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 pattern like the Marine Corps MARPAT, but it uses less of the saturated colors. When the Army is in the desert, woodland, and urban combat situations, their uniform uses neutral colors, like foliage green and sand. This type of uniform is known as the Universal Camouflage Pattern. When the Army is working in areas of snow, they will wear an all white Battle Dress Uniform.
No matter what branch of military the soldier is from, they will always have some type of Battle Dress Uniform. Each branch of the military will also have their own style and color pattern of uniform to distinguish them from each other.