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Uniforms of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces

   The Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) employed an array of variations in clothing issued to the men and women in its armed forces. At the birth of the republic, military clothing was nearly identical to that of the former State of Vietnam or "Bao Dai Republic", consisting largely of French manufactured/inspired pieces with a percentage of WW2 surplus uniforms from the United States and to a lesser extent Great Britain. By the end of the Diem period, the uniforms of the republic's armed forces had developed their own unique aesthetic. Contrary to popular misconception, the vast majority of South Vietnamese military clothing was manufactured in Vietnam, and is greatly distinguishable from US items. The history of the Republic of Vietnam's military uniforms includes the establishment of new and one of a kind patterns, which are the basis for the attire used by militaries around the World today.

   Locating original examples of South Vietnamese uniforms today is not an easy task. Numerous "fakes" abound in collecting markets, many coming from the tailor mills of present day Vietnam. Most South Vietnamese military personnel who managed to evacuate in 1975 either did carry or were relieved of their uniform upon entering refugee camps. As the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was established in South Vietnam any trappings of the "old" republic were banned. Not only uniforms, but also personal documents and photographs were destroyed either institutionally by the new authorities or by individuals or their families themselves trying to avoid detection and retribution. Yet, examples can be found. Some US servicemen (particularly advisors) brought home such items, and not all items were destroyed. However, it still remains original South Vietnamese military clothing exists in little numbers today, and finding any uniform not totally devoid of insignia is rare.

 

Click On The Thumbnails Below To View More Photos & Details Of Each Item:

FRENCH MODEL 1947 FIELD UNIFORM  

ARVN OFFICER DRESS UNIFORM

RANGER OFFICER DRESS UNIFORM 

ARVN ENLISTED DRESS UNIFORM

ARVN OFFICER OVERCOAT 

WHITE NAVAL OFFICER UNIFORM 

BLACK NAVAL OFFICER UNIFORM

NAVAL ENLISTED DRESS UNIFORM 

VNAF DRESS UNIFORM

ARVN KHAKI UNIFORM 

7TH INFANTRY DIVISION OFFICER KHAKI 

MARINE NCO KHAKI

BLUE NAVY / NATIONAL POLICE UNIFORM 

ARVN WINDPROOF CAMOUFLAGE

AIRBORNE WINDPROOF UNIFORM 

ARVN INVISIBLE CAMOUFLAGE 

ARVN RANGER CAMOUFLAGE

ARVN RANGER CAMOUFLAGE LIGHTWEIGHT 

ARVN ERDL CAMOUFLAGE

ARVN ERDL RIPSTOP CAMOUFLAGE 

ARVN GREEN FATIGUE 

ARVN GREEN FATIGUE w/ EPAULETTES

ARVN REINFORCED GREEN FATIGUE 

4 POCKET GREEN FATIGUE

4 POCKET SHORT SLEEVE GREEN FATIGUE 

ARVN "LIGHT" ERDL CAMOUFLAGE 

BEO GAM CAMOUFLAGE

NATIONAL POLICE CAMOUFLAGE 

NATIONAL POLICE CAMOUFLAGE VARIANT

NATIONAL POLICE CAMOUFLAGE JACKET 

TIGER STRIPE CAMOUFLAGE 

WOMEN'S ERDL CAMOUFLAGE

AIRBORNE ERDL UNIFORM 

9TH MARINE BATTALION UNIFORM

RANGER TAILORED CAMOUFLAGE UNIFORM 

ARVN FIELD JACKET 

ARVN FIELD JACKET VARIANT

RURAL DEVELOPMENT CADRE UNIFORM 

PHOENIX PROGRAM UNIFORM

SPECIAL FORCES LIASON OFFICE