Battle Dress Uniform

This article is about the U.S. uniform. For the similarly named British combat uniform worn from 1939 to 1961, see Battle Dress.
Battle Dress Uniform
M81 Woodland Camoflauge Pattern BDU
U.S. Marine Corps BDU blouse in woodland pattern, wearer's nametape removed. The ironed-on "EGA" on the breast pocket is barely visible due to wear.
TypeCombat uniform
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1981–2008 (U.S. Army)[1][2]
1981–2005 (U.S. Marine Corps)[3]
1981–2011 (U.S. Air Force)
1981–2012 (U.S. Navy)[4]
WarsCold War
Yugoslav Wars[5][6]
Global War on Terrorism
Production history
Unit cost50$ (MSRP in February 2001)[9]
VariantsDesert Camouflage Uniform, Desert Battle Dress Uniform

The Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) is a camouflaged combat uniform that was used by the United States Armed Forces as their standard combat uniform from the early 1980s to the mid-2000s. Since then, it has been replaced or supplanted in every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.

BDU-style uniforms and derivatives still see widespread use in other countries (some of them being former U.S. surplus stocks transferred under U.S. security assistance programs), while others are still worn by some U.S. federal, state and local law enforcement agencies or activities who may work in tactical situations, such as the DEA FAST and SWAT teams.

As late as 2014, BDUs were worn by officers of the U.S. Public Health Service as the prescribed uniform for deployment, but have since been replaced by a variant of the U.S. Coast Guard's Operational Dress Uniform.


Man and woman modelling early prototypes of the BDU in 1980
A man and woman modelling early prototypes of the BDU in 1980.
Fort Huachuca Security Forces
U.S. Air Force Security Forces Defenders train at Fort Huachuca, Arizona in October 2004, wearing BDUs.
Missile Maintainer inspects missile guidance system of the LGM-30G Minuteman ICBM
A U.S. Air Force missile maintainer, wearing a BDU, inspects an ICBM guidance system in March 2006.

While the Italian Army was the first military organization to issue camouflaged clothing, albeit in limited numbers, the Germans were noted for their efforts in this field before the Second World War. After much trial, the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (abbrev. OKW) authorized Heeres-Splittermuster 31, more commonly known as "splinter pattern", for use in shelter-quarters (Zeltbahnen) in the 1930s. In 1940, SS-Verfügungstruppe (abbrev. SS-VT; renamed Waffen-SS) designed, tested and issued its own distinctive patterns and layout not long after.

The United States Marine Corps received its first military camouflage pattern in 1942, when the reversible, beach-jungle, three- and five-color frog-skin pattern uniform was issued, based on a 1940 trial design. The pattern was mostly employed in the Pacific Theatre, but was not found to be particularly effective and in the European Theatre the pattern was withdrawn altogether in 1944—in part because of anticipated friendly fire incidents after D-Day, due to its similarity to the Waffen SS's pattern (not to be confused with Flecktarn, a post-war design). Camouflaged helmet covers and shelters were issued in the 1950s in "wine leaf" and "brown cloud" patterns. The U.S. Army also tried a lesser-known camouflage uniform on D-Day and throughout the Normandy operations, like the Marine Corps' uniforms, but it was replaced by the M43 uniform before being used much.

During the Vietnam War, the United States Armed Forces' four-color ERDL pattern saw limited use among specialist units in the U.S. Army, though most were issued the solid olive green OG107 sateens or jungle fatigues, while the Marines adopted the pattern service-wide after 1968.

The ERDL pattern fatigues were identical in cut to the third-pattern OD jungle fatigues, and were available in both a highland pattern (more brown), and a lowland pattern (more green), though the lowland pattern was eventually phased out. Other, unofficial, patterns utilized in Vietnam included black-dyed or spray painted jungle fatigues, often used by special purpose forces, and various Vietnamese Tigerstripe patterns (themselves being based on French Army airborne and Foreign Legion patterns and a British design utilized in Malaysia), or commercial "duck hunter" patterns.

