Camouflaged Savings in Uniformity

At the Pentagon, it’s hard to camouflage savings in spending.

Yet,  the government is sorting it all out:

Camouflage combat uniforms are about to get the same look across all four branches of the military.

Defense-policy legislation awaiting a vote in the House this week prohibits each military branch from adopting a new camouflage design unless it’s used by all services.

The provision could save millions of dollars while affecting future contracts for the 23 manufacturers across the country that benefit from the proliferation of designs.

“Congress is right to exercise its oversight role to eliminate the waste and duplication in camouflage uniforms policy,” Rep. Bill Enyart, an Illinois Democrat who spearheaded the effort to reduce the multiple designs, said in an e-mailed statement as the congressional armed services panels debated the issue earlier this year.

The defense bill, which authorizes spending levels and policy for the Pentagon, would allow the secretary of defense to waive the the uniform requirements in circumstances such as

“In the absence of a DOD requirement that the services collaborate to standardize the development and introduction of camouflage uniforms, the services may forego millions of dollars in potential cost savings,” the Government Accountability office has reported. “The services’ decision-making processes for developing new uniforms are fragmented and vary in their effectiveness.”

Cutting costs isn’t the only effect of standardization: It could mean fewer contracts for camouflage manufacturers such as Boca Raton, Florida-based Tennier Industries or Tullahoma Industries in Tennessee. Uniform designers also would be affected. Crye Precision in Brooklyn, New York, and Atlantic Diving Suppl, also known as ADS, and based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, were among the defense contractors chosen to submit designs for new Army camouflage uniforms.

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