Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

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    CollectinSteve
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    Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by CollectinSteve on Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:15 am

    Hi all!

    I'm hoping to get some help figuring out what to do about this new item to my collection. There's a number of things that don't really look right to me, but I'm not an expert on US badging. The jacket, however, I am sure is the real deal. I've seen a couple of these, all of which are "Irregular". The date on it is 1988 and it's clearly marked as being for Special Forces. It combines the features of the Transitional uniform cut (predated BDU, came after slant pocket) with some unique features. Specifically, it's designed to be worn with a button in liner. Thus it is both a regular jacket with the capability of becoming a lined coat. Anyway, I think I spotted what got it the rejection stamp and as is often the case it's a minor blemish that nobody but an inspector would likely see.

    The problem I have with this are the badges. The Special Forces Command patch has cut edges and not marrowed. That would normally bother me a lot, however I can't imagine there were many official subdued desert badges floating around in 1988 so it could be "theater made". Or, simply, a fake Very Happy The second thing that bothers me is the branch insignia. It's regular Infantry and not Special Forces. I don't know enough about how cross attachments work to know if it's possible for a non Special Forces qualified officer to be attached to a Special Forces Command and retain his Infantry branch designation. Third is what I take to be Saudi jump wings over the right breast pocket. Again, could be theater made?

    Any help?

    Steve





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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by Philip on Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:28 pm

    very nice jacket but i'd say it's a put-together. don't you think it's dated 78 and not 88? i don't think it was used by the army since it's a "second" or like the stamp says "irregular". normally seconds are rejected and sold to surplus stores...
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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by filupe on Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:42 pm

    The wings actually look like they are of the Australian design! Saudi wings are a totally different design altogether. He may have gained them during a stint as an exchange instructor. They would be locally made no doubt - Australians do not use the 6-colour desert camo in any capacity.
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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by bravo_2_zero on Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:00 pm

    This jacket dated from the 80's because it seems to have the compress paper type tags that didn't come into use till 80's. I have this jacket but mine is dated 1977 with cloth tags. I would date this jacket 1983 because i've seen others irregular with that particular date.

    My 2nd observation Ripstop 6 color cam, this wasn't used by the US Army at all. Natick authorized a small sample of NYCO ripstop for trails but had a very very short life span. So the para wings I'm guessing are either added later from Iraq contract re-issued desert BDU's as they are made in ripstop.
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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by Mercenary25 on Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:38 pm

    Maybe this jacket was intended for new Iraqi Army and Advisor could've worn it?


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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by CollectinSteve on Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:57 pm

    Thanks for the thoughts!! I'll try and clarify some stuff...

    1. It is definitely dated 1988. You should be able to make out the date in the pick through the black line. I can see it clearly in person.

    2. There are 4 major differences between the jacket cut and the 1978/1981 "transitional" cut. Specifically, elbow reinforcements, an interior shoulder section (not stitched at the bottom), and buttons for a liner. The tag specifically instructs the soldier how to wear the liner.

    3. "Irregular" means it was rejected by military inspectors, therefore this particular jacket wasn't intended for military personnel. However, there wouldn't be military inspectors putting an "irregular stamp" on the jacket if it wasn't part of a military contract Very Happy It does, in fact, have a military contract number which has been blacked out, which is standard protocol for rejections.

    4. I'm sure the badging was put on in an order to make it more appealing. The question I have is if the badging is legitimate.

    5. Jump wings based on British style are all over the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Sometimes the only way to tell what nation it's from is by the cloth it is stitched to. The Saudis are one of the few desert nations to use 6 Color Desert and this type of jump wing, which is why I guessed Saudi. As Bravo 2 points out, the US did not use 6 Color Desert ripstop fabric, so it has to be made somewhere else (which is sensible since it isn't a US jump badge Smile)

    6. It's not usual to see a garment which specifies "Special Forces". Since it appears to be a piece from a legitimate DoD authorized contract, then it's most likely legitimately Special Forces.

    7. A manufacture making a uniquely cut item like this, to the extent of faking contract numbers on a period correct tag, would not mark it "Irregular" Smile

    My feeling about this so far is that it is a rejected jacket from a legitimate production run. The badging is at least mostly legit, but perhaps a few items are not (jump wings and unit patch) and one might be incorrect (branch insignia). Either way, this item was not actually worn by a soldier, so it's questionable if a real Captain Flynn marked this up and sold it to a collector. More likely a collector did his best to badge it accurately. The latter is what I'm most curious about to confirm.

    Thanks!!

    Steve
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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by CollectinSteve on Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:06 pm

    BTW, I think the contract number is DLA100-88-C-0011. Hard to read the last four numbers exactly. Stock number is 8415-01-016-2572 for sure.

    Steve


    Last edited by CollectinSteve on Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by bravo_2_zero on Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:12 pm

    This is mine which maybe the very 1st run due to the production date because 6 color desert wasn't official till the mid 80's
    I've seen 1972 produced RDF style 6 color, as for SF jump smocks mine is earliest i've seen as of yet.




