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CADPAT MT Modernized Combat Uniform

Members of Garrison Petawawa wearing four-colour CADPAT Prototype J, from which five-colour CADPAT (MT) is derived, while participating in Combat First Aid training on June 10, 2020 [Canadian DND: Aviator Melissa Gloude]

At the end of February 2024 the Canadian Army issued an Information Article on CADPAT Multi-Terrain (MT) Modernized Combat Uniform (MCU).

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Project number: 24-0016 – CADPAT (MT) MCU.

The Modernized Combat Uniform (MCU) will see the new Canadian Disruptive Pattern Multi -Terrain, or CADPAT (MT), camouflage pattern used in production of updated Combat Uniforms. Issuing is beginning in February 2024, based on operational requirement, generally going to the highest readiness units first.

Serving Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members who are entitled to wear the Operational Dress will be notified via their Chains of Command when they are slated to draw the CADPAT (MT) MCUs at their usual clothing stores. The selection of a new CADPAT (MT) pattern is a key step toward the Soldier Operationalization Clothing and Equipment Modernization initiative (SOCEM), which, for the past several years, has worked to advance the fit, form, and function of operational clothing and equipment. Information about further improvements to uniforms and personal equipment as part of the SOCEM initiative will be announced in the coming years.

The new five-colour CADPAT (MT) alongside CADPAT (TW) [Canadian DND photo]

