BDU Breakdown – Know Your Combat Uniforms

What to expect in this blog post:

  • History of the BDU & BDU Camo
  • BDU camo
    • Multicam BDU
    • Flecktarn BDU
    • MultiCam Black BDU
    • SlowCam BDU
  • BDU in solid colors
    • Navy BDU
    • Black BDU
    • Stone Gray Olive BDU
    • Steel Gray BDU
  • BDU breakdown
    • BDU pants
    • BDU shirt
    • BDU jacket
    • BDU headgear
    • BDU accessories

History of the BDU & BDU camo

The beginnings of camouflage in the military field can be traced back to the mid-18th century, when troops were outfitted with green and later gray uniforms so that they could remain inconspicuous. Italy was the first country to issue military camouflage clothing, but Germany really led the way and introduced camouflage clothing even before World War II.

History of the BDU & BDU camo

The United States received its first military camouflage pattern in 1942, but it was withdrawn two years later to give way to the ERDL pattern and Olive Drab uniforms, among others.

In 1981, the first BDU was issued in a four-color forest camouflage pattern, printed with infrared-brightened dyes to prevent detection by NIR imagers. These BDUs descended from the Vietnam War tropical combat uniform, which in turn was very similar to WWII US paratrooper uniforms.

The Battle Dress Uniform is officially the uniform of the United States Armed Forces from 1981 to 2008 and was replaced in the United States by the ACU (Army Combat Uniform). However, to this day, BDU is the unofficial designation for combat uniforms inside and outside the United States.

The BDU remained in use until 2008, when it was replaced by the ACU. BDU camouflage patterns, clothing and gear have evolved over the past few decades, giving way to digital and non-visual camouflage, as well as innovative materials and designs.

What is the difference between ACU and BDU you want to know? ACU stands for Army Combat Uniform while BDU stands for Battle Dress Uniform and the main difference is the design features.

BDU Breakdown - Know Your Combat Uniforms

BDU camo

Different environments and conditions require different camouflages. Below is an overview of some of our favorite camouflage patterns, and we’ve also written an in-depth article that takes a deeper dive into camouflage.

Multicam BDU

MultiCam is one of the most versatile camouflage patterns you can wear. Its high-tech pattern shapes and sizes combined with a unique color profile disrupt your visual trails and near-IR signature.

MultiCam can be used practically anywhere: in different environments, at different times of the year, at high or low altitudes and under different lighting conditions. No wonder MultiCam is the choice of military, special operations forces, law enforcement agencies and elite troops worldwide.

Flecktarn BDU

The name Flecktarn derives from the two German words Fleck and Tarnung. This pattern is also known as Flecktarnmuster or Flecktarn.

It is the official camouflage pattern of the Bundeswehr and is known throughout Europe. This camouflage system offers excellent visual disruptive properties, coordinated with the colors of Central European forests, which makes camouflage in temperate forests extremely effective.

Multicam black BDU

There are five variants of the MultiCam pattern – MultiCam, MultiCam Alpine, MultiCam, Tropic MultiCam Arid and MultiCam Black but MultiCam Black is our favorite.

MultiCam Black is the perfect choice for low light and full darkness operations.

But everything is black when it’s night outside, so I can’t just wear black, can I? Not correct!

MultiCam Black can hide you better than solid black ever could. MultiCam Black maximizes concealment from enemies with NVGs, reducing visibility through high-tech methods (like NVE), low-tech methods (like flashlights), and even natural influences (like moonlight).

No wonder MultiCam Black is the most popular pattern for high-level military and police units looking to differentiate themselves and/or surprise enemies.

Slocam BDU

SloCam stands for Slovenian Camouflage and is officially known as M12. Originally used by NATO-led special forces, it is now recognized as one of the best camouflage systems on the market.

SloCam is a blend of olive green and brown-green hues that are excellent for camouflage in a variety of vegetation environments. Due to its shape and color combination, it retains its visual disruptive effect even at greater distances.

