The History Of Military Uniforms

September 8, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Chris Miller discussed the history of military uniforms. Highlights include:

  • Brightly coloured uniforms used to be the norm in an era before electronic communications. Military commanders needed to be able to look across the field to see how their troops were doing, and the best way to do that was for them to be dressed in a distinctive colour that made them stand out.
  • These uniforms were hot and heavy and many units were lost to exhaustion and heat stroke. Camouflage was considered cowardly.
  • At the turn of the 20th century function began to be more important than form. By the time of World War One only France had brightly coloured uniforms.
  • Trench warfare and fighter planes suddenly made the ability to blend into the terrain very desirable.
  • Old habits died hard though. One World War Two general required units under his command to wear ties into combat.
  • While camouflage will remain important for downed pilots and snipers, these days true camouflage is more about blending in with the people and adopting some of their customs and practices.

Read more about the various designs of the American uniform and some of the standards that soldiers today are expected to live up to in a fascinating and engaging article over here.

Source: The Atlantic