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The Origin Of ACU Uniforms

DATE: Feb 8th, 2023

You may often hear the word "ACU" among military fans and know what it stands for, but you don't necessarily know its origin. Today I will explain to you what "ACU" is.


The full name of "ACU" is "Army Combat Uniform". It was developed by the U.S. Army and the Natick Research Center of the U.S. Army and officially distributed in February 2005. It is planned to phase out "BDU" year by year. (Hereinafter in this article, "Army Combat Uniform" will be referred to as "ACU" in its entirety).
You may have noticed that many people refer to a camouflage color as "ACU". To be precise, "ACU" is not the name of camouflage. This camouflage is called UCP not ACU. (Note: After 2010, ACU adopted CryePrecision's OCP (Operational Camouflage Pattern) camouflage pattern instead of the original UCP (Universal Camouflage Pattern) camouflage pattern, which has been equipped with the US Army in Afghanistan.)



Cloth texture

The normal version is made of scratch-resistant fabric, which is a blend of 50% cotton and 50% nylon. The flame-retardant version is made of 65% rayon, 25% aramid, and 10% nylon blend. The clothing can automatically extinguish after leaving the fire source, and will not cause melting, falling off, or burning .Many of the ACUs currently on the market are manufactured in Chinese factories. In order to reduce costs, the fabric composition has also been replaced with a blended fabric of 65% polyester and 35% cotton.


Fabric color

The UCP camouflage used in the Army Digital Camouflage Universal Combat Uniform (ACU) fabric consists of 3 colors, including: dark green, green and white/light yellow. The small squares form overlapping patterns of different sizes and irregularities. The design is mainly aimed at the jungle , desert 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 jungle silhouette pattern is too big to match, compared with the jungle silhouette pattern, the digital camouflage pattern can be effectively integrated into more environments.


Military uniforms design

Army Digital Camouflage Universal Combat Uniform (ACU) design. The button design of the whole jacket is canceled and replaced by zipper 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 badges such as military rank and name are also combined with Velcro, and there are folds on the back and shoulders to improve the flexibility of soldiers' movements. 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.

In the second half of 2005, the U.S. military completely changed its hair, the fabric is cotton, there are 5 numbers (XS, S, M, L, XL), each number is divided into 6 sub-numbers (XS, S, R, L, XL , XXL), so as to be suitable for officers and soldiers of different shapes, and avoid the inconvenience caused by the combat uniform being too large or too small (for example, if a soldier is 183cm tall, with a bust of 114cm and a waist of 85, the soldier is suitable for ML code [medium- long code, medium code long version]).