CADPAT (MT) MCU – Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why are we transitioning to a new CADPAT Pattern? Is something wrong with CADPAT (TW) or CADPAT (AR)?
    • CADPAT Temperate Woodland (TW) and CADPAT Arid Region (AR) are among the most effective camouflage patterns worn by any army in the world. But technological advances in warfighting, namely the digitization and proliferation of surveillance and sensors, mean having soldiers less detectable to the enemy is increasingly important. CADPAT (MT) provides outstanding performance across the widest range of environments in which Canadian soldiers are likely to operate.
  • Why is CAPDPAT MT better than the Temperate Woodland (green) and Arid Region (tan) CADPAT variants?
    • The goal of camouflage is to delay detection by the enemy. The selection of the new Canadian Disruptive Pattern Multi-Terrain (CADPAT (MT)) colour scheme was a data-driven process, as this pattern reduces the likelihood of detection from a greater range of technologies and in the widest range possible of operational environments. Technological advances in warfighting, namely the digitization and proliferation of surveillance and sensors, mean having soldiers less detectable to the enemy is increasingly important.
  • Who will be issued the CADPAT (MT) Modernized Combat Uniform first and why?
    • People can expect to start seeing CADPAT (MT) in February 2024. The roll out will be based on operational requirement, generally going to the highest readiness units first.
    • CAF members who are entitled to wear the Operational Dress will be notified via their Chains of Command when they are slated to draw the CADPAT (MT) MCUs at their usual clothing stores.
    • All members of the CAF who wear CADPAT as their Operational Dress are included in this highest readiness first plan, regardless of element.
  • How was the new pattern developed?
    • Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) developed specialized software, which takes the information from digital photographs of a wide range of operating environments, pixilates them, and then calculates the percentage of each colour and texture present in the environment to form the new Multi-Terrain or MT.
  • Why was ‘MultiCam’ not chosen as the new camouflage pattern?
    • CADPAT (MT) is a Canadian-owned design that has been tested and evaluated against several other National, allied, and commercial designs. CADPAT (MT) was found to be the most effective, in the global conditions in which Canadian soldiers are likely to operate.
  • Will there be other structural changes to the Modernized Combat Uniform?
    • Yes. The CADPAT (MT) combat uniform will have the same style as the current uniforms but with minor improvements based on soldier feedback. More size ranges, from 4 inch increments to 2 inch increments; removal of knee pads and lower leg pen pockets, which will result in a return to a narrower cut and faster drying time; and removal of the forearm pen pockets. Further updates to fit, form and function of operational clothing and equipment will be included in the coming years as part of the SOCEM initiative.
    • This is a key step towards the SOCEM, which for the past several years has worked to advance the fit, form and function of operational clothing and equipment.
  • Will sizing change?
    • Yes. The CADPAT (MT) combat uniform will have the same style, but the size range has moved from 4-inch increments to 2-inch increments, effectively doubling the size range available.
    • Updates to the fit, form and function of operational clothing and equipment will be announced in future as part of the broader SOCEM initiative.
  • Will there be changes to pockets?
    • Yes. Feedback from soldiers showed that the forearm pen pockets, and the lower leg pockets were rarely used. These have been removed in the MCU pattern. The CADPAT (MT) MCU will otherwise be the same uniform that is currently in circulation, but in the new MT pattern. Updates to the fit, form and function of operational clothing and equipment will be announced in future as part of the broader SOCEM initiative.
  • How will CADPAT (MT) Modernized Combat Uniforms be issued?
    • There will be no change to how operational clothing is issued in the short term, with each member being sized and issued new combats at clothing stores. Any changes will be announced in the coming years as part of the broader SOCEM initiative.
  • How many sets will be issued to each soldier?
    • The scale of issue will be maintained with three sets to be issued to each member. This will not change. As part of the rollout, in order to ensure a wider distribution, some members may receive two sets initially, and then receive their full entitlement in the second year of the program.
  • When will all CAF members be dressed in CADPAT (MT) uniforms?
    • From initial issue beginning in February 2024, it will take approximately 24 months to compete the transition. This helps ensure the best available items are delivered to soldiers as quickly as possible. By contrast, the process to transition of the Canadian Average Green (or Olive Drab) combat uniform to the Green CADPAT (TW) uniforms took more than seven years to complete.
  • Can I continue to use my CADPAT TW or Arid Region kit and other clothing while wearing my CADPAT (MT) uniform? For how long?
    • Yes. Until the other layers of clothing such as rain jackets and parkas are in the new CADPAT (MT) pattern are designed, prototyped, rigorously tested and manufactured, soldiers shall continue to wear currently issued CADPAT (TW) or CADPAT (AR) items mixed with their CADPAT (MT) shirts, pants and hats.
  • Will I continue to be issued CAPDAT Arid Region (AR) for deployments to warmer climates?
    • No. CADPAT Arid Region uniforms will be withdrawn from use and replaced with CADPAT (MT), in parallel to the removal of CADPAT (TW).
  • What will happen to all of the CADPAT (MT) and AR uniforms currently in circulation?
    • They will be returned to supply depot, after they are exchanged for CADPAT (MT). A plan for their eventual disposal is in development.
  • Will a CADPAT (MT) tac vest, helmet cover, webbing, or other load carriage be produced? If so, when?
    • When information about production timelines of other items in CADPAT (MT) becomes available, it will be shared with CAF members via Chains of Command.
  • Will I also receive rank patches and name tags in CADPAT (MT)? If so, how will they be issued?
    • Rank patches and Canadian flags (colour and subdued) will be issued by the clothing stores when new CADPAT (MT) Modernized Combat Uniforms are issued. Name tapes will be ordered in bulk but using a new system to ensure a quicker turnaround. All other badges are “reverse compatible”, therefore all issued badges and those purchased from CANEX may continue to be worn in CADPAT (MT), until new badges are available.
  • Can the CADPAT (MT) pattern be used for items other than uniforms? Can anybody produce items using the CADPAT (MT) pattern?
    • No. All patterns of CADPAT have DND-owned Intellectual Property rights. This prohibits all use of CADPAT outside DND without a license, and there are no Intellectual Property licenses granted to any commercial suppliers. CADPAT may not be used by any commercial supplier of badges and other items attached to the uniform. Commanding Officers are liable to ensure that DND Intellectual Property is protected, and CAF members are not exploited by unauthorized suppliers. The CADPAT pattern belongs to the CAF exclusively, therefore, no Corps, Branch, or Unit Kit Shop may develop any CADPAT product, except through CANEX. Only CANEX, has authority to supply CADPAT items, as they are from the same supply chain as issued items. Commanding Officers wishing to develop a badge shall use the procedure laid out in the Army Dress Manual.
  • Can I get a replacement uniform if I’m deployed on Operation overseas?
    • Deployed clothing stores will hold CADPAT (MT), as the CADPAT (TW) and (AR) uniforms will be withdrawn. There will be no change to the deployment sustainment systems.
  • Can I continue to wear green or arid region CADPAT uniforms?
    • Continue to wear your CADPAT (TW) or CADPAT (AR) uniforms until instructed to exchange them by your chain of command.
  • I am a Reservist working on Class B contract unit wearing Service Dress as dress of the day, but I am also serving with my home unit as Class A on weekends. How will I be drawing my new CADPAT (MT) uniform?
    • The rollout of the new uniforms will be done by UIC [SL1]. Your chain of command will inform you when you are able to go to clothing stores to conduct an exchange.
  • Why now if uniforms will be changing structurally in the next few years?
    • DND is committed to providing the best equipment we can deliver. Challenges with manufacturing are significant in the post-COVID environment, so any opportunity to make even the smallest improvement is being taken by leadership. It is not always symmetrical or in the ideal sequence, but where something can be improved it is being done.
  • I heard that ‘pattern J’ would be the next pattern – why CADPAT (MT) instead?
    • CADPAT Prototype J was an experimental pattern among over a dozen other patterns developed and was never intended for general use. Lessons learned from the trial were incorporated into the design; CADPAT (MT) retains some visual similarity to ‘J’ and was developed out of this trial.

Source: Canadian DND

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Four-colour CADPAT Prototype J during field testing in 2019 [Canadian DND photo]

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