The Marine Corps is currently searching for a combat utility uniform that combines the benefits of its current two uniforms into a single system, according to a new notice from the service.
Marine Corps Systems Command released a request for information in mid-January in search of industry input into producing “a flame-resistant (FR) and signature-mitigated modification” to the existing Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform (MCCUU).
Military.com was the first to report the new request for information.
The Marine Corps currently uses two different utility uniforms for grunts deployed outside of tropical settings: the traditional MCCUU, which provides visible and near-infrared signal mitigation when worn, and the Flame-Resistant Organizational Gear (FROG) Combat Uniform, which adds fire resistance to the mix “at a significantly higher cost and at the expense of durability and comfort,” according to the RFI.
MARCORSYSCOM’s goal with the new RFI “is to modify the existing MCCUU in order to provide a durable uniform to every Marine that provides FR protection and spectral mitigation properties across visual, [near infrared], and shortwave infrared (SWIR) wavebands without a significant increase in cost,” according to the notice.
According to Military.com, the next-generation uniform won’t actually look different from the existing ones, but at a proposed maximum cost of $105.60 apiece, it’ll cost less than buying both the traditional MCCUU for 89$ and the FROG uniform for an additional $184.
“Value is in a reduction of the logistic burden of maintaining separate FROG combat uniforms,” MARCORSYSCOM spokeswoman Kerry Flynn told Military.com. “The Marine Corps expects a cost saving of a few million dollars due to not having to buy replacement FROGs.”
Originally fielded as a replacement for the Battle Dress Uniform that the Marine Corps once shared with the other branches of the U.S. military, the MCCUU is recognizable for its distinct MARPAT camouflage that the service patented in the early 2000s.
The FROG system was developed in the mid-2000s to reduce fire and flash injuries among U.S. forces due to the use of improvised explosive devices against them in Afghanistan and Iraq.