The general design and configuration of the U.S. BDU uniform was similar to that of Vietnam War's jungle fatigues, which were in turn similar in configuration to specialty uniforms worn by U.S. paratroopers during World War II.


Woodland camo infrared
Woodland camouflage. (in near infrared).
U.S. Army National Guard soldiers wear BDUs in woodland camouflage during a July 2000 field training exercise in Yavoriv, Ukraine. News Photo 970806-N-4790M-012
U.S. Navy sailors wearing the BDU in August 1997

First issued in limited number to garrison leaders, officers and generals to all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces in September 1981 for replacement of the long worn and aging Olive Drab colored uniforms or OG-107, the following month, the Battle Dress Uniform began field issue military wide.[10]

Since 1981, changes included the addition and subsequent elimination of buttoned waist adjustment tabs, the size reduction of the collar, and refinements in stitching and fit.

BDUs were initially only issued in a 50/50 nylon and cotton twill blend, called the Temperate Weather BDU, or TWBDU. Complaints regarding the heat retention of these uniforms, especially following the invasion of Grenada in 1983, led to the introduction of the Hot Weather BDU, the HWBDU. The Hot Weather BDU coat and trousers were constructed of 100 percent ripstop cotton, in a four-color woodland camouflage pattern. However, after complaints of shorter wear and frayed cuffs, along with requirements imposed by unit commanders to starch the all-cotton uniform for parade, the Enhanced Hot Weather BDU (EHWBDU) replaced the HWBDU commencing in 1996. The EHWBDU's components are made with 50/50 ripstop nylon and cotton poplin blend.

BDUs were printed with infrared-brightened dyes. Near infrared (NIR) Signature Management Technology is used in the uniforms to help prevent detection by NIR Image Converters. These photocathode devices do not detect temperatures, but rather infrared radiation variances. NIR-compliant uniforms use a special fabric that allows soldiers to appear at the same radiation level as the surrounding terrain, thus making them more difficult to detect. It is advised not to use starch when cleaning or ironing BDUs, since starch weakens the fabric and ruins the infrared protective coating. A pair of BDUs that has been starched even once should not be worn in combat.

The tropical weight uniform was not as durable as the temperate weight uniform. The tropical uniform would only last for 4–6 months of use when rotating four uniforms for duty, while the temperate uniform would last over a year under the same conditions.

U.S. Army

All United States Army soldiers formally received their first batches of the BDU as its new field and garrison uniform in the temperate weight cut on October 1, 1981. In addition, Patrol caps, boonie hats and the M-65 jacket were issued in the new camouflage pattern in time, including a new light brown T-shirt and black webbed belt with brass buckle.

The BDU was the first camouflage uniform approved by the U.S. Army since the Vietnam War, where the ERDL pattern was in limited use. The BDU soon replaced all earlier camouflage pattern uniforms for all wooded, jungle, and tropical environments, and by 1989, had completely replaced the standard olive drab uniforms that had been used since 1952.

U.S. Department of Defense

The BDU was worn by DoD civilians and DoD Police officers.[11]

U.S. Marine Corps

The ERDL-patterned BDU was first introduced to the United States Marine Corps in 1977, as they phased out the Olive Drab Green (OD) uniform. The BDU became the issued uniform for the U.S. Army in September 1981 in the woodland camouflage pattern, to begin replacing the Olive Drab Green (OD) or OG-107 colored fatigues, which had been standard wear since the early 1950s. The change was to better conceal wearers effectively in woodland or tropical Areas of Operation with macro shaped patterns, as opposed to OD, which had only a single shade of green. It was based primarily on the woodland colors specifically of northern Europe. It used shades of green, brown, tan, and black, initially printed onto cotton-nylon blend twill cloth, known as the "Temperate Weight" uniform. A newer lightweight "Tropical Weight" BDU uniform was introduced in 1987 with the pattern printed on 100% cotton rip-stop poplin cloth, to better prevent smaller rips from enlarging.

