Image HTML map generator
Field Gear Manufactured for the ARVN

Unlike uniforms, a significant portion of equipment issued by the Armed Forces of the Republic of Vietnam, as with a large percentage of gear used by the North Vietnamese Army was foreign made. In 1955, the newly formed ARVN carried a mixture of French and US made field gear. By the early 1960s, virtually all ARVN field gear was US made, mostly World War Two and Korean War era surplus items. By the late 1960s, most ARVN were wearing Model 1956 US Army field gear with a percentage using US Model 1967 gear as well. These items were identical to those used by the US Army, and in most cases it is not possible to differentiate between ARVN used and US used pieces. However, certain items specifically manufactured for the ARVN are possible to be denoted as ARVN used pieces. Some of these items are displayed on this page. Vietnamese made field gear in similar patterns to US made gear was also in use.

ARVN Flak Vest

Date: 1970s.

Description: Flak (Armored) Vest, same basic pattern as US military issued vests. ARVN Flak Vests were created on a smaller size scale than US made pieces, and are marked with labels in Vietnamese, not English. Though ARVN troops carried these in the 1960s, the vests were not widely distributed/manufactured until the Vietnamization program began, nearly all of these bearing production dates post-1969, most being made in 1970.

ARVN Troops in Flak Vests near Knocked-out NVA Tank, Anloc, 1972.

ARVN Rucksack

Date: 1963-1975.

Description: Multipiece construction, X Metal Frame. Surplus US Model 1945 Field Packs proved unsuitable for ARVN use in the early 1960s. Troops often complained of the packs being too heavy and too small. In 1963, a new pack was developed to be supplied to ARVN troops, which was larger and made of lighter weight fabric. The pack came to be known as the "ARVN Rucksack", and became the predominant Republic of Vietnam military field pack used by all branches of the armed forces through 1975. These packs were also used by US Special Forces and individual US troops in Vietnam.

RVN Marines in "ARVN" Rucksacks, 1960s.

ARVN Canteen

Date: Late 1960s-70s.

Description: Plastic canteen, identical to US pattern, QLVNCH/ARVN Quartermaster markings. In the late 1950s-60s ARVN troops largely carried surplus steel US Military canteens. In 1962 the US Military began issuing plastic canteens as standard equipment, and canteens designated for ARVN issue began being produced in the mid-1960s. However, as with Flak Vests, these canteens specifically made for the ARVN were not widely manufactured/issued until the Vietnamization period. Consequently, most of these canteens have post-1969 manufacture dates.

ARVN Gun Cleaning Swabs

Date: 1969.

Description: Identical to those supplied to the US Military, Vietnamese language labels. Vietnamization saw large quantities of US designed material manufactured for ARVN use, and as a signifier of this most of these supplies came with Vietnamese language labels/instructions.

All Text on this site and All Photographs featuring an RVNHS watermark are the Copyrighted Intellectual Property of RVNHS. Copying or use of this material is not permitted without written permission from the Republic of Vietnam Historical Society.