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Around the time we got married, The Husband and I had a roommate, M.  For reasons unknowable (or at least un-understandable) by me, the two of them had a thing for camouflage.  Well, as much into camouflage as two guys can be without going hunting, joining the military, or even owning any camouflage at all for that matter (until Christmas that year with the gift of a camouflage wallet).

They just really liked talking about and pointing out camouflage.

Why the camouflage obsession?  According to The Husband and M, it was because “chicks dig camo.”  Nevermind that The Husband had a fiancée/wife and M had a girlfriend, neither of whom “dug” camouflage.  It was just their inside joke that generic “chicks” apparently love camouflage.

Except it’s not really an inside joke.  Apparently it’s an everybody joke.  The Air Force’s camouflage is actually terrible camouflage.  In war zones like Afghanistan, airmen are told NOT to wear it and to wear Army uniforms instead so that they blend into their surroundings instead of sticking out like the chick-and-RPG magnets that they are.  You see, Air Force camouflage was designed with CDI Factor complete with “tiger stripes,” with CDI meaning “Chicks Dig It.”

There’s a whole article about it and the exploding number of camouflage patterns (and government redundancy/waste) at the Washington Post.

Some favorite quotes from the article:

The Army has its own “universal” camouflage pattern, which is designed to work anywhere. It also has another one just for Afghanistan, where the first one doesn’t work.

This is the one that is apparently still better than the AF version.

Pattern No. 7 came from the Air Force. On the surface, that did not make a whole lot of sense: Only a subset of Air Force personnel fight on the ground.

This is apparently why they went with the CDI Factor instead of the usefulness factor.  And why not? Everyone else got a new camo pattern!

The Navy spent more than $435,000 on three new designs. One was a blue-and-gray pattern, to be worn aboard ships. Pattern No. 8.

Sailors worried that it would hide them at the one time they would want to be found.

Not really sure why the people on the ships need camouflage.  It’s pretty obvious to an enemy that if there’s a ship there are people on it.  Now, if the Navy could get one of those whole-ship cloaking devices like on Star Trek…

Anyways, the article is worth a read.  It just confirms the idea that the military is just boys with toys.