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A U.S. Army soldier wearing an OG-507 uniform in 1977.

The OG-107 was the basic work and combat utility uniform (fatigues) of all branches of the United States Armed Forces from 1952 until its discontinuation in 1989. The designation came from the U.S. Army's coloring code "Olive Green 107", which was the shade of dark green used on the original cotton version of the uniform. The OG-107 was superseded by the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) throughout the 1980s, and was also used by several other countries, including ones that received military aid from the United States.

All versions of the OG-107 shared several basic design features. They were made out of an 8.5 ounce cotton sateen. The shirt consisted of a button front and two simple patch pockets on the upper chest that closed by means of a buttoned flap. It could be tucked in or worn outside the trousers depending on the preference of the local commander. The trousers were straight leg pants intended to be bloused (tucked in) into boot tops with two simple patch pockets in the front with slash openings and two simple patch pockets on the back with a button flap. If sufficiently hot and humid, especially in hot climates like in Vietnam, troops could be permitted to roll up the sleeves and unblouse the trousers.

History

The OG-107 uniform was introduced in 1952 during the Korean War. It became the standard for use both in the United States and on overseas deployment by the beginning of the Vietnam War. As the Tropical Combat Uniform (jungle fatigues) became more plentiful in South Vietnam, they began to replace the OG-107 uniform in combat units.

In the United States and foreign postings (outside of Southeast Asia), the OG-107 remained the standard uniform throughout the 1960s and 1970s. This is one of the longest issued uniforms by the US Military, seeing use from 1952 until the adoption of the woodland-patterned camouflage Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) as the armed-forces-wide replacement beginning in 1981 and being completed by 1989. Minor modifications were made to the uniform over time such as adding buttoned cuff slits in the mid-1960s.

Variants

Basic designs

There were three basic models or "patterns" for the cotton sateen OG-107 Utility Uniform:

"Type I" (1952–1963)

The first "Type I" model was introduced in 1952 and remained virtually unchanged through its 10-year production run. The shirt featured a sleeve with no true cuff or buttons; it was simply a straight sleeve with a simple hem at the cuff. The shirt's two chest pockets and the trousers rear two pockets had a rectangular pocket flap that buttoned. The buttons were a "dished" style and most of the 1950s production were a dark brown color while the majority of the 1960s production were dark green. The trousers also had a simple adjustment tab on the waist that could be buttoned. The shirt and trousers were also sized in groups (Small, Medium, Large, etc.) This model was replaced in April 1963 when specifications came out for the second model.

"Type II" (1963–1964)

US Army Staff Sergeant Russell C. Fordham wearing the Type II with clipped pockets and tubular sleeves.

The "Type II" was specified for production in April 1963 and had several slight variations from the Type I. The only change of any real significance was the "clipping" of the pocket flaps on the shirt, so that they no longer appeared rectangular. As with the Type I, the shirt and trousers were also sized in groups. Due to the limited production time before the Type III was specified, these were not seen nearly as often as the Type I or III.

"Type III" (1964–1989)

Third type cotton-sateen OG-107 shirt as worn in Vietnam 1966-1969.

The "Type III" is the most common model and can be split into two versions based on the time of manufacture and material.

Cold weather variant

A winter field uniform made of heavier weight wool (or wool–nylon blend) was also introduced in 1951. The shirt featured a different shoulder construction with raglan sleeves, while the trousers had all interior pockets, in contrast to the patch pockets in the cotton uniform. The different material was given the color code OG-108. When worn in the field, the wool uniform was intended as an insulating layer worn under the M-1951 field jacket (later replaced by the revised M-1965 field jacket) and a pairs of cotton shell trousers with cargo pockets. The wool uniform remained authorized until the mid 2000s.

Air Force "Crew Blues"

This was a dark blue poly twill version of the Type II, worn by Air Force Strategic Air Command Titan, Minuteman and Peacekeeper missile combat crews, along with Transient Alert crews in the from the mid-1960s to the late 1980s, when they were replaced by blue Flight suits. Their official nomenclature was "Shirt, Man's, Cotton, Blue AF (Air Force), Shade 1577, Class 2", they were more commonly known as "Crew Blues".

Jungle fatigues

US Army soldier wearing Jungle fatigues and the new ALICE equipment

The US Army Tropical Combat Uniform (TCU), officially the M1967 Jungle Utility Uniform, commonly called "jungle fatigues", was issued to troops fighting in the Vietnam War beginning in 1964. It initially used the same OG-107 color as the standard utility uniform, but was of a different design and construction. Made out of lighter weight cotton poplin, the uniform consisted of trousers with cargo pockets on each leg and a bush jacket-style top with slanted chest pockets and two lower pockets. The uniform was revised multiple times during the war in response to issues with the design, and later in the war, versions using ERDL pattern camouflage were issued to special forces and Marines.[1]

Other variants

Privately purchased, tailored versions with modifications, such as cargo pockets, pen pockets, and/or shoulder straps,[2] were often produced. Officers occasionally added shoulder straps as found on service uniforms.[3]

Users

A Bolivian Army soldier wearing the Type III OG-107 armed with a 7.62mm FN FAL rifle stands guard during Fuerzas Unidas Bolivia, a joint U.S. and Bolivian training exercise in April 1986.
ROK Army officers wearing OG-107's in Vietnam 1968

See also

References

  1. ^ "Utilities/Jungle Fatigues". Moore Militaria. Retrieved June 21, 2023.
  2. ^ Armies of the Vietnam War. Osprey Men at War. Vol. 1.
  3. ^ Stanton 1998, p. 129.
  4. ^ P. 14, Armies of the Iran–Iraq War 1980–88 (Elite), by Chris McNab and Stephen Walsh,Jan 18, 2022, ISBN 978-1472845573

Bibliography

Further reading