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
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.

Today in WW II: 16 Jun 1940 Armistice advocate, 84-year-old Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain becomes Prime Minister of France, requests peace terms from Germany, forms Vichy France government.  More 
16 Jun 1941 On orders from the US Department of State, all consulates, travel and other agencies of Nazi Germany in the US are closed.
16 Jun 1942 RAF and US planes sink Italian cruiser and 2 destroyers that attacked Allied convoys in Mediterranean.
16 Jun 1943 Last Jewish residents of Berlin are deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp, reducing to zero the pre-Nazi Jewish population estimated at 186,000.
16 Jun 1943 Over Guadalcanal in the Solomons, 77 Japanese fighters and bombers downed by Allied pilots with 17 more destroyed by ships and antiaircraft guns. US lost only six planes.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

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
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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