1980-21st Century Clothing & Uniforms
Although camouflage uniforms had been used before in the U.S. military, a new era dawned when the temperate camouflage battle dress uniform (BDU) was introduced as the Army's field and garrison uniform on 1 Oct 1981. Over the next few years, virtually all field and duty uniforms were replaced by "cammies" and the BDU became the symbol of the modern military.
Marine Forces Pacific Sergeant Major Lawrence Thompson speaking to the Marines of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Asadabad, Afghanistan, 21 Dec 2004. He is wearing the Marine Pattern Uniform (MARPAT) in Desert colors.
U.S. Military 1980-21st Century Clothing & Uniforms
SGT Maria Hildalgo, 351st Supply and Service Company, pulls clean Woodland Camouflage Battle Dress Uniforms (BDU) from the dryer in the laundry tent, Exercise Team Spirit '87, Camp Humphreys, Korea, 27 Mar 1987.
The era of camouflage uniforms had two main periods: the BDU period, from 1981 to the new century, followed by the Digital Camo period in the 2000s when the computer designed, disruptive digital patterns were adopted, starting with the Marine Corps.
In the BDU period, many successful uniform components, such as the M65 Field Jacket, continued in service but were adapted to camouflage. At first Woodland Camouflage was used almost exclusively, but the Gulf War of the early 1990s brought an increased adoption of Desert Camouflage. In the Digital Camouflage period, all the U.S. services converted to completely new patterns for outerwear that revolutionized the appearance of the military.
Clothing and uniforms from the period 1980 to the 21st Century are further described in these Olive-Drab.com pages:
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