The US Air Force service will move to a single combat utility uniform, adopting the Operational Camouflage Pattern, or OCP, already in use by the Army and Airmen in combat zones and in certain jobs across the Air Force.
Starting Oct. 1, 2018, Airmen who have serviceable OCPs may wear the uniform, and Airmen can purchase OCPs at Army and Air Force Exchange Services. The service will fully transition to OCPs by April 1, 2021, the US Air Force said in a statement Monday.
USAF decided to transition to the OCP following feedback from Airmen that it is battle-tested utility uniform available. It will also eliminate the need to maintain two separate uniforms – one for in-garrison and one for deployments – and it is a visible reminder of the service’s identity as a joint warfighting force, Air Force officials said.
Feedback from the force indicated Airmen find the OCP more functional—from the slanted, Velcro chest pockets to the easily-accessible shoulder pockets. Female Airmen have made it clear that this uniform is a better fit, as well.
“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. “The uniform comes in 20 female sizes and 37 unisex sizes. Female Airmen, currently issued the unisex uniform in US Air Forces Central Command, report a better fit and higher morale as a result.”