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The Greatest Uniform Ever Fielded By The US Army

The Tropical Combat Uniform or as more popularly known, the Jungle Fatigue is the greatest uniform ever fielded by the US Army. The cut of the uniform was derived from the 1942 Parachutist Uniform with its angled chest and lower cargo pockets on the coat paired with seven pocket trousers. The OG-107 color blended well into the environment of Southeast Asia and the combination of light and shadow on the olive base of the uniform as the Soldier moved through vegetated areas provided good camouflage. Additionally, the jungle fatigue was made from one of two very comfortable cotton fabrics. Maybe not great for cold-wet environments but well suited to jungle and desert environ. Finally, they were inexpensive. As late as the mid-80s you could till purchase the uniform for around $8 a set at Clothing Sales Stores that still carried them. At that price, they were practically disposable but everyone who wore them wanted to hold onto them as long as possible.

Rangers!

We honor that uniform and some great Americans wearing it in this first official photo of 1st Platoon, B Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, taken in 1984. Taken from the 75th Ranger Regiment Facebook Page.

What’s your favorite uniform?

31 Responses to “The Greatest Uniform Ever Fielded By The US Army”

  1. Lawrence says:

    Great share SSD! I saw that photo earlier today on Facebook and was immediately overcome with a warm and fuzzy feeling of nostalgia…. 🙂

    For a brief period of time that was our authorized summer duty / field uniform in the 82nd Airborne Division too – before the Hot Weather BDU came along – and they were VERY popular.

    My vote for the greatest field uniform ever issued to the US Army would have to go to the Pathfinder version of the M42 Jump Suit. The integrated waist belt was overkill, but everything else about it was spot on. And when the Pathfinders added the elbow, knee and pocket reinforcements and then dabbed and brushed on their own individual, theater-specific camouflage they turned a great uniform into an awesome one.

    http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c282/budro6568/pathfinder002.jpg

  2. droneboy says:

    Jungle fatigues. In tiger stripe.

  3. straps says:

    Agreed abso-freakin’-lutey.

  4. SGT Rock says:

    I liked the Poplin jungle pattern style of the OG-107, but that was when I was just a snuffie.

  5. majrod says:

    I had the privlege of wearing every uniform from the pickle suit (uniform before/during OG107s) to ACUs. OG107s (jungle fatigues) were easily the best in form, fit and cost. The camo versions were also outstanding and when not available and at $8 a set ($16 w/today’s inflation) spray paint or dye did wonders. Of course this was when the mindset that camo was something you did and just didn’t buy.

    Tons of lessons there.

  6. Or says:

    Just like the great IDF OD uniform.
    No pattern, no bullshit, and it actually works well.

    http://62.90.138.233/blogim/simplel/images/2576120_4.jpg

    • CamoReader says:

      Camouflage patterns do work well. You just got to find the right ones which the U.S. Army has been failing for years. Solid colored OD will work better than wearing normal street wear but is nothing compared to camouflage in terms of performance when disrupting the axis of symmetry and matching the texture of the environment.

  7. MattF says:

    The Greatest Statement Ever Made By Soldier Systems Daily.

  8. MattF says:

    Check out the Captain directly the Guidon bearer. He appears to be wearing an OD-107 version of the BDU instead of Jungle Fatigue.

    SSD, any insight as to whether this was official issued at any point as a BDU trial or more likely a private purchase item?

    • SSD says:

      Those were issue. I had both types. The same went for the ERDL patter uniforms. Some were slant and later models were straight pockets.

  9. Y.T. says:

    Bring back the jungle fatigues…in Multicam 😉

  10. GW says:

    The Jungles were my favorite uniform. they were comfortable and were inexpensive. i was issued them at FT Bliss while assigned to a recon Platoon. all of it was good.

  11. Darius137 says:

    I have a set of the Vietnam fatigues in reproduction.

    The green was too light for my taste, but everything else about them was money.

    I grew up in the Army with M81 summer weight BDUs as the standard, and loved those. I am not impressed in any way with the ACUs I currently wear, and am eagerly awaiting the next horrible decision the Army will make for me with this new pattern coming out soon.

  12. Two-Dogs says:

    Wore a set with the square BDU style pockets the last day they were authorized for use. Picked them up at clothing sales on Benning for $8.
    They had tons of them in stock for all the Salvadorans that were in town at the time. Had some ERDLs that I wore in the field from time to time too.
    107s were far superior to the first BDU uniform in a warm clime anyway.

  13. Rich says:

    I had the privilage of wearing the Jungles for several months after arriving at Bco 2/75 in April 1988 before we switched to BDU’s. I was issued 9 sets of brand new uniforms, dated from 1970 and 1971!
    I don’t know the history of the straight pocket version, but they had the same cut as the Jungles in every other way.
    After we switched to BDU’s, some of the old times wore their ERDL cammies or transitional BDU’s as well, before the Regibots called them on it.

  14. Ahab says:

    My dad joined in 84 and left in 94. He was there to see the transition from OG-107 to BDU’s. He still says OG-107’s were the best fatigues he had. They were comfortable and didn’t get caught on edges. The BDU’s in his opinion were too baggy. They should just bring them back and modernize them.

