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OPFOR Uniforms and headgear

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Three color Gore-Tex jacket that has also been dyed brown. All three items came together.


Always looking for US and foreign militaria from the Central American wars circa 1970-1990




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panzerwerk-- The top photo you have there is a uniform that I made!!! I sold it on eBay a few years ago...are you the buyer from there? I purchased the uniform set from the (now defunct) Sovietski Collection catalog.


Yes I bought it off you , Small world !!!! I sorta got the story close , but now I will save what you wrote and stick it one of the pockets !!!


Love the set !




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  • 4 weeks later...

Got my latest OPFOR DCU in the mail today and not only was it a steal (the seller had to have lost money), but it appears to be a 1990 contract coat. I didn't know we had 3-color DCUs in 1990, and I was IN the army at that time.





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The only time I ever saw dedicated OPFOR uniforms in my time in the Army was at Ft Polk for a JRTC rotation, and that was only when driving through the post and saw some of the 509th guys in black uniforms loading into a Humvee. I never saw the Warsaw Pact armor they had and caught only two glimpses of their Hind helicopters zipping over the pines. That always bugged me because I would have loved to get a good look at each.

We never had any guidelines for OPFOR when I ran them for our Brigade, and was told to “be creative,” which is of course a terrible thing to tell a LT. I once rolled into an ambush wearing my M1942 jump suit and driving my WW2 Jeep. The other side didn’t fire a shot and had no idea what to when they saw me. I got approval for people in OPFOR to wear boonie hats when on that duty, which anyone in the Army in peacetime knows is a tough sell to make. I drove the Brigade CSM out of his mind when he’d encounter one of us leaving to go terrorize a unit and wearing what was to most units was a totally unauthorized headgear. I still have mine which I wore with pride when I could. Most of the time I would wear one of my US WW2 uniforms or a Russian jacket my brother traded for along with a Russian officer’s visor cap. I also walked into a TOC dressed as a pizza delivery guy and another time as a UPS driver, both times carrying a M-4 with a MILES box on the end. Both times, the sentries didn’t notice I was wearing a MILES vest with civilian clothes. Those poor snuffies are probably still doing pushups for that. I was told that after those times, ANY civilian rolling through the ‘back 40’ box would be considered part of the scenario, which caused some pretty angry calls to the post HQ for people who just happened to be driving through. Once I wore an East German officer’s uniform and refused to speak English after being ‘captured’ (darn borrowed SAW jammed on me), talking only in my broken college German. To their credit, the other unit did look around for a German speaking soldier and he interrogated me. When the units tried to think out of the box and didn’t get bogged down in garrison thinking, I wasn’t cruel to them and made good comments in the After Action reviews. I even made some units look good if I thought they really wanted to learn from situations they’d never thought of.

The previous guy who ran Brigade OPFOR had a girlfriend who worked at Hooters and I was told he got several of her co-workers to show up in the field in their work clothes as a distraction while his OPFOR wiped out the unit leadership. That’s how I wound up with the mission because that was considered “unfair” to those who got shot up. I too got reamed by my share of staff types for making them look bad. My Brigade Commander (who I last read is a Major General) looked an Infantry Major at an AAR and said, “Let me see if I understand this correctly. A Ordnance LT took some wrench turners and wiped your whole staff out, and you think the main issue is if he did it FAIRLY?” My Battalion CO told me about it later while laughing so hard he was crying but he’d bore the brunt of more than a few really angry maneuver unit Battalion Commanders over our antics.

I’ve read that in the past, OPFOR was a duty to be avoided. I enjoyed the heck out of it!

Lee Bishop Formerly known as "Ratchet 5" with the 2nd Infantry Division (yes, in REAL life)

US WW2 War Correspondent collector

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The whole pointof the crest was to give the helmet a different shape and silhouette. It also was supposed to NOT look like any current other nation (although yes it looks liek an M-36 russian crest) becasue there were issues with wearing uniforms of other nations while on duty. There was a specific prohibition in the regs on that.


Until my last basement cleanout I had some boxes of OG 107's dyed brown with pocket flaps moved down, and also dyed black for Naval Infantry. I still have some cCech glowworn uniforms that were run through a light brown dye to tone them down a bit all used for OPFOR programs.

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Here's one of my OPFOR shirts and another of my favourites. It's a '69 dated sateen shirt modified to represent a Sergeant in the Motorised Infantry. I got this in a swap with a friend. He told me it came from a farmer down the road from him. This guy apparently had a shed full of clothing he was trying to sell, a lot of it was European surplus, the kind of surplus that back in the '90s was dyed weird colours like black, red or blue to try and make it more appealing to sell to teenagers. But in it, he said he found the likes of M43 and M51 jackets, army sateen shirts, Marine 58 pattern shirts and this......










Can anybody tell me what kind of insignia might of been originally here? The stitching measures approx 3". Could it have been an early OPFOR star? Has anybody got an example?


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Right, that's interesting, would that have been the first style of OPFOR patch ever used ? I'm familiar with the black star on OG, the desert version, the red star on tan and also the red star on black with hammer and sickle in center. I've never seen the one you've described before. Anybody out there got an example or photo?

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Aye that's the cap I posted. Well the only thought I had for the shirt was maybe a red circular patch with a star formed by outlining it in white thread, much like on the garrison cap but that's just a guess.


Below is the current OPFOR SSIs in subdued and desert versions, they've been around for years. So I wonder if there was ever a full colour or dress version produced in the beginning? Oh, I guess you're right MattS, it's all speculation at the minute, till we find an example or a photo confirming it.





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Wow, when we were the bad guys turning our BDU tops inside out was about as high speed as we ever got. Therefore I never realized that there was such high speed OPFOR uniforms out there. I must say that they are pretty cool!

In memory of.....
SSG Jarred S Fontenot US Army KIA Baghdad, Iraq 10-18-07 RIP my friend-Charlie Three Three Delta Out


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Wow, when we were the bad guys turning our BDU tops inside out was about as high speed as we ever got.


Yeah, that was the only thing I ever saw as well. I got permission to allow the use of boonie covers, which was like pulling teeth. I allowed my people to bring any foreign military stuff they wanted, which many soldiers have traded for over the years, I've noticed. We were listed as an 'irregular guerilla force' in the scenario most of the time anyway, so it worked out.

The only time ever saw dedicated OPFOR anything was at Fort Polk...

Lee Bishop Formerly known as "Ratchet 5" with the 2nd Infantry Division (yes, in REAL life)

US WW2 War Correspondent collector

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  • 5 months later...




my aggressor field jacket (later model)




Note that as of today 11th ACR is wearing CIVPUs (uniforms, goretex and caps; probably they got hold of unused stocks), while 1/509 th PIR are using ACU cut OD green uniforms (probably commercial tru-spec or propper sets)

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  • 5 months later...
  • 7 months later...

1950s USMC P44 with Aggressor tabs for a rifle unit in my collection...




Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'


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  • 8 months later...

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