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History and Evolution of U.S. Uniform Camouflage

06/21/2022

Uniform Camouflage 

 

What is Camouflage?

Camouflage (camo) is a term used to describe the concealment or disguise or something. Camo is used to break up the shape, pattern, and any resemblance to an object by using different coloration, materials, or illumination.

Defined by Merriam-Webster as:

"

1: the disguising especially of military equipment or installations with paint, nets, or foliage

2 a:  concealment by means of disguise

b:  behavior or artifice designed to deceive or hide

Brief History on Early Use of Camouflage

The use of camo dates back all the way to the 4th century when ships were painted a bluish green, like the sea, during the Gallic Wars. As longer-ranged weapons were introduced, the need for camo became needed for infantry troops. During the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763), Rogers’ Rangers wore gray or green uniforms to help blend into their surroundings. The use of camo for infantry continued into the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) by the British, who utilized green camouflage. During the Peninsular War, Portugal Caçadores (hunters) were elite light infantry. They wore brown jackets to conceal themselves in Portuguese regions, which were in general, more arid than the landscapes of Europe. During the Spanish-American war in 1898, U.S. troops would smear mud on their uniforms to help blend in with their surroundings more. The first use of the general drab uniform was by the British Corps of Guides in India (1848). These would eventually become the standard issued Khaki-colored uniforms. The U.S. Army also adopted the “khaki drab” uniform from the British soldiers in India.  

 

Portugal Caçadores during the Peninsular War