  15. maresdesign says:

    After we where not authorized to wear the OG-107 uniform I went off post (Ft.Bragg) and bought one of the rare “cammie” sets that where cut in the same pattern. I would wear them only in the field during the summer and no one would notice….except the time my 1st Sgt saw me returning to the barracks.
    Agree, the most comfortable and practical uniform ever.

  16. Brian says:

    I PCS’d from Ft Hood to Schofield in 1981. Clothing Sales had jungle fatigues and jungle boots available. Authorized for field wear only. I was busted wearing the boots at the PX and ended up at School of the Soldier on my birthday.

  17. Matt says:

    I remember in about 1985, the Army was dumping stocks of these Jungle Fatigues and our unit was told, if you want to buy and wear them, they are authorized. I think that lasted for a year or so…then our BC said no more.

    I procured a set and still have it in the basement footlocker, great uniform.

  18. Rob says:

    Waffen SS “44 DOT” camo panzer wrap with wool trousers. Nothing to snag on, warm when wet, won’t melt to your body in a fire, and camo that could hide with the best of the modern patterns.

    http://www.sz-wholesaler.com/userimg/461/501sw1/ww2-german-44-dot-camouflage-panzer-wrap-tunic-set-526.jpg

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2395/5712984389_dfd92bbb08.jpg

  19. Mr. European says:

    Out of personal experience (I’ve only worn three types of sets so forgive my obscurity) the finnish m/62 “Kuus-Kekkonen” reversible camo uniform was nice.
    It was made from soft cotton so it was comfortable even in the summer heat (25 degrees C and above). It was a no-nonsense uniform: no zippers, sturdy buttons, nigh indestructible construction…
    The only downside was the severe lack of pockets. It was designed to be worn over field greys, so the pants only had open slots and the jacket had only one breast pocket per side. But with web gear that wasn’t much of an issue.

  20. Chad says:

    It will be nice if the Army actually goes to a uniform that is loved by the Army. With the way things are going now it would be a morale boost to see the Army give us a uniform we want instead of relying on what a bean counting office troll “looks cool.”

    MARPAT is the best uniform. While everyone was wearing analog cammies till the last day I had already made the full switch. I love that uniform. Designed by Marines for Marines. Honestly I would be fully on board with every service using MARPAT.

  21. m.j. says:

    I wore the OG-107 tropical uniform when we deployed to Honduras in ’91 (JTF Bravo/TF Reliable Bravo). The CIF at Fort Lewis also gave us never-issued 1960s dated 2-quart canteens. The tropical uniform was comfortable – I definitely noticed a difference when we had to wear the nomex flight suit when we flew (that was definitely not a jungle-friendly piece of clothing). Looking back at all the uniforms I have worn over the years, the tropical uniform is still one of my favs – thank you for recognizing it!

  22. Fox says:

    I have a set of original OG-107’s My uncle gave to me when I was a kid. I was spoiled on these- They seem thinner/lighter than than later poplin ripstop. My first and favorites to this day are the 100% cotton ripstop woodland BDU’s. I hated the ACU- along with everyone else. They are noisey, irratable, and stupid looking. Now we wait for another lameduck pogue choice on a uniform. What the hell is going on at the Pentagon? I suppose it could be worse… China has like 300+ camo patterns that vary from unit to unit…

  23. I wore OG 107’s, as did everyone else involved, on Operation Acid Gambit- the rescue of Kurt Muse from Modelo Prison during Operation Just Cause. It is my favorite uniform of all time and it will always have a special place in my fond memories of my military service.

  24. Jason says:

    Anyone know where you can buy these today? Been wanting another few sets of the trousers for a while and never can find that fabric…

  25. Grayson says:

    Heads Up!!

    Jason (and anyone else interested): Rothco sells a surprisingly accurate reproduction of the Tropical Combat Uniform (3rd pattern) in their wholesale catalogue.
    I have 2 complete sets; both the shirt and trousers are cut longer than the issue Regular length, but are otherwise difficult to distinguish from the real thing after they have been washed 2 or 3 times.
    Highly reccommended.

    By the way, I’m in agreement with Y.T. A third pattern ‘jungle fatigue’ uniform done in Multicam camouflage, in 100% cotton ripstop material, would probably sell quite well indeed – and unless you’re wearing it under any kind of OTV armor, it will almost certainly be more comfortable than the current ACU style field uniform.

    Cheers.

  26. Buckaroomedic says:

    I wore every Army uniform from the OG107s to the ACU. The “jungle fatigues” were my favorite, especially when worn in the jungle. We were issued the brand new 100% rip-stop cotton BDUs while I was stationed in Panama (in 1986 I think). After wearing them once in the jungle, I switched back to the OG107 and never looked back. All the reinforcements (knees, seat, elbows) on the BDU basically turned into sponges in the jungle and never dried out.

    I concur, the basic OG107 pattern in MultiCam would be the perfect combat uniform. If that is not possible, how about the OG107s and a can of spray paint in the predominate color of the AO? I’ve found that the Vertex Multicam trousers and battle shirt are the closest thing to this ideal uniform. Lightweight, simple design and very comfortable.