From this part of the website,  you will access pages with a photograph and a description of typical uniforms and equipment as worn by USSF A-teams during Vietnam.
You will find a mixture of original photos and photos taken during various of my displays/exhibitions and items out of my collection.

sf20033w.jpg
(my collection)

This is a brief study on uniforms used by Special Forces in Vietnam

But when you go through those pages please keep in mind that Special Forces, due to the nature of their missions, were left a lot of leeway on their choice of equipment, uniforms and armament. This also changed a lot according to where and when they served in Vietnam.
What was right for one SF'er in a given situation may have been wrong for another one in the same situation!
Flexibility and adaptation was in their nature and it showed through their photos and their stories!

You must also remember that
A-detachment personnel in remote camps like Gia Vuc, very often wore unbadged fatigues and when things were calm, T-shirts, black pyjamas, shower shoes, etc.
Bush hats often replaced berets as they were more appropriate and more comfortable in hot or rainy climate. 

What you may see on the mannequin may not be exactly what you wore, but do remember soldiers are individuals and different items were available at different times and in different  places.

What follows is what Veterans have to say about their uniforms and equipment!

SFC W.D. Libby, Sr Medic A-725 Gia Vuc 1963/64
"We already were issued with the Tropical Jungle Uniform and most of us wore no insignia.  In Camp and during Med Caps, I usually wore fatigue trousers and surgical smock.
When I was on operations I had my medical gear carried by one of the Strike Force Medic as my prime job was patrol leader or asst patrol leader and secondary as a medic. I usually had my M-5 Medical bag along with extra dressings and blood expander."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking to buy genuine
* US 60's  pens and pencils for map case
* 60's US army note book
* 1950/70 Seiko automatic watch  (in working order). you know the type black face with large numbers!

Robert Cameron SFC, A-113 June-Nov 65, A-103 Nov 65-May 66
Montagnards bracelets:

"
All SF guys had these, but Bob was "pissed  that by 1967 or so every American was wearing them! - If he had ever met a Yard or not"   
They had a lot of significance to SF, but they just became fashion accessories in later years. " Hey, I have been to Nam!"
"Some SF guys would forcibly remove them from non SF wearers early on, but later on it wasn't worth the effort as you could buy them in any ville!
"

 

If you have more information relating to SF uniforms, 
please get in touch, 
your story could appear here.

Harlow Short Medic 5th SFGA 1969/70
"I was looking at your pages on uniforms and it brought back memories of the fact that I only had one official fatigue shirt while assigned to my camp.  The rest of my stuff was made by our camp tailors. My regular shirt was a hand-me-down from some departed luey and since the shirt was pretty faded there were marks on the collar that showed where the lt's bars had been.
The only time I was treated half-assed decently when I went into Nha Trang was once while I wearing that shirt, a sgt. major called me sir and the only reason I didn't laugh in his face and get my ass in a sling was because I didn't have a clew why he was being so nice. It was only later that it dawned on me I hadn't pinned on my collar rank badges and he was looking at the lt bar fade marks, I never wore that shirt into Nha Trang again.
Seeing those pictures of fatigues with stateside stripes and badges certainly made them look odd to me, I realize you stated that early in the war camouflage patches weren't available but when I was there anybody wearing that stuff would have had them ripped off in short order - unless he was a REMF and then we would have complimented him on his sartorial charm."

 

Uniform description thanks to Christopher E. McClure, (Cpt, 5th SFGA  8/1968-1/1970)

(This is part of an e-mail send to me regarding Operational uniform used by SF)
Picture taken while on patrol outside Dak Pek SF Camp in April 1969, 
while I was Commander of 241 Co, 4th Bn, II Corps Mike Force -
I am the caucasian in the photo and was wearing a bracelet when the photo was taken.
(In general the bracelets were not worn on patrol, as they tended to make unwanted noise when carrying a rifle. I wore a bunch of them around camp and occasionally wore one while on patrol. If we got near enemy, I would wrap an OD sling bandage around my wrist over the bracelet. Sometimes we would use the sling bandages as a kind of headband to keep sweat out of the eyes if we did not want to wear a hat.  The hat was better.)
 The troops were all Sedang tribe montagnards. I was armed with an XM177E1 5.56mm submachine gun (really a carbine) with a 30 round magazine. The plastic muzzle protector kept dirt and brush out of the bore, but meant that moisture had to be cleaned out of the bore regularly during the rainy season. I had the old style  sole Jungle boots on and I was carrying a smoke grenade for signaling purposes. My hat was a modified issue tiger suit hat (brim cut down to just shed water, but not reduce visibility when wet) with black jump wings on the front (the Mike Force was an airborne unit). The metal pin over my left shirt pocket identified me as a member of the II Corps Mike Force, as did the trooper's camouflage beret insignia (flash). My trousers were bloused at the boot tops with elastic bands to keep the leeches out. You can't see it in this picture, but my shirt had a pocket on the left sleeve that was used to carry a package of five morphine surrettes for use if wounded.  Also not seen in the picture was my trouser belt - black webbing with black tip and black open face buckle.  I carried a Swiss Army pocket knife in a nylon belt holder made of parachute harness webbing, as well as a 5" blade sheath knife of my own manufacture, that I brought from the States, in a leather  sheath.  I was wearing military issue aviator sunglasses.  As you can see from the picture, some of the montagnard troops wore lightweight OD fatigues on patrol - it was pretty much their choice and depended on what was available from the quartermaster.

 

Go to the Green Beret website

 Steve Sherman the  archivist for 
 the Special Forces and Special Operations Associations  
 Need your help!

 

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