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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by CollectinSteve on Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:55 pm

    Cool, that explains why this 1988 production unit looks like a 1978 type coat Smile And yes, you probably have one of the first off the assembly line Bravo_2! This is the info I got when I searched on the DLA#:

    Contract start date - 1976
    Contract cancel date - 2004
    Cost per jacket - $29
    Quantity per box - 25
    No replacement stock number (i.e. completely discontinued), no restrictions on disposal.

    So it would seem that until 1988 these jackets were still being produced for actual use by Special Forces. Sometime after that the government stopped purchasing them and eventually the contract was officially terminated. (note that a termination could officially come long after the item was no longer in use). My guess is they stopped making these around the time they transitioned to 3 Color Desert (roughly 1990).

    Cool stuff Very Happy So for sure the jacket is legitimate military production, though in my case this one was rejected due to a blemish (tiny snag on right elbow reinforcement from what I can tell). Now I just have to figure out what the deal is with the badges.

    Steve
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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by Mr-X on Sun May 03, 2009 1:58 pm

    I dont like this one. It screems put together. Sorry.
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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sun May 03, 2009 3:06 pm

    Definitely the badging has been put on by a collector. Or as is commonly stated "tarted up" Wink No doubt about that. The two questions I had were if the jacket was legitimate (that's a definite YES now) and if the badges themselves are legitimate on their own (still no conclusion there).

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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by bravo_2_zero on Sun May 03, 2009 3:17 pm

    CollectinSteve wrote:Definitely the badging has been put on by a collector. Or as is commonly stated "tarted up" Wink No doubt about that. The two questions I had were if the jacket was legitimate (that's a definite YES now) and if the badges themselves are legitimate on their own (still no conclusion there).

    Steve

    Badges , would they have used brown cotton to embroider them ?

    I've had a quick nose around the online surplus name tag makers, they don't seem to do the black on tan combo ?
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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by CollectinSteve on Mon May 04, 2009 12:32 pm

    Name tapes for US uniforms are done by private companies and not necessarily through official channels (who in any case use the same private companies Wink). This means there is a HUGE variety of materials, tape color, thread color, and lettering. It does seem that the "copper" style embroidery didn't start until the 1990s.

    For Gulf War 1 many of the badges used on the 6 Color Desert uniforms were the black embroidery on green because the demand for badging came very suddenly, the demand was huge, and the timeline for delivery was extremely short. Therefore, soldiers had to make do with their existing badging and/or purchasing what was available (green on black).

    The jacket I have is dated prior to this, but I don't know if they were even making desert color badging at the time since desert uniforms were extremely rare. I would guess that if they did badging prior to 1990 that it would be black on tan, so at least that aspect of my jacket's badging is correct.

    Steve
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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by nkomo on Mon May 04, 2009 2:24 pm

    As far as I can tell...the badges are legit, except for the foreign jump wing on 6 color camo cloth. That one I have never seen before. I don't like the looks of it at all. I think the jacket is okay and I think the badges, except for the foreign jump wings, are okay. I agree with Mr. X.....put together piece.
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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by airborne1968 on Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:06 am

    I realize this is an old thread but I'd like to add some info for everyone. Several things indicate this uniform is not right based on Army reg at the time (AR 670-1)

    1. Pin on Badges (combat and skill) and branch insignia were the only authorized type for wear on DBDUs. There were some exceptions to this though.

    2. Foreign wings were not longer authorized for wear on fatigues or BDUs long before 1988.

    3. There were no tan insignia (not produced for official wear). This did not occur until 2002 when the Army authorize the production and wear of "spice-brown" embroidered on khaki cloth insignia. Yes, black was used on some of the earlier insignia/badges and for the third color on SSI.

    4. This individual isn't SF qualified (no tab) thus no crossed arrows. The Special Forces branch insignia was authorized in 1987 for wear by personnel in the Special Forces branch. It was previously authorized in 1984 for wear by enlisted personnel in Career Management Field 18 (Special Operations).

    5. AR 670-1 dated 1987 authorizes a "brown" tape with black lettering worn on teh DBDU.

    6. In the early to mid 1980s DBDUs were "organizational clothing issue" but the SSI or shoulder patches for current were authorized for wear on this uniform but combat SSI were not. However, official tan SSI were not made at that time.
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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:35 am

    Thanks for the post! Yeah, I figured out some of this since the original post. I haven't thought about this jacket for a while, but I am inclined to pull some badges off of it. Maybe all of them. They're good badges, but not on this jacket!

    Steve
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    Re: Need help with US Special Forces 6 Color Desert Jacket

    Post by 2/1kiwi on Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:54 pm

    Hi Steve,

    Sorry about the necro post. Have been searching googling Aussie wings and this came up.

    I have the wings on BDU, DBDU and OD.

    Made for AUS quailfied US pers.

    I have a minute sent to the US Army stating that qualified pers may wear the wings if the US gave permission.

    Can post pics if required.

    Anyone else have any ideas?

    Thanks

    Dan

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