Anyone that’s part of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is aware that the military uniform is more than just apparel. It serves as a representation of your professionalism, identity, and level of service. In addition to providing protection from the weather, the army uniform helps you perform better and blend in with your surroundings.
Want to learn more about the Aussie army unifrom and general dress code rules? Then, let’s quickly go through the proper attire for military members, including what materials to wear and why.
The Types of Uniforms Army Members Wear
The ADF has different types of uniforms for different occasions and environments. The most common ones are:
General Purpose Uniform (GPU)
This is the everyday working dress for most ADF personnel. It consists of a camouflage shirt and military pants by Australia manufacturers, as well as accessories such as a belt and a hat and a good pair of boots.
The GPU is built to be comfortable, reliable, and adaptable to a variety of environments. The Australian Multicam Camouflage Uniform (AMCU) for land operations and the Australian Multicam Maritime Uniform (AMMU) for maritime operations are the two patterns available for the GPU.
Service Dress Uniform (SDU)
This is what army members wear for ceremonial and official events. It includes a jacket, a skirt or military pants Australia designed, a shirt, a necktie or neckband, shoes, and a hat. Rank and the service branch (Navy, Army, or Air Force) affect the SDU. The SDU is a sophisticated, classy, and respectable garment composed of wool or polyester.
Mess Dress Uniform (MDU)
This is the attire for formal dinners and social gatherings. It includes a jacket, pants or a skirt, a shirt, a necktie or neckband, shoes, and a hat. The MDU differs based on the service branch and level as well. It is created to be elegant, smart, and festive and is made of wool or polyester.
The Military Dress Code Rules You Need to Know
Although all the above mentioned types of uniforms seem straingforward as they consist of only a few pieces, the military still has a strict dress code you need to stick to. When dressing in any of these uniforms, servicemen should follow some basic rules:
- Always pick pieces in the correct size and which fit you well. The military trousers, shirt and jackets shouldn’t feel too tight or too loose, nor should be too long or too short. You should be able to move freely and comfortably in your uniform.
- Accessorise right. Your military pants, shirt and jacket should be complemented by the appropriate badges, medals, patches, insignia and other items representing your identity, rank and achievements. Also, you should dress appropriately for the event and environment by donning the appropriate footwear, headgear, gloves, and other accessories.
- Wear the appropriate colour palette. The colours of your service branch and unit should be reflected in your outfit. Also, you should refrain from donning any hues that conflict with your outfit or that can impair your visibility or camouflage.
- Wear the right materials. Fabrics appropriate for the environment and terrain you are functioning in should be used to make your uniform. Also, look for textiles that are fire-resistant, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, anti-microbial, and breathable.
Materials Used in Army Uniforms
Speaking of fabrics, some of the most common fabrics used in ADF uniforms are:
- Cotton: It’s a natural fibre that is supple, cosy, and long-lasting. It keeps you cool and absorbs sweat, making it ideal for hot, dry situations. However, cotton loses its insulating properties when exposed to moisture, making it unsuitable for cold and damp conditions.
- Polyester: Although a synthetic material, polyester is a great choice for military purposes due to being strong, lightweight and resistant to wrinkles, stains and abrasion. Polyester is good for cold and wet climates as it repels water and retains its shape and warmth. However, polyester is not good for hot and dry climates as it traps heat and odour.
- Nylon: Another synthetic fibre, although this one is more elastic and abrasion-resistant than polyester. Because it responds to temperature variations and dries rapidly, nylon is suitable for all climates. When exposed to intense heat or flame, nylon, however, can melt or burn.
- Wool: Wool is insulating, soft and resilient. It retains heat and repels water, making it suitable for cold and humid regions. Wool can, however, be cumbersome, scratchy, and prone to shrinking when cleaned.
- Blends: Blends are made by fusing two or more fibres together to produce a new substance with improved qualities. For instance, nylon-cotton blends are more breathable than pure nylon, wool-polyester blends are lighter than pure wool, and cotton-polyester blends are more enduring than pure cotton.
Choosing the right fabric for your uniform is not only a matter of preference but also a matter of performance. By wearing the right fabric for the right situation, you can improve your comfort, safety and effectiveness as an ADF serviceman.
To Sum Up
As you can see, there are several different types of uniforms Australian servicemen should wear depending on the occassion. Additionally, adhering to the rules of dress is important to show respect and professionalsm on the job.
Hopefully, this has given you some useful insights into the Australian military uniform.