Royal Marines Commandos are to start receiving new uniforms that have underwent what the service describes as “the most significant transformation and rebranding program launched since World War 2”.
The new uniforms, acquired from USA-based firm Crye Precision, are part of the broader Future Commando Force program, which will overhaul the way Green Berets operate around the globe.
The NATO procured uniform is lighter weight, has higher tear-strength, is faster-drying and is more breathable than typical 50/50 cotton/nylon kit.
It also has a subtle change in camouflage design – instead of the previous multi-terrain pattern – the uniform now uses Crye Precision’s MultiCam pattern.
And, in the week that saw the 80th anniversary of Operation Collar, the first commando raid of World War 2, the marines have drawn on their heritage by returning to the traditional Royal Marines Commando insignia, just like the design first worn by commandos when they launched daring raids into Nazi-occupied Europe.
The flash with red writing and navy-blue background will be worn once again, as commandos evolve to conduct more raids from the sea, persistently deployed to counter the threats of the modern-day battlefield.
For the first time the White Ensign features on one sleeve, as a clear indication of the Royal Marines’ integration with the Royal Navy.
The iconic Fairbairn-Sykes Dagger patch of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines has been redesigned and is based on the first pattern of the legendary fighting knife made in 1940.
Lieutenant Colonel Ben Reynolds RM, who led with the procurement and design of the new uniform, said: “The Royal Marines are integral to the Royal Navy and an extremely versatile elite force, able to operate from mountain and Arctic wastes to jungle and littorals.
“The Royal Marines’ Commando Uniform 2020 reflects our distinctiveness and the unique capabilities we bring to defence, in addition to the Royal Navy’s eagerness to invest in our development towards the Future Commando Force.
“The practical benefits to this uniform shouldn’t be underestimated. It has been specifically selected to serve commandos as they carry out operations all around the globe in the most extreme environments.” Marines are already receiving the new combat shirt and trousers, field shirt and trousers, a utility jacket and utility belt and will begin wearing the new uniform from this autumn.
Future Commando Force (FCF) program
The new uniform is part of a wider transformational drive which will change the way Royal Marines operate.
Under the Future Commando Force program more Royal Marines will operate from the sea, utilizing new and innovative technology as high-readiness troops, forward deployed and ready to react, whether that’s war-fighting, specific combat missions such as commando raids, or providing humanitarian assistance.
Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, said: “The Royal Marines require a uniform that they can rely on in the most hostile of environments on earth. This robust, breathable and lightweight kit will ensure our commandos remain fighting fit and able to deal with the full range of threats we rely on them to face.
“It is fitting that on the 80th anniversary of the first commando raid of World War 2, this uniform now bears the traditional Royal Marine Commando insignia. A poignant link to their history as the commando force embarks on a modernization program that will keep them in their place as the world’s best amphibious force.”
The marines have already started testing C8 assault rifles as part of FCF, while the service’s small boat specialists 47 Commando have been trialing unmanned and autonomous systems aboard Royal Navy ships.