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U.S. Army 1960s & 1970s Uniforms
While the U.S. Army uniforms of the 1950s were dominated by the need for cold weather protection in Korea, the uniforms of the 1960s and 1970s evolved to meet the requirements of the war in Vietnam. Garrison uniforms were the least affected but field uniforms changed to be practical and comfortable in the hot jungles of South East Asia.
Most of the U.S. Army's uniforms of the 1960s and 1970s were superceded by the camouflage battle dress uniform (BDU) that was introduced for field and garrison duty on 1 October 1981, the second stage of a multiphased transition to an individual clothing and equipment system that is totally camouflaged.
U.S. Army Uniforms in the 1960s and 1970s
U.S. Army uniforms in the 1960s and the 1970s continued trends established with the uniforms of the 1950s, with new additions motivated by the hot weather conditions for combat in Vietnam and related geographical areas. This table summarizes the most common uniforms in the two recognized categories:
Field uniforms had "US Army" gold on black insignia above the left jacket pocket, changed to black on OG-107 in 1966. White name tape was placed above the right pocket, changed to black on OG-107 same as US Army insignia. Prior to the introduction of the Tropical Uniform, in hot climates utility shirts were worn outside the trousers with sleeves rolled up.
This table is not all inclusive, excluding in particular the formal uniforms:
In addition, Women's Uniforms and specialized clothing are not included here.
Thanks to Kevin Vagen for help with this section.
U.S. Army Headgear in the 1960s and 1970s
For field use, the fatigue caps of WW II and the 1950s were replaced by an OG-106 baseball cap style called Cap, Field (Hot Weather), spec dated 9 June 1961, modified in 1969. The wool green beret (shade #297) was authorized for Special Forces personnel on 10 Dec 1961. Headgear used with the tropical uniform included the Cap, Field (Hot Weather) and the floppy boonie hat.
Garrison and Duty Uniforms were worn with Service Caps or Garrison Caps, usually in fabric and color matching the uniform, such as Army Green or Khaki, but other combinations were also used. Specialized occupations had their own headgear, such as Drill Instructors with their Campaign Hats.
U.S. Army Footwear in the 1960s and 1970s
The black leather combat boot was introduced in 1958 based on the previous, nearly identical, Boots, Service, Combat, Russet M1948. It was 10 1/2 inches high with rubber sole, polished grain leather and cap toes. The black boot was revised in 1962, to a height of 8 1/2 inches and the cap toes were eliminated. In January 1967, the black combat boot was again redesigned with a molded rubber sole in a chevron pattern.
For tropical duty, especially Vietnam, the Jungle Boots were introduced.
The 1950s extreme cold weather rubber "Mickey Mouse" thermal boots, in both black and white for different temperature ranges, continued to be used where required by the local climate.
Other U.S. Army Clothing and Equipment in the 1960s and 1970s
The Soldier's clothing allotment included many other items, from socks and underwear to poncho, sweaters, scarves, and belts. Individual equipment, such as load bearing suspenders, pistol belt, ammunition cases, packs, and much more were all in addition to the uniform components.
Clothing and uniforms from the 1960s-1970s are further described in these Olive-Drab.com pages:
Recommended Books about U.S. Army Uniforms
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