1980 Pattern No2 Dress Tunic

In 1980 the British Army made a small update to their Number 2 Dress tunic, the original version of which is covered here. This new pattern would continue in service throughout the 1990s until the FAD or ‘Future Army Dress’ was introduced in the early 2000s. The 1980 pattern uniform was worn by both regular army units and, on occasion, by adult instructors in Army Cadet Units and today we have an example of one of these tunics:

The main difference between the 1980 pattern and its predecessor is that the pleats on the breast pockets have been deleted and they are now simple patch pockets:

Along with this change, the label on the interior was uopdated to reflect the new pattern designation:

As mentioned earlier, this tunic was worn by an adult cadet instructor. To distinguish him from regular NCOs, the shoulder titles ‘ACF’ are worn on the shoulder straps in staybrite metal:

This tunic is badged to an Army Cadet Force unit that had the Devon and Dorset Regiment as its parent unit, so their insignia is worn on the tunic. As well as the fleur-de-lis buttons that can be seen above, the regiment’s distinctive collar dogs are worn, manufactured in the same staybrite metal as the shoulder titles:

This particular tunic was worn by a staff sergeant and his rank badge consisting of three stripes surounted by a crown is worn on the sleeve of the tunic:

This adult instructor was serving at the time of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, so he was entitled to wear the medal ribbon for the Golden Jubilee medal:

Although the differences between the first pattern No2 uniform and this, the later 1980 pattern, are subtle; as collectors it is useful to be aware that there are two distinct patterns and as neither are particularly rare or expensive, it should not prove too difficult to track down an example of each for a collection.

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