The Woodland Pattern was the default camouflage pattern issued to the United States Armed Forces from 1981, with the issue of the Battle Dress Uniform, until its replacement in the mid 2000s. It is a four color, high contrast disruptive pattern with irregular markings in sand, brown, green and black. It is also known unofficially by its colloquial moniker of "M81", though this term was not used by the U.S. military.
Digital swatch woodland pattern.
|Type||Military camouflage pattern|
|Place of origin||United States of America|
|Used by||U.S. Marine Corps (Former) |
U.S. Navy (Former)
See Users (for other non-U.S. users)
|Wars||Vietnam War (as ERDL)|
Invasion of Grenada
United States invasion of Panama
Somali Civil War
Operation Uphold Democracy
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
2008 Cambodian-Thai stand-off
Syrian Civil War
Development and historyEdit
Woodland pattern is identical to ERDL, but is printed from an enlargement of the original. The Woodland 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.
In the U.S. Army, the woodland patterned Battle Dress Uniform was replaced by the digital Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) found on the Army Combat Uniform, introduced in 2004. UCP itself is being replaced by the Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP), scheduled to be completed in 2019.
The U.S. Navy retains the Woodland Pattern for specific units and organizations, such as the U.S. Navy SEALs and SWCC, who are currently the primary U.S. users of this uniform. Sailors have otherwise transitioned to the Navy Working Uniform.
The Woodland Pattern BDU was phased out by the Marine Corps with the introduction of the digital MARPAT Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform in 2002, although it was reintroduced for the United States Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command in 2011 and was also worn by MARSOC forces in the War in Afghanistan.
U.S. Air ForceEdit
The Air Force phased out the woodland pattern battle dress uniform in 2011 when they went to the Airman Battle Uniform which uses a pixelated incarnation of the Tigerstripe pattern, which in turn will be replaced by the Army's OCP by 2021. Also the Civil Air Patrol (U.S Air Force Auxiliary) still uses it although the BDU is being replaced by the ABU. 
State defense forcesEdit
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- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Congo DR
- Costa Rica
- Côte d'Ivoire
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Georgia: Former standard issue Camouflage of Georgian Armed Forces, Being phased out in favor of MARPAT and MultiCam.
- Haiti: Known to be used by the Haitian National Police.
- Hong Kong – Hong Kong Police tactical unit (SDU)
- Iraq: Formerly used by reformed Iraqi military.
- Israel: Used by Israeli special forces only during OPFOR training exercises.
- Kosovo – Worn by Kosovo Security Forces
- Latvia – worn by Latvian Land Forces c. 1992–2007, still worn by Latvian National Guard
- Lebanon - Replaced in 2017 by Operational Camouflage Pattern
- Moldova – Worn by Army of the Republic of Moldova
- Montenegro: Used by the Montenegrin Special Anti-Terrorist Unit.
- Netherlands: Worn by the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps, most of the Woodland camos being replaced by Dutch-made fractal camo.
- North Korea: Said to be used by North Korean commandos.
- Republika Srpska: Used by the RS' Special Anti-Terrorist Unit.
- Russia: Russia uses near-copies (Komplekt kamuflirovannogo obmundirovannogo (KKO)) and copies (Лес or Les (forest)) worn by MVD Agencies such as Internal Troops & Spetsnaz GRU units.
- Saudi Arabia – Royal Saudi Air Force.
- South Korea: Formerly adopted in 1992 to around 2011 due to concerns of North Korean commandos infiltrating the South with similar Woodland camos.
- Syria: Copies made for the Syrian military.
- Turkey – Worn by all branches of Turkish Armed Forces. Phased out in 2008.
- United States: Still used on MOPP suits as of November 2018.
- Ukraine: Known to be used by Bohdan Company and Chernihiv Company with local variant made to resemble Croatian-made Woodland camos.
- Uruguay – Worn by Army and Air Force
- Christine O. Hardyman, ed. (1988). "Chapter 7: Support Services". Department of the Army Historical Summary FY 1981. United States Army Center of Military History.
- "M81 Woodland". Camopedia.
- "Woodland Back". Soldier Systems. November 2014.
- "Woodland - Camopedia". camopedia.org. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
- Losey, Stephen (May 14, 2018). "The long-awaited OCP uniform is on its way to the Air Force — and here's when you could get it". Air Force Times. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
- "Questions & Answers about the Tennessee State Guard". Third Regiment of the Tennessee State Guard Official Website. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
- "VDF Regulation 670-1" (PDF). vdf.virginia.gov. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
- "Frequently Asked Questions". Ohio Military Reserve. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
- "Georgia – Camopedia". camopedia.org.
- Camouflage Uniforms of the Soviet Union and Russia: 1937-to the Present by Dennis Desmond, Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. (December 1, 1997) ISBN 978-0764304620[page needed]
- Spetsnaz: Russia’s Special Forces by Mark Galeotti, page 39.