Air Force Recruits Start Receiving OCP Uniform at Basic Military Training


Brand-new airmen entering Basic Military Training are now donning the Air Force’s new Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) uniform.

The U.S. Air Force announced that it began issuing the OCP to trainees of the 37th Training Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, earlier this month.

“Each trainee is issued four sets of uniforms with their initial issue,” said Bernadette Cline, clothing issue supervisor, in a released statement.

Trainees who were issued the old Airman Battle Uniform, or ABU, before the October rollout will switch to the OCP once they start receiving their clothing allowance — the stipend used toward uniform replacement — following BMT, she added.

Related: Air Force OKs Unit Patch Sleeve Swap on New OCP Uniform

“We partner with [the] Defense Logistics Agency, [which] provides the clothing items upfront to be issued,” Donald Cooper, Air Force initial clothing issue chief, said in a news release. “I think the biggest value is going to be the thought that they aren’t required to have two uniforms anymore once they convert to a uniform that is for deployment and day-to-day work.”

Cline added, “Now that everyone is converting over to this uniform, [the trainees] already have the uniform to work and deploy in.”

Since 2012, nearly 100,000 airmen have worn the uniform when deployed overseas in places like Afghanistan or while operating outside the wire, Maj. Gen. Robert LaBrutta, then the Air Force’s director of military force management policy and deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, told Military.com in May. LaBrutta, who oversaw the uniform’s initial integration, has since retired.

That month, the service formally announced it would transition to the Army‘s OCP as its new combat uniform; it began incrementally phasing it in on Oct. 1, 2018.

At the time, officials said they had a multi-year rollout planned, and would start handing out the uniform to new recruits at BMT, the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and Officer Training School, in October 2019.

The service since then has been eliminating the ABU from its inventory in favor of the OCP, with the expectation that all airmen will be wearing it by April 2021.

Officials said the next step is for airmen to begin transitioning their boots, socks and T-shirts to the “coyote brown” color, and their rank insignia to the “spice brown” color.

The change should be completed by June 1, 2020, according to the release.

— Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

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