MTP Barrack Shirt

When the PCS MTP shirt was introduced it was intended for universal use, both on the battlefield and in barracks. Whilst it was fine for combat use, the design did not lend itself to the traditional barrack dress which was effectively a smarter version of combat fatigues that had a certain standard of spit and polish. Officially the PCS shirt was to be worn untucked at the waist with sleeves down at all times by the army. The Royal Navy permitted its men and women to wear the PCS shirt tucked into the trousers and with the sleeves rolled up, although this proved problematic due to the large Velcro patches and pockets on the upper arm of the PCS shirt. Some people unofficially and illegally modified the PCS shirt:

I’ve removed the Velcro from the sleeve things and sealed them down with wonder-web, removed that fecking silly strap thing from the underside of the collar and cut the Velcro off the arm pockets (and thus got rid off those silly badge holding things) from my ‘jackets’. All together much smarter and easier to iron.

The army eventually relented and introduced an MTP barrack shirt that was effectively the old CS95 shirt, but in MTP fabric:

This mirrored a number of unofficial shirts that had been made up privately in the new pattern camouflage. The key features to note about the barrack shirt are that instead of a zipper and Velcro front fastening, the shirt is secured with a row of buttons:

The two breast pockets also fasten with buttons:

Most importantly however is what is missing, the sleeves lacking any pockets at all which make them much easier to roll up:

The cuffs are also secured with buttons rather than Velcro:

Finally the rank tab is also secured with a button fastener rather than a strip of Velcro:

The label inside clearly identifies this as a barrack shirt:

The introduction of the barracks MTP shirt followed various press stories of soldiers complaining how scruffy the PCS uniform was away from the frontline and the roll out of the new barrack shirts reportedly cost the army £4.5 million. Like all these changes to uniform there were as many who hated the return of the CS95 style shirt as welcomed it. For the collector however it provides an interesting variation of the MTP shirt to find and is rather rarer than the standard combat shirt.

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