Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Battle dress uniform
Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) in the United States is the military uniform worn into combat, battledress as opposed to 'display' dress uniforms worn at parades and functions. BDUs may be either plain fatigues or in camouflage colors.
The camouflage pattern BDU began with the four-color "ERDL" pattern from 1948. It saw some use in Vietnam but monochrome olive drab was most common. Other, unofficial, patterns used in Vietnam included black spray-paint on olive drab, adopting the various Vietnamese "tigerstripe" patterns, or using commercial "duck hunter" patterns.
From September 1981 the woodland pattern was issued. A four-color development of the ERDL pattern, it used two shades of green, one of brown, and black on a cotton-nylon mix. It was issued in four variants - general (or temperate), lowland (more green), highland (more brown), and a transitional pattern (sometimes called delta). It was designed to camouflage in both the visual and near-infrared.
A program running from 2005 to 2007 is in the process of replacing the BDU with the new ACU style combat uniform.
The US military has trialled many, many patterns (some of which have been used by other nations) and issued some environment specific ones. Notably the six-color chocolate-chip camouflage (designed in 1962) and "night-time desert grid" used in Gulf War I. Both were discontinued just after the conflict in 1991 and DBDUs (Desert BDUs) used a three-color desert camouflage in Gulf War II.
The United States Marine Corps were the first group issued with camouflage patterns. In 1942 the reversible beach/jungle three- and five-color frog skin uniform was issued, based on a 1940 trial design. It was found to be ineffective and was withdrawn in 1944 - in part because of friendly fire problems following D-Day. Camouflaged helmet covers and shelters were issued in the 1950s in "wine leaf" and "brown cloud" patterns.
- kamouflage.net: online index of camouflage uniforms from around the world
- kamouflage.net > North America > United States of America > U.S. woodland pattern camouflage
- kamouflage.net > North America > United States of America > 6-color desert camouflage
- kamouflage.net > North America > United States of America > 3-color desert battle dress uniform camouflage
- Program Executive Office Soldier has faqs and product sheets for US Army BDUs.
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