Direct Action

Identifying Close Combat Uniform And Combat Uniform Prototypes

Since my slightly out-of-control obsession with CCU/CUs began a couple of years ago, I’ve wanted to make a short post outlining the differences and similarities between the experimental Close Combat and Combat Uniforms.

I made a more in-depth post in July of last year (on IG) which goes into much more detail, so definitely check that out if you want to learn a little more about their development and history.

Nevertheless, the first thing that stands out are the shoulder pockets. This is the first thing to look for when identifying a CCU/CU as the pleat on the CCU is quite obvious. This should be enough to identify which pattern you have, but the other smaller changes are interesting to note as they show a clear progression and eventually, evolution into the ACU.

Here is a list of all the design changes that progressed the CCU into the CU:

– Pleats on the shoulder pockets were removed

– Flaps on the front pockets were lengthened

– A vertical line of stitching was added above either chest pocket.

– Pleats removed from the elbow pad pockets

– Velcro patch on the cuff adjustment flap was shortened.

– On some later versions of the CU, the label was moved from under the right breast pocket to under the lower back.

This post only encompasses the coat element of the uniform. A few minor alterations were also made to the trousers, however, they are not particularly noteworthy.

Something that is noteworthy, however, is that both of the coats shown in this post are now available for sale on our website. Check them out at

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