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US Military Uniforms in Some of History’s Hottest Battles

Whether our troops are persevering through the sweltering summer of the Arabian Desert, or the humid, tropical climate of the Vietnam jungle, extreme heat is a deadly enemy for our Soldiers.

In 2019, the Tru-Spec Army Hot Weather 50/50 NYCO Ripstop Uniform was released. This uniform was designed specifically for the most extreme warm-weather climates and is guaranteed to keep Soldiers as cool as possible. It has ultimate breathability while remaining as sturdy as other modern uniforms.

Unfortunately, not all Soldiers were fortunate enough to have a uniform engineered for hot weather. Today we’re going to look at some of the hottest conditions our troops have fought in, and the uniforms they wore in battle.

Battle of Monmouth

The Battle of Monmouth took place in Monmouth County, New Jersey on June 28th, 1778, and was part of the American Revolutionary War.

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Battle of Monmouth
Battle of Monmouth – sourced by commons.wikimedia.com

During the American Revolution, the standard dress was uncomfortable, to say the least. It doesn’t take much imagination to realize how uncomfortable an outfit with knee-high stockings would be when you’re fighting the British in late June. But we need to remember, Americans had it much easier than the British when it comes to clothing designed to beat the heat. American Soldiers

didn’t have an official uniform at this time and had much more flexibility of dress than the British – who wore those famous, thick, red coats. Americans were asked to wear any coat and dye it brown to serve as a uniform. Despite this directive, many didn’t have the time to dye their coat – and some didn’t even have a coat at all.

Nevertheless, the Battle of Monmouth was known for being extremely hot, with temperatures staying above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Soldiers were reportedly removing their uniforms in an attempt to cool off and some accounts say that more people died in this battle from the heat than from enemy fire.

Battle of Bull Run

Micah Jenkins
Civil War Officer – sourced by commons.wikimedia.com

On July 21st, 1861 in Prince William County, Virginia, the Confederate and Union Soldiers fought the first major land-based battle of the American Civil War. This battle was called the First Battle of Bull Run and was known for the harsh conditions caused by the late summer heat of northern Virginia.

Most uniforms during the Civil War were made of a thick wool material that definitely wasn’t ideal for fighting in weather below the Mason Dixon Line. Union Soldiers often wore heavy, wool shirts and heavy boots while Confederate Soldiers wore lightweight shirts made of cotton and whatever shoes they could find.

The heat, combined with the uniforms, made for a sweltering Battle of Bull Run. As the temperatures rose, some Soldiers passed out from heat exhaustion, a condition that would continue throughout the warm months of the Civil War.

Vietnam War

Jungle Convoy Vietnam War
Jungle of Vietnam – sourced by commons.wikimedia.com

The Vietnam War came with its own set of issues including insects of all kinds, leeches, and rashes, but the heat and humidity were arguably the worst. Luckily, by this point, the US military had uniforms designed for the tropical climate of Southeast Asia.

They had recently replaced the previously used heavy cotton/polyester blend with a lightweight ripstop that was engineered to be much cooler. This isn’t to say Soldiers in Vietnam had it easy; but the uniform definitely helped Soldiers against the sun, rain, and insects that were a major issue in the jungles of Vietnam.

Final Remarks

Having seen what Soldiers had to wear in the extreme climates of historical battles, we’re sure you realize the significance of a uniform engineered for the hottest conditions. Be sure to check out the Tru-Spec Army Hot Weather Uniform Coat and Hot Weather Uniform Pants on our website.


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