04 March 2006

Fun Fact Friday: MARPAT

I know, it's Saturday, but the farm internet connection was down...or at best, spotty and glacial, so today I'm going to give the blogosphere the full treatment.

Today's fun facts: MARPAT
This stems from yesterday's eBay purchase (among other things: HK apparel), and a former penchant I had for wearing BDU pants as casual everyday wear.

OK, put that raised eyebrow down (especially you, Liam--you wore your pants backwards, I wore BDU trousers). A lot of fashions seem to incorporate a BDU theme, from cargo pockets to camouflage prints. It seems I was ahead of the curve back in the late '80s and early '90s.

They're comfortable, durable, and very utilitarian. Granted, you'll look out of place wearing Tiger Stripe to a church service (well, depending on what sort of church you go to--1st Church of the White Power Klansmen out in Deliveranceville, KY, might not see much out of the ordinary there), but they're great to work in or go hiking and camping in.

Hey, I made a funny! Deliverance...KY...get it?

You do? How often? Get off my blog, you disturbed sicko.

At any rate, I preferred solid colors (like most of my wardrobe)--khaki, OD green, grey, black. If I did buy a pair with a pattern, it would be something out of the mainstream--Tiger Stripe or Urban (before that became popular. They looked sharp on the ski slopes). I liked the 6-color desert pattern from Desert Storm (never owned a pair, but I did have a Bible made for troops deployed in Desert Shield that had that pattern for a cover--and a steel plate on the inside), moreso than the 3-color used in the mid-to-late '90s.

Then, I saw in an article in the News-Miner a few years ago about this new digital pattern the Marines were adopting. One officer mentioned how he would actually have to strain to see a soldier dressed out in the new pattern. From the few photos I saw, I could understand why.

It would seem that square blocks would stand out a lot more than the smooth squiggles you normally find. But one of Guy Cramer's articles on digital camouflage explains why it is so effective.

In short, it's because your brain interprets the pattern as just part of the background noise, and treats the object concealed as such. Of course, this is exactly what any camouflage will do in the first place: break up your outline so you can't be distinguished as easily from your surroundings. But the new digital patterns seem to be very effective at doing this, both at short and at longer ranges.

Now, this technology, in its current form, wasn't invented by our military nor one of its contractors. Much to my chagrin, the Canadians are supposed to take the credit for this, since this digital camouflage was first developed by them, named CADPAT (for CAnadian Disruptive PATtern).

However, Cramer says in another article that we first tinkered around with the concept in the 1970s. However, the reason it didn't catch on too well was "common sense." It's hard to convince most people that squares make the best concealment patterns.

All this makes the new camo very cool. I would have loved to have had a few pairs of these some 10-15 years ago.

1 comment:

Natasha said...

I'm just surfing today. Hello to everybody!! :)