Army Overwhites and Other Such Arcticality


Back when we posted our first story in the Army’s family of patterns industry day, Moondog asked in the conversation that ensued whether the Army had abandoned its ability to fight in an arctic environment by concentrating on this woodland/jungle, desert/arid and transitional environmental camouflage.

Well, one of the industry attendees asked just that question of the Army officials there and basically the answer is “no.”

We’re going to continue with the arctic whites for snow and this effort is really focused on the three [environmental] areas we outlined.

Interestingly, there’s been some buzz around the Marine Corps’ Guy Cramer creations for snow environments that are digital (of course) but mix in a little loden/green in them. Pretty snazzy… 

Rumor has it some super secret OGA manhunters and their uniformed friends are snooping around certain snow covered areas looking for bad guys in these duds.

So never fear, Moondog and his ilk: the Army is gonna keep it old school when we have to fight Chosin Mark II.

  • Moondog

    I can remember puttering around the Korean DMZ in the mid 1960s and again in the late 1970s, with 6″ to a foot of snow on the ground. Our OD green cold weather gear and green/brown camoflage nets were conspicious to say the least. Something white would have been helpful. Don’t need digital, white would soon get enough smudges etc on it to break it up a little bit.

  • Steven

    I just seen a set of the USMC MARPAT ARCTIC on Ebay the other day.

  • carg

    Last time I checked, it snows in place like Korea, Eastern Europe, Afghanistan and Colorado.

    • Pnut

      And the situation in Colorado may require intervention soon.

      • crackedlenses


  • VTGunner

    Don’t worry all, the only true mountain infantry unit in the entire US Army (Active, Reserves and National Guard), the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain) of the Vermont Army National Guard still trains to fight in the mountains and snow. This is an actual mountain unit unlike the 10th Mountain Division. In fact the Army’s mountain warfare school is made up exclusively of the members from this unit.

    • Moondog

      The last time I was there, it snowed in Korea, got really cold, and the 2d Infantry Div. trained in mountains, Korea has lots of mountains. We had a hard time finding places flat enough to set up our arty.

  • Stefan S.

    VT Gunner I will worry. Nasty Girls? (NG) Who cares? Vermont? Where is Vermont? Canada? Go back to your Maple Syrup and Ben and Jerry’s.

    • VTGunner

      Yup say that to the 2000 members of that brigade who just came back from Afghanistan. I would suspect a trip to the hospital will be required by you

      • crackedlenses

        Nah, Stefan is former specops; he could probably go Rambo and own them all with his bare hands…….

    • liam

      Hey VT Gunner….I served in the Medivac as a 91W there in Burlington back in the day…remember may a time training with the 86th…GREAT unit!! Alas, I moved on and went active and got stuck at the (old) WRAMC!!

  • MBD

    We must hope and pray there will never be another ‘Frozen Chozen’ withdrawal from that hellhole 60 yrs ago in the far reaches of N. Korea. Check out the Two Koreas map in the July, 2003 issue of National Geographic. See a new book by Martin Russ, a Korean war marine vet on the Chosin nightmare. He wrote his memoir, “The Last Parallel” in the late 50s.

  • Franck

    Canadian forces used and still use the good old tin nylon white overall that probably cost no more than 12$ to manufacture and does a perfect job. no need for added features like digital pattern… nature will do the rest for you.

  • TopesideDZ

    Stefan S…..

    Do not disparage all NG units. While some are clearly beyond help and/or hope, some like the 19th and 20th SF Groups are over in “The Stan,” doing the same work as active units and are highly praised. The Vermont Mountain Guard unit could be one of the quality units. Unless you know for sure, (that their not) keep you yap shut.

  • wyoreconmarine

    Stefan S. is another one of these keyboard commandos that posts on Youtube, knows nothing about everything and uses big cusswords like he means it. Hate to see censorship, but someone has to stop these dumb kids from ever touching another keyboard. Like breaking all ten of their fkn fingers. Great idea, then they’ll never pollute the military pool either.

  • 10th Mountain

    I would say any member of the military that has done a stint in the mountainous environs of Afghanistan (even the 10th Mountain like myself) would be qualified…not just your vermont boys. HAve pride but don’t try to take from others.

  • jensenmk

    This is kind of a non-issue, the US still issues and uses them in Alaska (1st and 4th BDEs of the 25th ID).

  • J W

    I have friends I lost from the Missouri National Guard that were lost doing route clearance missions in both Iraq and “The Stan” so convoys and other patrols can get through with a higher percentage of success. Everyone has their mission and their part to play in the big game. I have seen Reserve Component troops that would out shine or at least compete at the same level as Active Army and I have seen Active Army troops that were just as bad as some of the worst in the Reserve Components. I think Stefen S. is trying to compensate for something.

  • MtnMedic

    Hope Stefan can ski and live above tree line…even ODA MTN Teams come to EAFR to learn how to do that stuff from who? The MTN School and the 3-172 IN.

  • 1-501st PIR

    We are issued Over Whites and Mickey Mouse boots and all that good stuff like snow shoes and ski’s aswell as Ahkio sleds at the CIF once we arive at FT. Richardson Alaska. We do our Arctic Cold weather training even more north of FT. Greeley. We are the only Airborne unit in the Pacific and train in the mountains of Alaska. So yes America is well suited to fight in extreme cold environments and we know how to survive and maintain our weapons and keep them from malfunctioning in the sub zero temps. Jumping in the night while viewing the Aurora Lights is something else and landing on frozen ground aint no picnic.

  • GLawrence

    When I was with the 10th Mountain Division we lived in the snow at Ft. Drum in the winter, because the Reservists and National Guard used the training areas from May thru September. We got issued over whites and Mickey Mouse boots, but the skis, snow shoes and sleds were part of our unit gear. We went to Panama for jungle school and to Fort Polk for exercises when we couldn’t train in our own back yard.

  • Anthony Markham MD

    The Army has lost some of it arctic capabilities over the past several decades with unit deactivations and mission changes. One of the Army Reserve Units lost was the 1st Battalion 410th Infantry. One of its missions was arctic warfare. We were well equipped and well trained for the mission. Yes, at the time, the equipment was “vintage” but functional and durable. The soldiers well trained. I would love to see the Army equip a winter warfare unit with updated equipment and dedicate a Division to the arctic. Don’t worry though, my “Division wish list” is a lot longer than an Arctic Division!