BDU camo

BDU in plain colors

More and more camouflage patterns were designed throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, but single color BDUs are still very popular, and with good reason. While military BDUs are often deployed in camouflage patterns, police forces and tactical actors prefer plain-colored clothing.

Unlike stealth BDUs, which are all about hiding, monochrome BDUs are often meant to stand out and intimidate.

Navy Blue BDU

Navy blue BDUs have their origins in the 18th century when sailors and navies chose this color for one reason, and that was because it looked good. Today, navy blue is the uniform of choice for police forces, paramedics, and tactical special forces who want to present a professional and clean image.

Black BDU

There is something about black uniforms that exudes respect and authority. Not for nothing is it the preferred choice of special forces that want to stand out from the crowd and take psychological warfare to the extreme.

Stone gray olive BDU

Stone Gray Olive is a staple color for tactical clothing that has been around for well over a century. Also known as Ranger Green and RAL 7013, Stone Gray Olive is extremely versatile and can be used in arid, urban or woodland environments.

Steel Gray BDU

Steel Gray is a relatively new color in the tactical apparel industry and works particularly well in urban settings with concrete backdrops. Steel gray BDU helps responders remain unobtrusive even in busy urban environments where it is easy to get lost in a crowd.

BDU in plain colors

BDU breakdown

BDUs are designed to increase range of motion and adapt to a variety of body shapes. Because of this, the original Fatigue Pants were loose fitting and had lots of roomy pockets. The same applies to the shirt.

Although the original BDU had a very limited range of clothing and functions, it served as the basis for the development of tactical and combat clothing. Over the past few decades, military clothing has evolved not only in design, but also in comfort, durability, and materials.

At UF PRO, we put our heart and soul into perfecting our Striker BDU line to ensure optimal performance, comfort and durability. From the selection of state-of-the-art materials to tailored features such as the air/pacĀ® pads, the Waist/Flex system and the Hood/HarnessĀ® system, the UF PRO Striker BDU line is innovative tactical gear designed by special forces on the trust all over the world.

We developed the Striker line to meet the needs of responders in the field. In doing so, we not only placed value on functionality and performance, but also on comfort and high-quality design solutions, so that you can fulfill your mission even under extremely difficult conditions.

BDU pants

The UF PRO Striker Pants are light years ahead of the original BDU pant in forest camo. It offers almost unlimited freedom of movement and is available in a variety of camouflage patterns and solid colors.

Fit, comfort, performance and durability were equally important when developing the Striker pant. The ergonomic fit and clever use of stretch and durable materials allow you to move freely as you run, kneel, jump or crouch, even when your pockets are stuffed to the limit. Thanks to the many functional pockets, you always have your most important items to hand.

The UF PRO Striker Pants also feature an innovative three-layer modular knee protection system. The knee pads are always in place when you need them and provide extra cushioning when you kneel and need to protect yourself from impacts.

Whether you’re looking for black BDU pants or camouflage BDU pants, the Striker line gives you plenty of choice depending on your mission.

BDU shirt

The UF PRO Combat Shirts are made from premium materials and feature functional elements that work hand-in-hand with your rest of your gear. The range includes shirts for different weather conditions – from scorching sun to freezing temperatures -, functional shirts for the base layer and a wide range of tactical shirts.

BDU jacket

While the original BDU did not include a jacket (although a coat was later added), in modern times a jacket is an essential part of your combat uniform when operating in cloudy, windy or cold environments.

UF PRO offers you a wide range of tactical and combat jackets to choose from depending on your mission and needs.

Our combat jackets are designed for specific environments. While the Delta Tactical Winter Jackets keep you warm in sub-zero temperatures, our Monsoon rain jackets are designed to withstand heavy downpours.

BDU headgear

While helmets are a common choice for risky missions, hats and caps are great choices for comfort and performance.

The UF PRO Striker Boonie Hat is a particularly good example of a lightweight hat that protects you from the sun, allows good air circulation and blends in with your surroundings thanks to its camouflage pattern.

BDU accessories

No uniform is complete without the right accessories that make it even more functional, versatile and practical. Molle pouches are best for stashing extra gear, while knee and elbow pads protect and protect your joints.

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