“The MARPAT Myth”

According to one popular military website the story of the development of MARPAT is that a Marine consultant instructed a designer at a production facility in Fall River, Massachusetts to create a digital-noise pattern on a computer screen (similar to the “snow” pattern on a de-tuned TV screen). Then blocks of colour were filled in until a pattern emerged which looked “about right”.  A similar theme runs through the Wikipedia entry about MARPAT.


If this story is to be believed, then it’s pretty miraculous that this approach just happened to produce a very effective camouflage pattern – which also bears a remarkably close resemblance to CADPAT!! The truth is of course a bit different, but also more believable…


The real story has been revealed through declassified information now publicly available and confirmed by the CADPAT Project Manager, Major D. Palmer. According to Major Palmer, the USMC were aware of the development CADPAT and expressed considerable interest during the latter stages of its development.


The USMC’s interest peaked when scientific tests and field trials demonstrated CADPAT’s superiority over every other temperate pattern currently fielded.  So, at the USMC’s request, the Canadian government shared CADPAT with the Corps under a bilateral military “Exchange Agreement”. Minor tweaking of the pattern and colours allowed the USMC to avoid paying the licensing fees associated with any use of the copyrighted Canadian pattern. This was done with full Canadian concurrence and confirms that MARPAT is indeed a direct derivative of CADPAT.


This fact was even corraborated by the US Military’s own newspaper, The Stars and Stripes in article from 24 Feb 2001 http://www.stripes.com/01/feb01/ed022401e.html


Finally, pattern analysis by independent sources has confirmed the fact that MARPAT and CADPAT are in fact differently coloured versions of the same pattern, and that the US Army’s “Universal Camouflage Pattern” (used for ACUs) is just a 3-colour variation of MARPAT – as the attached image shows – thanks to Guy Cramer for supplying the original JPEG from which this was derived:



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