Originally, no nametapes were worn with the USMC's BDUs, which was officially referred to by the USMC as a "camouflage utility uniform" (CCU) during its usage. However, in October 1991,[12][13][14][15] the USMC began the wearing of nametapes on their BDUs (and DCUs and DBDUs) in order to comply with NATO Standardization Agreement (STANAG), becoming mandatory by October 1992. In the USMC's case, a nametape bearing the wearer's last name was worn embroidered above the right pocket, and a nametape reading "U.S. MARINES" being embroidered was worn above the left pocket. The MCCUU which replaced the BDU continues this.

The USMC's BDU was worn with a stenciled ironed-on Eagle, Globe, and Anchor (EGA) centered on the wearer's left breast pocket, below the pocket flap. Early USMC BDUs featured "USMC" lettering below that EGA, however, that was discontinued later on, with only the sole EGA being used by the end of the BDU's tenure with the USMC. The EGA was ironed-on to the BDU blouse pocket by USMC recruits at the end of MCRD upon completion of their training to signify their christening as U.S. Marines. The same was done on the eight-point "utility cover" hat that was worn with the USMC's version of the BDU. The BDU's successor, the MCCUU, has the EGA embroidered instead of stenciled on the blouse and all hats.

U.S. Air Force

Airmen of the U.S. Air Force initially only issued its ERDL BDUs to over seas stationed combat arms units such as United States Air Force Security Forces, Combat Controllers, and United States Air Force Pararescue PJs October 1, 1981, the same time as the Army and Marines. The Air Force did not allow non combat arms to wear the woodland pattern BDU until the summer of 1987, and mandated them as the only "Fatigue" uniform until 1988.

U.S. Navy

Sailors of the United States Navy started issuing the BDU in the new woodland scheme and temperate cut the same time as the other branches. The U.S. Navy referred to the uniform as the "Camouflage Utility Uniform" (CUU) during its usage.

U.S. Coast Guard

Coast Guardsmen started issuing the new woodland BDU around the same time as the other service branches.


ACU-BDU-WWII uniform
U.S. soldiers (from left to right) showcase the Army Combat Uniform (left), Desert Camouflage Uniform (center), and a World War II-era uniform (right), in May 2005.
Fort polk op for training
U.S. soldiers in 2006 wearing BDUs while on a training exercise in Louisiana; the BDU was authorized by the U.S. Army until 2008.

The U.S. military has run trials of many camouflage patterns (some being used by foreign militaries), and issued environment-specific uniforms, notably the six-color Desert Battle Dress Uniform (DBDU), nicknamed the "chocolate chip camouflage", designed in 1962, and the "nighttime desert grid" (NCDBDU). Both uniforms were used in 1991, during the Persian Gulf War. These Desert BDUs were discontinued after the war.

The Desert Camouflage Uniform (DCU) in three-color desert camouflage was introduced in 1992, and was utilized in operations in Somalia (1993); it was in service in Afghanistan and Iraq from the start of hostilities, but the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps have both replaced the DCU with newer uniforms (ACU and MCCUU, respectively). In testing, U.S. Army researchers found that, as in other environments, the color of desert terrain varies, and can range from pink to blue, depending on the minerals in the soil and the time of the day. Since patches of uniform color in the desert are usually 10 times larger than those in wooded areas, it was decided to alter the existing six-color DBDU pattern. This led to the development of a three-color pattern DCU, which was adopted.

The BDU is made in various camouflage patterns by various manufacturers, such as in the MultiCam camouflage, which is in use today mainly by the public, public service persons, and some foreign military units. BDUs can be purchased from civilian vendors in the UCP pattern analogous to the ACU as well, but these are not authorized for wear by the U.S. Army's soldiers.

