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An American Company Located in Utah
An American Company Located in Utah

Country

New Zealand CAMO

A member of the British Commonwealth and an active participant in the Pacific Theater during the Second World War, New Zealand did produce a camouflaged jungle uniform for issue to members of its 3rd Division during the war. The uniforms were hand-produced in limited numbers, and few have survived to the present era, but their fabrication marked the first use of camouflage by New Zealand military forces.

In the 1960s, members of the New Zealand Special Air Service (NZSAS) deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in support of the government and its allies in SEATO (Southeast Atlantic Treaty Organization). Although olive green was the standard work and combat uniform of the New Zealand Army at the time, the SAS rapidly came to appreciate the effectiveness of the American and South Vietnamese combat uniforms, many of which were printed in camouflage designs. New Zealanders coveted whatever numbers they could lay their hands on of the American ERDL jungle uniforms as well as the South Vietnamese tiger stripe pattern fatigues.

Beginning in the 1980s, and following the British example, New Zealand adopted DPM camouflage for its combat clothing. Initial production runs of the clothing were made using imported British fabric, but subsequently New Zealand sourced its own fabric from a variety of sources. For the next sixteen years or so, the Ministry of Defense would issue several types of DPM camouflage uniform, each with a different coloration from the previous. Around 1996 the NZ DPM camouflage pattern became essentially standardized, and this remains the universal combat pattern of the New Zealand Armed Forces today.