WASHINGTON — The Army Maternity Uniform Pilot Program, also known as “Rent the Camo,” provides eligible female Soldiers stationed in the continental Unites States with free maternity uniforms.
The pilot program is available to officers and enlisted service members in all three components of the Army.
“This program is going to help give [Soldiers] the one-stop shop they need,” said Maj. Irma Richards, Army Logistics, troop support. “By streamlining the process to where they only have one person to deal with, which is the MUPP representative, that eliminates the back and forth a female Soldier has going to several locations to obtain her uniforms.”
In June 2020, Congress passed the “Rent the Camo: Access to Maternity Wear Act,” which directed each military service to establish a pilot program for issuing and recovering maternity uniforms to pregnant service members.
The Army started their program in October 2022 with two active-duty installations and the Maryland Army National Guard before expanding to all installations in the continental U.S. in May. Pilot participation is not available overseas at this time.
The initiative is volunteer based. Once a member reports a pregnancy to their unit, the command may offer the opportunity to use the program. Then the Soldier works with her installation representative for direct online ordering.
The Army also incorporated new developmental items into the pilot; the Army physical fitness uniform – maternity, the tan maternity T-shirt, and the nursing T-shirt. These items are only available in limited quantities.
Each member receives five maternity T-shirts and three sets of the operational camouflage pattern maternity uniform. Pilot uniforms are delivered directly to the service member and will be kept during the duration of the pregnancy. The uniforms will be retained by the service member for up to 15 months from the time they are received.
The program saves Soldiers hundreds of dollars on uniforms.
Each installation representative receives feedback from the volunteers and passes that to program leadership. So far, 204 participants have volunteered.
The initial response from Soldiers has been extremely positive, Richards said.
The pilot will run until fiscal year 2025 or when the service reaches 1,200 participants in the program.
At the end of the pilot, the information gathered from volunteers will be used to create courses of action and recommendations for Army senior leaders to determine the best way forward.