U.S. Marine Corps

The development of modern camouflage patterns and the rising desire of the various U.S. military branches to differentiate themselves from each other has resulted in new patterns for uniforms. The U.S. Marine Corps was the first branch to replace their BDUs. The Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform (MCCUU) uses the computer-generated MARPAT pattern and several other enhancements. It was approved for wear in June 2001,[16][17] became available for purchase in 2002, and the changeover was completed by October 1, 2004. The BDU was authorized for wear until April 1, 2005 in limited exceptions for those small numbers of Marine Corps personnel who did not yet have the MCCUU. USMC Special Operations units (MARSOC) have recently issued M81 woodland-patterned uniforms to supplement MARPAT uniforms for special missions.

U.S. Army News Photo 000119-A-4385T-005
A U.S. Army medical officer wears a BDU when examining a man's eyes in January 2000.

In 2004, the U.S. Army unveiled the Army Combat Uniform (ACU), its successor to the BDU. From late 2005 to early 2008, the U.S. Army undertook the process of replacing the BDU with the ACU, with the BDU being formally discontinued by the army in April 2008 (though most soldiers had been wearing the ACU for years by then).[1] The Army Junior ROTC followed suit thereafter in 2009.[18]

The original version of the ACU uniform used a pixelated "digital" pattern known as the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP). UCP is similar to MARPAT, but uses more neutral, less saturated colors. The neutral colors, primarily foliage green and sand yellow, are designed to be work best in desert, woodland, and urban combat situations. The ACU in UCP was used by the army in all environments except for areas with snow, as the UCP pattern works poorly against white despite the heavy use of grey. An all-white BDU and the ECWCS are used instead for winterized warfare.

U.S. Department of Defense

Civilian employees of the U.S. Department of Defense in combat zones began wearing the Airman Battle Uniform and Army Combat Uniform in place of the BDU (and its cousin DCU) after it was replaced.[19][20]

U.S. Navy

From 2004 to 2007, the U.S. Navy began issuing a pixelated blue and gray "digital" pattern Navy Working Uniform (NWU) in limited quantities on an experimental basis. While the NWU is neither a tactical uniform nor a battle dress uniform, it is intended to take the place of many existing work ensembles (utilities, wash khaki, coveralls, M81 BDU, etc.). The disruptive pattern is primarily intended to complement U.S. Navy ship colors and to hide stains and wear, and supposedly to make the wearer a less obvious visual target for hostile forces while working aboard a naval vessel in port.[21]

To meet the Navy's cold-weather requirements, the NWU includes a fleece jacket, pullover sweater, and parka options. U.S. Navy SEALs, Seabees, and other U.S. Navy personnel deployed ashore under the cognizance of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command used "M81" woodland BDUs (referred to by the navy as CCUs)[22] and DCUs for outdoor operations or activities in specific areas of responsibility (AOR), until the issuance of the NWU Type III in the AOR camouflage pattern.

U.S. Air Force

In 2004 and 2005, the U.S. Air Force experimented with, but rejected, a blue-toned tigerstripe uniform. In 2006, a new BDU-style uniform called the Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) was adopted, using a semi-pixelated tiger pattern with four soft earth tones consisting of tan, grey, green and blue. It failed, however, to incorporate many of the significant improvements of the ACU and MCCUU. By 2007, it was in current production.[23]

In 2008, responding to criticism that the new Airman Battle Uniform was too heavy and hot in high-temperature environments, the USAF's 648th Aeronautical Systems Squadron at Brooks City-Base revealed plans to switch to a lighter, more breathable fabric for the combat blouse section of the ABU. The original heavyweight nylon-cotton blend was changed to a lighter-weight nylon-cotton poplin material. Priority will go to those serving in the Middle East or other hot-weather theaters.[24]

On May 4, 2016, the National Commander of the Civil Air Patrol announced the USAF's approval for the Civil Air Patrol to begin its transition to the Airman Battle Uniform.[25]

