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The difference between the US military ACU and BDU combat uniform

DATE: May 31st, 2023
BDU is the abbreviation of BATTLE DRESS UNIFORM (combat uniform). The U.S. military has worn combat uniforms and regular uniforms for different occasions since World War I. Combat uniforms are generally used in combat, military training, and daily duties.
The US Army’s active-duty BDUs have been installed since the early 1980s. There is not much difference in the style of BDUs among USA, USN, USMC, and USAF. The USN wears an octagonal hat, and the Booney hat is used by all services. The active BDU jacket has five buttons at the loose hem (the collar button is exposed and the rest is hidden), two box-style upper pockets, and two box-style lower pockets. pencil case. The jacket has no shoulder loops (occasionally, a few have shoulder loops). The waist loops were seen in styles before the mid-1990s and are believed to have been eliminated in the later period. The cuffs have sleeve loops and three buttons for adjusting the tightness. Some special forces used to remove the chest pocket and sew it on the arm, remove the lower pocket and sew it obliquely on the chest for the convenience of combat, and tuck the jacket into the trousers during combat.

Service BDU trousers have double side pockets, double hip pockets, and double leg pockets. The pocket cover is fastened with two buttons, and the pocket cover is fixed on the body of the leg pocket facing the front side of the human body, and the trousers have nylon tightening belts.

The main colors of jungle camouflage in the active BDU color system are blue-black, green, brown, and earthy yellow, which are divided into temperate type (yellowish) and tropical type (dark green). The active desert camouflage is earthy yellow, brown, and light green. Color, active BDU camouflage and color system equipment depending on the status of the troops stationed. In addition, green has been withdrawn from the field in the 1980s, and the six-color desert camouflage has been withdrawn from the field in the early 1990s. Black is commonly used by SWAT and SEALs.

On June 21, 2004, the U.S. Army officially announced to the outside world the new Army Digital Camouflage Universal Combat Uniform (ACU). It will completely replace the jungle combat uniform (WOODLAND CAMOUFLAGE) and desert combat uniform (U.S.DBDU 3-COLOR) currently in use, and become the only combat uniform of the US Army in the future.

The new Army Digital Camouflage Universal Combat Uniform (ACU) was jointly developed by the U.S. Army and the Natick Research Center of the Army. The production cost is US$88 per set, and each soldier can distribute 4 sets. Initially produced 10,000 sets and officially distributed the first batch of 85,000 sets of general combat uniforms to the army in February 2005. Since August 2005, 400,000 sets of general-purpose combat uniforms have been produced per month, and it is planned to phase out active jungle camouflage combat uniforms year by year. It is estimated that in July 2008, the US Marine Corps and the entire army must be replaced.

■ Fabric texture:
The twill fabric is made of 65% pure cotton and 35% nylon blended.

■ Fabric color and pattern:
Army Digital Camouflage Universal Combat Uniform (ACU) fabric color consists of 3 colors, including: green, gray and gray-green. Small squares form different sizes and irregular overlapping patterns. The design is mainly aimed at jungles, deserts and urban areas and anti-jamming night vision equipment. Because the research center found that black does not exist in the natural mode in the night vision environment during the 4-month combat test in the National Training Center in October 2002, and the black pattern in the jungle combat suit is used to separate the colors , but the researchers pointed out that the black color cannot be hidden in a black background or environment; because it is easy to detect as long as there is movement. And the matching of the jungle outline pattern is too large. Compared with the digital camouflage pattern, the digital camouflage pattern can be effectively integrated into more environments.

■ Military uniform design:
Army digital camouflage Universal Combat Uniform (ACU) design. The buckle design has been canceled for the entire top, and replaced with pull-ups and Velcro. The jacket has 4 pockets, the upper left pocket and two shoulder pockets. The two shoulder pockets allow soldiers to take items conveniently during combat. The unique Velcro design, the collar design can be used as a raised collar, and a detachable protective pad is added to the elbow position. The military rank and name badges are also combined with Velcro, and there are folds on the back and shoulders to allow the soldiers to move flexibly. The trousers are designed with 7 pockets, which are left, right, front and rear trouser pockets and large spleen pockets. An elastic band is added to the mouth of the large spleen pocket and the organ-style and hidden-type Velcro are used to make it possible for the individual soldier to store more items, and a detachable protective pad is added to the knee. In addition, there is a small sundry bag on the left calf, and an elastic band design is designed inside the trousers.