Camouflage Wiki


M81 Woodland

U.S. Army National Guard soldiers wear BDUs in M81 woodland camouflage during a July 2000 field training exercise in Yavoriv, Ukraine.

Woodland pattern is identical to ERDL , but is printed from an enlargement of the original. The ERDL pattern was enlarged and the borders of the splotches were re-drawn to make them less regular. Part of the earlier pattern was left off the later pattern because the enlargement made them no longer fit on the width of the bolt of cloth. The pattern does not repeat horizontally across the width of the bolt, but only vertically along its length.

The effect of enlarging the pattern was to make the pattern more visible at a distance, avoiding "blobbing", where smaller areas of color seem to blend into larger blobs. This also gave the pattern a higher contrast, making it stand out more sharply at close distances and defeating the camouflage effect at closer range. Digital and Flecktarn camouflage patterns resolve this problem by using a range of blob sizes to give a similar effect whatever the distance.

These changes reflected a shift in the tactical focus of the United States military from an extremely close-range war in Vietnam to a longer-range battlespace on the fields of Europe.

The U.S. Navy maintains its use for specific units and organizations. The U.S. Navy SEALs and Seabees are the primary users of this uniform in addition to sailors wearing the trousers while working during flight deck operations aboard aircraft carriers. Sailors on ships and other navy catches have moved onto the Navy Working Uniform , and the Air Force's Airman Battle Uniform which uses a modern incarnation of the Tigerstripe pattern. The camouflage pattern is still in use when it comes to NBC suits, and has also been seen on parkas issued during basic training in the Army.The woodland pattern has been phased out by the Marine Corps in exchange for the digital MARPAT  with the introduction of the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform. In the Army, the woodland pattern was replaced with digital Universal Camouflage Pattern, with the introduction of the Army Combat Uniform  (ACU).

The USAF Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol) uses the M81 Pattern for its BDU. Various law enforcement and SWAT teams also still use the woodland pattern for their personnel as well. Examples are LAPD SWAT, US DEA operators, Portland Oregon SERT team, Boise SWAT, and even the FBI HRT team.