On May 14, 2018, the Air Force announced the adoption of the Army's Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform, however, insignia will be distinctive. Transition is to be complete by April 1, 2021.[26]

U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard has introduced the new Operational Dress Uniform (ODU) uniform in 2004 to replace the winter and summer "Undress Duty" uniform. Resembling the BDU, the ODU retains the basic design of the old-style BDU uniforms, but with the lower pockets on the blouse being eliminated. The sleeves can be worn "folded up" in a manner similar to the old U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force BDUs (since disallowed with the Army ACU) and the trousers "bloused" into the boots (unless boating shoes are worn, as is common for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, which patrols for the Coast Guard aboard privately owned watercraft), with the ODU black belt and blackened buckle being worn with the metal tip two to four inches from the buckle. The ODU is also issued in a single blue color as opposed to any camouflage pattern.

The dark blue Coast Guard unit baseball-style cap is worn with this uniform. The ODU also has all of its allowable insignia sewn on, eliminating the chance of puncture wounds created by the pins if the individual suffers a blow to the chest while wearing a PFD or body armor. The ODU is not intended to be worn by Coast Guard units which engage in combat operations or are deployed overseas. These units continued to wear older woodland BDU and DCU uniforms before adopting the Navy Work Uniform for USCG units overseas or part of other DoD operations.

See also




  1. ^ a b "Army to Retire BDUs".
  2. ^ "ACU changes make Velcro optional, patrol cap default headgear".
  4. ^ "DIMOC - Home Page".
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Women's uniform".
  8. ^ a b "Propper Authorized Supplier - Propper ACU, BDU, Multicam, Military Uniforms from".
  9. ^ "Saturday, February 10, 2001". March 4, 2001.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Admin. "DOD Civilian Police Officer - Gun Blog".
  12. ^ Dolt, Kevin (October 31, 1991). "Marine uniforms to include name tapes" (PDF). Hawaii Marine. 20 (43). p. A-4. Retrieved March 12, 2017. The wearing of nametapes on the utility uniform will become mandatory by Oct. 1, 1992, and to help defray the costs involved in getting them sewed on, Headquarters Marine Corps authorized a one-time payment of $24 to all enlisted active-duty Marines, which was included in the Oct. 15 paycheck.
  13. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "COMBAT UTILITY UNIFORM AND BOOT GUIDANCE". ALMAR 028/02. The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website. May 20, 2002. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  17. ^ " : Marines Get Permanent Press Battle Dress". February 4, 2002.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Answering the call – Army and DoD civilians volunteer to deploy". DVIDS.
  20. ^ "DoD civilian finally gets to deploy > U.S. Air Forces Central Command > Display".
  21. ^ "Strategy Page, Military Photos: The New Navy Work Uniform". 2004.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "News".
  24. ^ Winn, Patrick, Better, Lighter ABU Blouse Is On The Way, Air Force Times, May 9, 2008
  25. ^ "CAP Transition to the Airman Battle Uniform (ABU)" (PDF). May 4, 2016. p. 1. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  26. ^ Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs (May 14, 2018). "Air Force transitions to a single combat uniform". US Air Force. Retrieved May 15, 2018.

External links

Airman Battle Uniform

The Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) is a U.S. camouflage combat uniform; it is a service-distinctive uniform as it is primarily used by the United States Air Force, its civilian auxiliary, and some civilian employees of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). It replaced the Battle Dress Uniform and Desert Camouflage Uniform on 1 November 2011 after a four-year phase-in period.On 14 May 2018, The U.S. Air Force announced that all airmen will transition from the Airman Battle Uniform to the OCP Uniform. All airmen will be permitted to wear the OCP Uniform beginning on 1 October 2018, and the wear out date for the ABU is 1 April 2021.

