) Uniform for the USAF will be none other than that of > the U.S. Army. Does this look like going full circle” >

    1. fasfric Post author

      Thanks so much for checking in, Norm! Great to hear from you. Am sure both John Read, over at PVSP, and Ivonne at the Pink Store, both great supporters of the FASF, will appreciate your thoughtful remarks. Indeed, they are both must places to visit whenever down this way – – – or even near Columbus. We truly appreciate that you joined the FASF, too. 🙂 Hope you can make it over to beautiful Italy to visit you son, as well. Very interesting to hear of his essential involvement in the F-35 program. That is certainly some flying machine. Can you imagine what any of the First Aero’s original pilots would have to say should they be lucky enough to see that amazing flying machine? That engine for, which your son is responsible, is truly incredible. The jet can literally stand still on its tail at any working altitude, as though a helicopter – – – and then suddenly race off like a flash of lightning – Lightning II, of course 😉


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