The Old Military Battle Dress Uniform (BDU)

The Battle Dress Uniform, also known as BDU, was used by the U.S.A. armed forces as their standard combat situations uniform. It was used for combat situations from September 1981 to April 2005. Every branch of the U.S.A. military branch has since replaced the uniform. It officially was unauthorized to wear at the end of April 2008 by the U.S.A. Army. The DEA and SWAT still use BDU uniforms of some type during tactical situations. Battle Dress Uniforms got their name because they were only worn during different kinds of battles. These uniforms can be either plain colored or camouflage colors. In September 1981 the Battle Dress Uniform used two shades of green, one shade of brown, and black. In 1989 a lightweight battle dress uniform came out so the soldiers wouldn’t get overheated or dehydrated. The uniform that came out in 1989 was the first camouflaged one approved since the withdrawel from Vietnam by the U.S.A. By 1989 the Battle Dress Uniform completely replaced the uniforms of an olive drab color that were used since 1952. The military branches wanted to be different from each other. Since they wanted to be different, the modern camouflage patterns were developed. The Marine Corps replaced their Battle Dress Uniform before any of the other branches. In June 2001, the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform, which uses a computer generated MARPAT pattern, was approved to wear. By October 1, 2004, the changeover to the MARPAT pattern for the Marine Corps was completed. The Army has mostly replaced their Battle Dress Uniform with a new Army Combat Uniform. Their new uniform has a...

The PALS Tactical Gear System

The Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) Tactical Gear System was created by Natick Industries which focuses on Engineering, Development , and Research for the US Army. PALS is an series of heavy duty nylon webbing that can be used to secure smaller items to larger backpack or tactical vest systems. Originally designed to be used in conjunction with MOLLE backpack systems, it is now compatible with a wide variety of both military and civilian products. The system was first introduced in conjunction with the MOLLE fielding in 2001. Because of the popularity of P.A.L.S. in the US military, the British Army, as well as other armed forces around the globe, has begun adapting the system for their own uses. PALS webbing can be used to secure a variety of objects such as knife sheaths, weapons holsters, ammunition pouches, and radio pockets. The standard PALS grid is comprised of 1″ wide strips of nylon webbing run horizontally, secured to the backing material every 1.5″, and laid 1″ apart. Backing material can be integrated into a variety of items including backpacks and vests. Since the system is fairly universal, just about any storage item can be modified to be able to attach to it. Also, since there are such a large selection of choices in PALS accessories, the items are available in commercial markets to allow military personnel to completely customize their packs and storage capabilities to suit their exact needs and preferences. Since the Pouch Attachment Ladder System is just a simple webbing based unit, a large selection of items can be used to attach storage pouches and accessories to...

ACU Boots

Military combat boots are tough.  They are designed to be strong and rugged and are made to survive the harsh conditions a solider is going to put them though.  ACU boots lace up over and above the ankle.  This is to help strengthen and stabilize the ankle to prevent twists and sprains.  The boot is also designed to be comfortable to the soldier who is going to have to wear them for an extended period of time. The Army Combat Uniform specifications for the ACU boots are very specific. ACU boots have to meet the following requirements: Boots have to be at least 8 inches in height. Must be made from tan leather. Must have the rough side of the leather out. Have a plain toe. Have tan rubber outsole. No metal zippers, metal cleats or metal side tabs. It’s important to note that the ACU boot has no metal components.  This keeps the boot light and safe from electrical dangers. ACU Boots will vary slightly in style from manufacturer to manufacturer.  They just have to meet the official specifications to qualify as official Army Combat Uniform...

Individual Integrated Fighting Systems (IIFS)

A military pack must help the soldier or marine perform his or her mission effectively with a minimum of interference or discomfort. The system must provide the land warrior enhanced tactical awareness, lethality and survivability. Such a pack must be convenient, light, sturdy, reasonably comfortable, capable of carrying a variety of necessary items, and made of materials that will withstand weather and abrasion. In World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War various backpacks were based on systems of suspenders and belts to which could be attached various items of equipment. Many variations were employed. Such systems might be summarized as one of the later versions, the traditional All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE) pack. During those earlier conflicts numerous shortcomings were noted for ALICE and other backpacks furnished to the fighting men. In 1988 a possible replacement built around the concept of a load-bearing vest labeled Individual Integrated Fighting System (IIFS). In more recent times this system has been enhanced to provide for such diverse needs as computers, radios, protective gear and ammunition. In modern combat being able to carry substantial amounts of ammunition while moving on the ground can be crucial. The IIFS can be configured for these numerous purposes and many others. Since 2007 the requirements for counter-insurgency have prompted additional improvements. The weight of the load-carrying vest has been reduced without sacrifice in strength or adaptability. The modularized system has been designed to provide for flexibility in attachments depending on the mission and the tasks associated with that mission. The individual wearing the pack is provided with the most modern means of knowing...

The Modern Army Combat Uniform (ACU)

Throughout the years, the United States Army has had a variety of different combat uniforms each dependent on the current circumstance or placement of the troops. The current combat uniform is known as the Army Combat Uniform. It is the newest adaptation from the former Battle Dress Uniform and the Desert Camouflage Uniform, which were both worn in the 80s and the 90s. As expected with a new class of uniform, there are many changes, and upgrades to the camouflage pattern on the new Army Combat Uniform. The camouflage pattern featured on this new uniform is referred to as the Universal Camouflage Pattern. Instead of different colors and different styles for different environments, this new pattern includes green, gray, and tan in order to work effectively in all environments. One color specifically omitted from the new pattern was black since it does not appear in nature, and it will show definitively through night vision. The colors that are used on the uniform are set into a pixel formation that allows the blended colors to become darker or lighter depending on the amount of sunlight in the area. Another significant step up from the previous uniform which was solely made out of cotton, is that now they are using a nylon-cotton blend that is said to provide more comfort for the soldiers. There are some important regulations that have been put in place for the new uniforms. Soldiers are not allowed to use a starch or any type of dry-cleaning process because it will affect the durability of the uniform. In addition, soldiers are advised to wash the uniforms using...