Army Aircrew Combat Uniform

The Army Aircrew Combat Uniform (A2CU) is a two-piece flight suit in the universal camouflage pattern that offers the soldier protection from flash fires. The coat is similar to the ACU in design, with a stand-up collar featuring a front extension, shoulder patches, a front zipper, two inside hanging chest pockets with flaps; adjustable waist; two-piece set-in sleeves with elbow patches; two sleeve utility pockets with flaps and Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) tabs; and two lower sleeve pencil pockets with flaps. It can be worn with the Air Warrior Microclimate Cooling Vest. The trousers have nine pockets: two thigh pockets; two calf pockets with external tool pockets; one knife pocket with lanyard (on the left thigh); and two side hanging pockets. Pockets (except for the side hanging pockets and the lower leg external tool pockets) have flaps and zippers.

The A2CU upgrades the current Improved Aviation Battle Dress Uniform protective clothing system and provides operational effectiveness, fit, suitability, and durability, addressing near-term Air Warrior requirements in the universal camouflage pattern. The A2CU is made of a blend of 92 percent Nomex, 5 percent Kevlar, and 3 percent anti-static dissipative fiber.

The A2CU has also been adopted for use by the US Air Force, where it is known as the Airman Aircrew Combat Uniform.

This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army.

Army Combat Uniform

The Army Combat Uniform (ACU), also known as the OCP Uniform in the Air Force, and its flame-retardant variant, the Flame-Resistant Army Combat Uniform (FRACU), are the current combat uniform worn by the United States Army and United States Air Force.

First unveiled in June 2004, it is the successor to the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) and Desert Camouflage Uniform (DCU) worn from the 1980s and 1990s through to the mid-2000s, respectively. It is also the successor to the Airman Battle Uniform for the U.S. Air Force.

Awards and decorations of the United States Army

Awards and decorations of the United States Army are those military awards including decorations which are issued to members of the United States Army under the authority of the Secretary of the Army. Together with military badges such awards provide an outward display of a service member's accomplishments.

The first recognized medals of the U.S. Army appeared during the American Civil War and were generally issued by local commanders on an unofficial basis. The Medal of Honor was the first award to be established in regulations as a permanent Army decoration, complete with benefits. The Medal of Honor is the only Civil War era award which has survived as a decoration into the modern age.

Furthermore, the U.S. Army mandates that all unit awards will be worn separate from individual awards on the opposite side of a military uniform. The Army is the only service to require this separation between unit and individual decorations. All Army unit awards are worn enclosed in a gold frame.

Boonie hat

A boonie hat or booney hat, also known as giggle hat, is a form of wide-brim hat commonly used by military forces. Its design is similar to a bucket hat but with a stiffer brim. Often a fabric tape band of 'branch loops' is sewn around the crown of the hat. This 'foliage ring' is meant to hold additional vegetation as camouflage. A strap provides stability. The crown may be vented with eyelets or small mesh panels. Snaps may also be provided with which to fix the brim in the style of an Australian bush hat.

Denison smock

The Denison smock was a coverall jacket issued to Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents, the Parachute Regiment, the Glider Pilot Regiment, Air Landing Regiments, Air Observation Post Squadrons, Commando units, and other Commonwealth airborne units, to wear over their Battle Dress uniform during the Second World War.

The smock was initially worn over the paratrooper's webbing equipment, but under his parachute pack and harness, as its primary purpose was to prevent the wearer's equipment from snagging while emplaned or during a jump. It was equally useful for camouflage and as a windproof garment that provided a method of carrying ammunition or equipment. Contemporary photographs show that airborne troops preferred to wear the smocks under their webbing once they had landed.

Desert Battle Dress Uniform

The Desert Battle Dress Uniform (DBDU) is a U.S. arid-environment camouflage battle uniform that was used by the United States Armed Forces from the early 1980s to the early to mid 1990s, most notably during the Persian Gulf War. Although the U.S. military has long since abandoned the pattern, it is still in widespread use by militaries across the world as of the early 2010s.

