We received this memo directly from Caleb Crye, executive director of Crye Precision and the designer of MultiCam.
Anyway you look at it, Crye
hasn't said or done anything critical of the Army's effort.
Revealing the price of MultiCam
without any context seems like a way to color opinion and portray Crye
as a greedy contractor that is trying to cash in at the nation's expense.
was advised by PM-CIE
leadership via teleconference on May 1, 2013 that its submission had won the final program phase of the camouflage improvement effort, and that a formal announcement would be forthcoming.
Following the notification about winning phase IV from PM-CIE, Crye assumed that the Army would continue to take advantage of the already well-established manufacturing base for MultiCam® raw materials and end items, as it had been doing for years, as the Army does not currently license MultiCam® from Crye Precision, nor does it pay Crye Precision for its use.
Instead, Army representatives approached Crye
to discuss the market's pricing of MultiCam® gear (such as uniforms) and told Crye
that it would have to deliver "significant cost savings".
does not supply the Army's uniforms, Crye
informed the Army that it, just like any other supplier deep in the supply chain, has no visibility on or ability to mandate the prices the government is charged by any of the uniform or gear makers.
agreed to do its part in the only way it could, which was by reducing already nominal fees it receives from its licensed fabric printers.
Significantly, those fees represent only a very small part of the end-item cost and are deeply embedded in the supply chain (just as a fiber manufacturer or a dye provider is, for example.) Crye
asked for nothing in return for offering this fee reduction.
Crye's proposal, which offered the Army a path to achieve immediate cost savings, was rejected outright by the Army.
During negotiations with Crye
, in October of 2013, the Army released a Justification and Approval (J&A) that it planned to issue MultiCam® as the Army's "principle camouflage pattern".
Continuing its efforts to reduce costs to the Army and in an attempt to eliminate the Army's concerns that MultiCam® was more expensive than UCP, Crye
submitted several formal proposals which proved that the Army could procure MultiCam® gear at prices within 1% of UCP gear.
Crye's proposals additionally showed that this could be accomplished with no upfront cost to the Army.
The Army rejected all of Crye's proposals and did not present any counter proposals, effectively saying that a proven increase in Soldier survivability was not worth a price difference of less than 1%.
The Army then requested that Crye
provide a buyout price for MultiCam®.
advised the Army that a full buyout of MultiCam® was unnecessary, pointing to the fact that MultiCam® was readily available for competitive purchase and that the Army could simply continue its use of MultiCam® service-wide, with no new costs to the Army.
In addition, Crye
pointed out that this course of action would require Crye
to cede quality and brand control to the Army, effectively undermining Crye's
commercial market permanently.
As such, this option would have required the buyout price to include the entire lifetime value of the MultiCam® brand, and would have been prohibitively expensive.
declined to provide a buyout figure, which would have to be well into the tens of millions of dollars, because it was likely that any figure presented by Crye
could be used out of context to misrepresent and mischaracterize Crye.
It was only after continued requests from the Army, coupled with an acknowledgement from the Army that it fully understood that the cost would be in the tens of millions of dollars, and a promise that all information would be kept in strictest confidence, that Crye
then agreed to provide a full valuation for the MultiCam® brand, along with a deeply discounted price to the Army for the buyout being requested.
predicted, and despite the Army's assurances to the contrary, Crye's offer was rejected outright by the Army.
No official counter offers to any of Crye's proposals were ever provided to Crye by the Army.
Confidential information provided by Crye
to the Army has been released out of context, in a manner that misrepresents Crye
as having been unwilling to negotiate with the Army and help it find the cost savings it indicated was its goal.