US Marine Corps and Army Natick Soldier Research bestowed

AATCC, the American Association of Textile Colourists and Chemists will honour the US Marine Corps System Command and scientists at the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Centre as recipients of the 2012 Henry E. Milson Award for Invention. Henry E. Milson, was a noted inventor who was head of dyes research for American Cyanamid and he was bestowed in 1958 with the AATCC Olney Medal for outstanding achievement in textile chemistry, endowed the Milson Award in 1979 with the stipulation that he never be considered a candidate. After agreeing to that condition, tdhe Association promptly named the award in his honour.

The award is bestowed in recognition of their work developing camouflage patterns to improve combat effectiveness from counter surveillance in a variety of military environments

The Milson Award was established in 1979 and recognises outstanding invention’s merits and its impact on the U.S. textile, fibre, polymer, and medical industries.

The innovative patterns were an element of an entire ground combat uniform review to provide increased utility and a unique U.S. Marine appearance.

Under the direction of the Program Manager, Infantry Combat Equipment, Marine Corps Systems Command, scientists at the U.S Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Centre, working closely with Marine Corps’ battlefield experts, produced camouflage patterns and garment designs that combine both a unique disruptive camouflage pattern with specialised techniques for printing the camouflage pattern system onto fabric that make it harder to see uniforms in both human visible light and near infrared light.

The dyes used are based on acid and vat varieties to produce the correct colours in both visible and near infrared light spectrums. The colouring for both the woodland and desert patterns includes at least four different shades from dyes, which in combination, produce a percent reflectance value comparable to that of the negative space of the camouflage subject’s surrounding. The technology was field tested by approximately 450 Marines to evaluate camouflage effectiveness and user acceptance.


The Association will present the award at the AATCC International Confernce Awards Luncheon to be held from April 11, 2013 in Greenville, South Carolina (USA) and the inventors being honoured are Gabriel R. Patricio (Lieutenant Colonel, US Marine Corps, Retired, Program Manager, Infantry Combat Equipment, Marine Corps Systems Command; John Heisterman (Gunnery Sergeant, US Marine Corps, Retired), Chief Instructor, Scout Sniper School, USMC Training and Education Command; Luisa C. DeMorais, Textile Chemist: Deirdre Townes, Textile Technlogies, and Anabela Dugas, Textile Technologist, all three from US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Centre.

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