The Army introduced yesterday a redesigned combat uniform with a digital camouflage pattern that looks strikingly different from soldiers' current battle dress uniforms.

It marks the first major change in the Army uniform since 1981, said Brig. Gen. James R. Moran, who modeled the uniform for reporters at the Pentagon. He said recruits will be issued the redesigned uniform starting October 2005, and the entire Army will be outfitted by December 2007.

The uniform is being produced in a single, universal pattern to replace the two camouflage versions now in use: tan-brown for desert use and green-brown-black for woodland settings.

The pattern for the new camouflage coat and trousers is a mix of light green, tan and gray. Moran said it was designed to allow soldiers to blend into urban, desert and forest environments.

Soldiers also will get new, no-shine, tan combat boots, and the current black boots will be discontinued.

The new uniform makes more use of Velcro, and the coat fastens in front with a zipper instead of buttons. Cuffs and pockets are fastened with Velcro, and the coat collar can be turned up and fastened Mandarin-style. The uniform is roomier and made with a no-wrinkle fabric.

The coat-trousers combination costs $88, compared with $56 for the current battle dress uniform.

The new uniform was designed in part to accommodate the new Interceptor body armor that soldiers are getting in Iraq and Afghanistan for partial protection from bullets as large as 7.62mm.

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Myhre models the redesigned battle dress uniform.