Desert Camouflage Uniform

The Desert Camouflage Uniform (DCU) is an arid-environment camouflage uniform that was used by the United States Armed Forces from the mid-1990s to the early 2010s. In terms of pattern and textile cut, it is nearly identical to the U.S. military's Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) uniform, but features a three-color desert camouflage pattern of dark brown, pale green, and beige, as opposed to the beige, pale green, two tones of brown, and black and white rock spots of the previous Desert Battle Dress Uniform (DBDU).

Desert sand (color)

Desert sand is a very light and very weakly saturated reddish yellow colour which corresponds specifically to the coloration of sand. It may also be regarded as a deep tone of beige.

Desert sand was used by General Motors, along with "rosewood", as a paint color for their early Cadillacs.

In 1998, desert sand was made into a Crayola crayon colour.

The color shown at right matches the palest of the three colors in the 3-color Desert Camouflage Uniform of United States armed forces, which in 1990 began to replace the 6-color Desert Battle Dress Uniform.

M1C helmet

The M1C helmet was a variant of the U.S. Army's popular and iconic M1 helmet. Developed in World War II to replace the earlier M2 helmet, it was issued to paratroopers. It was different from the M2 in various ways, most importantly its bails (chinstrap hinges). The M2 had fixed, spot welded "D" bales so named for their shape, similar to early M1s. It was found that when sat on or dropped, these bails would snap off. The solution was the implementation of the swivel bail, which could move around and so was less susceptible to breaking.

The M1C was issued mid-late war. Like the M2, its most visible differences from the standard infantry M1 helmet was the liner. The liner of the M1C, like most paratrooper liners, had a set of "A yokes" or straps fixed to the side of the liner to enable the use of a four-point chinstrap with leather chin cup to give support to the head and neck and prevent adverse movement during jumps. It used a simple but strong and reliable belt loop-type connection to secure the chinstrap to the a-yokes, which could be opened or closed from either side and thus partially removed without tools. This retention system was not significantly different to the M2's, and the normal infantry chinstrap could still be attached to the helmet shell if desired. Often, however, these modified liners could not be manufactured in time for jumps so they were modified by the soldiers themselves.

Another difference of the M1C was the chinstraps (this was seen on the M2). The chinstraps found on the M2 and M1C both had a button snap on the end so as to be fastened to the liner.

Despite the numerous differences between the M1C and the standard M1 helmet, the shell of the M1C is practically identical to standard swivel bail infantry helmets, making a concrete identification of a helmet as an M1C difficult. There's an argument to be made that the important part of an M1C is actually just a liner with the four-point chinstrap that can slip into any M1 helmet.

The M1C would continue in US service after World War II, with a new split-fabric chinstrap introduced between the Korean War and the Vietnam War not dissimilar to the one seen on the later PASGT helmet, but retaining the belt loop-style chinstrap connection. The M1C would remain in service until the adoption of PASGT, though the M1C would remain a fairly uncommon sight after Korea. They do turn up in various non-airborne units in Vietnam photography, however, suggesting that outside of jump-rated units they were treated like any other M1 and that they were perhaps more common than some thought.

Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform

The Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform (MCCUU) is the current battledress uniform of the United States Marine Corps. It is also worn by Navy personnel (mostly corpsmen, chaplains, and their bodyguards) assigned to Marine Corps units (e.g. the Fleet Marine Force).

It replaces the Battle Dress Uniform, which the Marine Corps had shared with the Navy, Army and Air Force. However, both the MCCUU, and its distinctive camouflage pattern, MARPAT, are exclusive to the Marine Corps, which holds the patents to their design, and are not available to the civilian market. MARPAT is available in two color schemes, woodland and desert. The uniforms are manufactured by Propper International Inc., American Apparel, Inc., E.A. Industries, American Power Source Inc., and Columbia Sewing Company. The MCCUU should not be confused with the similar looking FROG uniform.

