Post Vietnam Greens Shirt

The Australian Army continued to wear simple green shirts as its main combat uniform for quite some time after the end of the Vietnam War, only replacing it with a camouflage pattern in the mid-1980s when the new DPCU uniform began to be introduced. The Vietnam era ‘pixie’ shirts are highly desirable and not easy to find on the collectors market. Later shirts dating from the 1970s or 1980s are easier to find and it is one of these shirts we are looking at today. It is a simple long sleeved shirt, produced in a plain green cotton:

A pair of breast pockets are fitted, with distinctive angled bottom corners to them that make it harder for lint and debris to gather in the corners, each has a flap secured with a single green plastic button:

Inside one of the pockets are a pair of channels for pens:

A pair of epaulettes are fitted, secured with a single button and with a pointed tip to them:

A label is fitted inside the shirt, with sizing, manufacturer etc. This example is quite worn and has been overwritten with the owner’s name in permanent marker:

By the time this uniform was produced and issued, many other armies had already transitioned across to camouflage patterned uniforms (the British Army back in the early 1970s). Australia was slow to adopt camouflage uniform, although the diverse nature of the Australian landscape meant it took a long time to find a pattern that would work as well n the arid outback as it would in the coastal jungles. The green uniform was a perfectly adequate uniform in the meantime and seems to have been popular with soldiers.

One of the major manufacturers of clothing and equipment for the Australian Army was The Australian Government Clothing Factory and this newspaper article from the early 1990s outlines its history and range of products manufactured at the time:

One comment

  1. The DPCU camouflage uniform was ‘unveiled’ during the Australian Army’s Bicentennial Military Tattoo in the second half of 1988. The Tattoo used soldiers from the 1st Brigade which was then based at Holsworthy in NSW. The rest of the army, with the exception of SASR, continued to wear these jungle green uniform until 1989 when DPCU started to be introduced to the rest of the Australian Defence Force, starting with the army.

    The Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) had received stocks of the earlier ‘trial’ variation of the DPCU cams earlier in the 1980’s but the rest of army did not see them until the end of the eighties and continued to wear ‘greens’ until the DPCU issue started to filter throughout the ADF.

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