Coco Chanel, Where Are You Now?

Since this is a NATO base, there are many nations with forces here, and so there is a panapoly of costume seen at meals. There’s the US Army, of course, in their all-season digital sage green fatigues. The US Air Force wears a slightly different pattern, a digital tiger-stripe with some bluish cast. The US Navy wears the older three-color desert pattern; this is also worn by the Dutch and the Hungarians. The US Marines are in their desert digital cammies. All the British forces are in the same pattern, a two-color dust-and-caramel brushstroke affair. The French have distinctive big brown stripes on an overall green pattern. The Germans have a brown-and-green digital speckle on a dust background, and the Danes use that same uniform too. The Canadian digital pattern is very similar to the USMC, except a shade lighter; of course their big red maple leaf is easy to spot. The Aussies are in spots. The belgians are in a lovely two-tone gold tiger stripe; a very subtle pattern. We also have Slovacks, Bulgarians, and UAE. I’m sure I’ve missed someone, but I think you get the picture.

That’s if they’re even in uniform; there’s quite a lot of going-about in PT uniform (service T-shirt and shorts). It’s common to see the PT uniform-plus-sidearm configuration as well. Only the US Army and US Air Force use this ensemble; the American sailors and Marines, not to mention the Brits and rest of the Euros, don’t.

2 responses to “Coco Chanel, Where Are You Now?

  1. Hi – I loved the descriptions of the fatigues! Now I am wondering why are they called “fatigues’? Sounds like your curious soul is standing you in good stead, and that these weeks will pass with a high level of interest.
    Amazed at the emphasis on food!

    • I think the term ‘fatigues’ dates from WWII, when these uniforms were used for ‘fatigue duties’. These days, most troops use coveralls of some sort for really dirty work and the fatigues are used for combat; hence the more modern term ‘Battle Dress Uniform’, ‘Army Combat Uniform’, and ‘Airman Battle Uniform’.

      Food … for the deployed troop, is the only variety in any day. And it is a subject without any operational sensitivity.

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