Modernized Load-Carrying Equipment

Modernized Load-Carrying Equipment, also known as M-1967 Modernized Load-Carrying Equipment or MLCE, was introduced into United States Army service in 1968 during the Vietnam War. The M-1967 MLCE was not specifically designed to replace the canvas and cotton duck M-1956 Load-Carrying Equipment (which was the then-current United States Army load-carrying system), but instead it was designed for use in tropical environments.

Modular Body Armor Vest

The Modular Body Armor Vest (MBAV) is a bullet-proof vest made by Eagle Industries and used by the United States military. The vest is standard issue for many members of the United States special operations forces including the 75th Ranger Regiment. 10,000 vests were deployed on an interim basis with the U.S. Marine Corps while it developed the Scalable Plate Carrier. The vest was also evaluated by the U.S. Army.


The OG-107 was the basic work utility uniform (fatigues) of all branches of the United States Armed Forces from 1952 until its discontinuation in 1989. The designation came from the U.S. Army's coloring code "Olive Green 107" and "Olive Green 507", which were shades of dark green, the OG-107 being cotton and OG-507 polyester-cotton blend introduced in the early 1970s. Regardless of the fabric, the two shades were almost identical. The OG-107 was superseded by the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) throughout the 1980s, and was also used by several other countries, including ones that received military aid from the United States.

All versions of the OG-107 shared several basic design features. They were made out of an 8.5 ounce cotton sateen. The shirt could be tucked in or worn outside the trousers depending on the preference of the local commander. If sufficiently hot and humid, troops could be permitted to roll up the sleeves and unblouse the trousers. It consisted of a button front and two simple patch pockets on the upper chest that closed by means of a buttoned flap. The trousers were straight leg pants intended to be bloused (tucked in) into boot tops with two simple patch pockets in the front with slash openings and two simple patch pockets on the back with a button flap. The cotton versions tended to fade quickly to greenish grey while the poly-cotton variant used in the OG-507 stayed darker much longer.

Operational Dress Uniform

The Operational Dress Uniform (ODU) is the normal work uniform of the United States Coast Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC). It is also one of the uniforms worn by the New York Naval Militia.

Patrol cap

A patrol cap, also known as a field cap, is a soft kepi with a stiff, rounded visor, and flat top, somewhat similar to a baseball cap, worn by the military personnel of some countries in the field when a combat helmet is not required.

Shoulder sleeve insignia

A shoulder sleeve insignia (often abbreviated SSI), is an embroidered patch worn on some uniforms of the United States Army. It is used by major formations of the U.S. Army; each formation has a unique formation patch. The U.S. Army is unique among the U.S. Armed Forces in that all soldiers are required to wear the patch of their headquarters as part of their military uniforms.

Shoulder sleeve insignia receive their name from the fact that they are most commonly worn on the upper left sleeve of the Army Combat Uniform (ACU); before October 2015 they were worn on other U.S. Army uniforms. However, they can be placed on other locations, notably on the side of a helmet. Shoulder sleeve insignia worn on the upper right sleeve of Army uniforms denote former wartime service. These "combat patches" are worn on the ACU but are no longer worn on the Army Service Uniform. Instead, a 2 inch metal replica is worn on the right breast pocket and is officially known as the Combat Service Identification Badge (CSIB).

U.S. Woodland

The Woodland Pattern was the default camouflage pattern issued to the United States Armed Forces from 1981, with the issue of the Battle Dress Uniform, until its replacement in the mid 2000s. It is a four color, high contrast disruptive pattern with irregular markings in sand, brown, green and black. It is also known unofficially by its colloquial moniker of "M81", though this term was not officially used by the U.S. military.

Uniforms of the United States Armed Forces

Each branch of the United States Armed Forces has their own uniforms and regulations regarding them.

Uniforms of the U.S. Army

Uniforms of the U.S. Marine Corps

Uniforms of the U.S. Navy

Uniforms of the U.S. Air Force

Uniforms of the U.S. Coast Guard

Active service &
Aircraft designation
Small arms
Uniforms &
other equipment

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