In April, the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) honored the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command and scientists at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center as recipients of the 2012 Henry E. Millson Award for Invention. The award was given in recognition of their work to develop camouflage patterns to improve combat effectiveness from counter surveillance in a variety of military environments.
The Millson Award, established in 1979, recognizes an outstanding invention’s merits and its impact on the U.S. textile, fiber, polymer and medical industries.
The Marine Corps camouflage patterns were developed to improve combat effectiveness from counter surveillance. These 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 Center, working closely with Marine Corps’ battlefield experts, produced camouflage patterns and garment designs that combine both a unique disruptive camouflage pattern with specialized 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 colors in both visible and near infrared light spectrums. The coloring 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 inventors honored with this award are:
- Gabriel R. Patricio (Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired), Program Manager, Infantry Combat Equipment, Marine Corps Systems Command.
- John Heisterman (Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired), Chief Instructor, Scout Sniper School, USMC Training and Education Command.
- Luisa C. DeMorais, Textile Chemist, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center.
- Deirdre Townes, Textile Technologies, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center.
- Anabela Dugas, Textile Technologist, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center.
AATCC named the Millson Award for Invention for Henry E. Millson, a noted inventor who was head of dyes research for American Cyanamid. Millson, the 1958 recipient of AATCC’s Olney Medal for outstanding achievement in textile chemistry, endowed the Millson Award in 1979 with the stipulation that he never be considered a candidate. After agreeing to that condition, the Association promptly named the award in his honor.
The association presented the award at the AATCC International Conference Awards Luncheon, which was held on April 11, 2013, in Greenville, S.C.
Visit the AATCC website to view past award recipients.