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.
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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