Urban Discipline – USMC Urban Camouflage ‘T Pattern’

Urban Discipline – USMC Urban Camouflage ‘T Pattern’

Whilst trawling a few gear pages on Facebook this came up in my feed, only time I’ve seen these in the wild was during a History Channel Urban/CQB documentary, where the Marines used these train in MOUT.

Whilst not footage from that documentary, some archival news reels are online and can be viewed here:

Not much proliferates the web regarding this pattern, however it’s clear as far back as 1999 the USMilitary in anticipation of growing threats from Terrorism, and domestic civil unrest – would see a shift towards more Asymmetrical Warfare, most likely within Urban City Centres.

Urban Warrior 1999

Operation Urban Warrior was a United States Marine Corps program created as an exercise meant to plan and test Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT) and urban warfare in general.

It was developed in the mid 1990s by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory partly in response to growing problem on inner-city fighting, and especially made urgent following the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993.

Press materials from the Warfighting Lab in 1997 stated, “..the world is becoming increasingly urbanized and increasingly dangerous” and described a new fight zone called the “urban littoral,” or coastal zone where most of the world’s population will reside. “Parts of the urban littoral will contain all the classic ingredients for conflict. There will be social, cultural, religious and tribal strife between differentgroups.

Many areas will have scarce resources, including the most basic ones like food and shelter as populations grow and resources shrink even further. The chances for conflict will naturally grow with it”

It’s no surprise that Law Enforcement and Police Forces have adopted ‘Grey’ as color way best suited for today’s AO’s …

Camopedia’s entry had this to say:

The US Army began testing a variety of camouflage patterns in 2001-2002 to replace the m81 woodland and tricolor desert patterns.

In 1998, another MOUT pattern was tested, this time with a very dominant grey colorway. BDU shirt and trousers, as well as PASGT helmet and vest covers were produced in the pattern, termed “urban camouflage” on the nomenclature. As with its predecessor, the urban MOUT pattern (sometimes nicknamed “Urban-T” or “T-MOUT”) was never adopted.

The range of designs included patterns with names such as “all-over brush,” “shadow line,” and “tracks,” with variations of each for use in woodland, desert, urban and combination desert/urban environments. At the same time, Natick begandeveloping a new era ofcombat uniform, based on improvements suggested by soldiers with field experience. This concept uniform would eventually be given the name Close Combat Uniform or CCU, and would eventually lead to the design implemented as the Army Combat Uniform. Of the new camouflage designs tested by the Army, only the “Urban Tracks” version would be fully implemented to the CCU production stage. Several hundred uniform examples were produced for testing by the Stryker Brigades in 2003-2004, although the pattern itself would be dropped in favor of the Universal Camouflage Pattern of the ACU.

Experimental USMC Urban T-Pattern BDU’s used in Urban Warrior in 1999 just for one FTX. Approximately only ever 800 sets of BDU pants, shirts, helmet and armor covers were made.

The Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) are camouflaged fatigues that were used by the United States Armed Forces as their standard combat uniform from the early 1980s to the mid-2000s. Since then, it has been replaced or supplanted in every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.

So, onto the pants – these have as expected become much sought after, and highly prized amongst collectors. I’m aware of a Far East Reproduction – however, whilst the pattern was correct in scale and color, the sizing was off and they horrendously faded when laundered.

These pants, as expected where produced in the obligatory BDU cut, and comprised of a shirt, pants – made from 50/50 NYCO and Helmet and Armor cover for the PASGT (Personal Armor System Ground Troops) PPE.

With a button fly, side bloused pockets and rear button pockets these are as utilitarian as expected – however, there’s a lot to be said for the venerable BDU.

It’s loose cut, and solid stitched construction make the BDU a firm favorite in my gear locker to this day.

I’d certainly hazard a guess and state these undoubtedly influenced NATTICK’s UCP pattern- which, whilst subject to much controversy and derision, particularly as it was heavily used in Arid environments such as Afghanistan is still an effective pattern in low light urban environments.

Whilst Camouflage is perhaps never intended to be appealing or attractive its three color pattern in rectangular and t-shaped print is striking none the less, and is interesting to see what development had extrapolated as potential solution to Camouflage in Urban Operations.

I’d love to add these to the collection, if only for posterity and historical interest – however, scarcity and availability make for an unlikely opportunity – S23

Photography courtesy of and special thanks to Bartek S

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