Chris MacLean's picture
The kerfuffle about military CADPAT uniforms
Posted on Aug 18, 2018 |  2 comments

It’s summer, and apparently time to make uniform changes, again.

The innovative Canadian Disruptive Pattern design, developed from computer algorithms based on imagery taken at engagement/detection ranges of 50-300 metres, was first worn in operations in Bosnia in 2001.

It was once rated “best tropical and temperate camouflage” by NATO soldiers, and the U.S. Marines considered adopting the copyrighted design for their own uniforms, but instead developed a very similar Universal Camouflage Pattern design they called MARPAT.

Subsequently, adapting the design to different environments was done in a cookie-cutter fashion and, over time, the U.S. concluded that UCP did not meet all operational concealment needs and has started switching over to the newer Operational Camouflage Pattern (known commercially as “multicam”), which will be fully in place by October 2019.

Maybe it is marginally better, but I’m told we have some $200 million worth of CADPAT uniforms in use, and another $200 million in stock waiting to be distributed.

There just may be more important uses for the funds it would take to re-kit the Canadian Armed Forces.


It's funny that where combat clothing is concerned, where climate and operating environment changes require alterations to basic concealment, we get up in arms quite quickly. Canada should independently develop a form of MTP that suits the operating environment, should we ever deploy operationally again. Where we do need to be concerned is the overwhelming desire to change our dress pattern uniforms to that of the US Forces in almost every way. We use US style ranks (CWO, MWO, Generals in the Air Force etc). Our General Staff wear US-fashioned pattern uniforms with bling cuffs, Our Naval Officers have taken to wearing Top Gun High Collar whites, and our Air Officers (to give them their correct name) look like 3rd world Generalissimo's with more rank badges and wings than a US Air Force recruiting poster! We need to engage with our Commonwealth partners, whom we've fought alongside with, with honour and valour, to stand up for ourselves and not be just seen as a form of US National Guard (Canada). Restore the honour before it's too late.

With reference to CADPAT… we need to stay with it!
There is no logical reason to switch to Multicam. Some people at DND love the idea of USA made and the social aspect of it. As a loyal supporter of the Made in Canada policy, I am proud of our craftsmen and women, let's keep jobs in Canada!