The history of the ‘smock’ in military usage goes back to the Second World War when they became famously associated with the German Fallschirmjaeger, the British and Allied Airborne Forces and the British Special Air Service.
WWII-era British Airborne Force ‘Denison Smock’, from the Imperial War Museum’s collection. © IWM (UNI 11787)
Continuing to be inherently associated with Airborne and Special Forces in the UK, Commonwealth and Western European countries, the ‘old skool’ style smock reached what was perhaps the pinnacle of its design with the famous ‘Kit Karry Smock’ from Special Air-Sea Services in the UK (see below). However, since the start of the Global War On Terror, the kit used, carried and worn by Special Forces (and even regular grunts) has undergone a remarkable transformation – so much so that many people felt that the smock no longer had a place in the modern kit list of combat shirts and body armour / plate carriers…
But, as is so often the case, units are (re)discovering that some of the old ways were in fact the best ways. Such is the case with the new Striker Stealth Smock from UF PRO®. UF PRO® learned from working with European Pathfinder and other Special Units that there are occasions when you simply want to or need to travel light, and that there are also times when a combat shirt under a plate carrier simply doesn’t provide enough warmth or weather protection, and that you also sometimes want to carry secondary or sustainment items in your backpack but keep all of your essential items’ within reach of your hands…
After reviewing the current needs with a German special unit, it became clear to UF PRO® that the classic smock design couldn’t meet the desired criteria – so they would have to reinvent it, and the result is the Striker Stealth Smock.
So by now you might have already seen the news that the US Navy is ditching their ridiculous camouflage duty uniform – known officially as “Navy Working Uniform Type I” (NWU-I), but nicknamed ‘Blueberry’ because of its camo pattern.
While this could certainly be considered good news, and a step in the right direction, at first glance…. The end result actually makes even less sense. For all of its faults, the NWU Type I duty uniform at least had one thing going for it – with its coloration it was pretty obvious that it was a ‘Navy’ uniform (all those blue and grey colors).
Now the Navy brass have decided that since the ‘Blueberry’ uniform was unpopular, all sailors should instead wear the jungle/woodland environment NWU Type III uniform in AOR2 digi-cam – a uniform that has been mostly associated with the SEALS, since they actually had a need for such a camo uniform.
So, as of Oct. 1, 2016, EVERY desk-bound, base-dwelling, shore-duty sea person will get to feel special by wearing jungle cammies to the office too. No word on whether every set of Type III BDUs will also be issued with a ‘special snowflake’ patch well…
For more info about the other Navy uniform changes that are coming down the blow tube, read up on Soldier Systems Daily.
UF PRO® has introduced the new generation of their Monsoon waterproof/breathable jackets.
UF PRO® has launched a new generation of waterproof/ breathable jackets with their Monsoon and the Monsoon XT Gen.2 Jacket. The two jackets differ in material and cut; the XT version is the more robust ‘tactical’ version, whereas the Monsoon jacket offers a more ‘civilian’ look.
The WOLFHOUND has landed! Helikon-Tex’s long awaited light insulated jacket landed in shops this past week. Check it out!
The Wolfhound is a lightweight & insulated mid-layer that can be used as part of a layered clothing system, or as a stand-alone jacket. The hydrophobic properties of its Climashield® Apex™ insulation keep the user warm and dry in all cold weather conditions, while the breathable nylon outer layer provides durability and crucial wind and water resistance. The jacket’s two bottom side slash pockets are lined with fleece to provide quick warming for cold hands.
The Wolfhound is also highly compressible – it can be stuffed in a pack or cargo pouch, without affecting its properties.
Picture of a group of mountain troops (‘Gebirgsjaeger’) of the West German Bundeswehr, from a 1959 issue of LIFE magazine.
Note the use of the G1 (German model FN FAL), the Bundeswehr 1956 pattern ‘Splinter’ camouflage, and the US-style ‘steel pot’ helmets. Here’s a closer look at the M1956 Splinter Camo uniforms used in the early days of the Bundeswehr.
Photo source: militaryblog.jp