So you wanna go retro? This guide will help you to build a 1980's to 2000's US military loadout. This guide will cover the Woodland and Desert versions of this US military loadout.
Battle Dress Uniform:
The two BDU's for this will be US Woodland and Desert BDU (Choc-Chip Camo)
US Woodland BDU
US Desert BDU:
The Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) was used by the United States Military as their standard uniform for combat situations from the early 1980's to the mid-2000's.
BDUs are common and easy enough to get a hold of a genuine set. This also often makes them quite cheap.
For this loadout, there are two load bearing options; ALICE suspender rig and the Load Bearing Vest.
ALICE suspender rig (1980's-1990's):
The All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE) system, was adopted by the United States Army in 1973. This rig consistes of a Y-harness (named because of its shape), a pistol belt and a variation of pouches depending on operational requirements.
Load Bearing Vest (1990's)
The Load Bearing Vest (LBV) was introduced in the 1990's as a replacement for the ALICE Y-harness. The LBV can hold six M16 magazines and two grenades.
ALICE magazine poch holds 3 M16 mags and two M67 grenades.
Holds military compass
The M12 holster fits M1911 and M9 handguns.
First Aid Pouch:
Contains field dressing
Contains all field neccesities for up to a 3-day operation.
Nicknamed "K-Pot" for its resemblence to the German World War II helmet. It was the standard issue helmet at the time. A Woodland or Desert BDU helmet cover was also standard issue depending on the deployment environment. A Cat-Eye Band was also worn to identify friendly troops from behind.
Full leather "speedlace" USGI boots (1990's):
Designed for European operations the full leather boot has a "lug" sole
Designed for jungle enviroments these boots saw considerable use through Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo. The green canvas version saw use up until Panama where it was replaced by the Black canvas version. Both the black and the sand versions saw action in the Gulf war.
US flight gloves
Either SDW (Sand, Dust, Wind) or T800 goggles.
The M16A2 was the standard issue rifle for the US Military at the time. The A1 version was also used up until Operation Just Cause in Panama (1989). M203 grenade launchers would also be issued to the grenadier.
Many airsofters (including myself) use the Airsoft M16A3 because the A2 is harder to come by. (Note the detachable carrying handle/rear iron sight)
The XM177 OR CAR-15 saw some use until it was replaced by the M4 Carbine in 1994.
M4 Carbine (1994-)
Designed to be a more compact version of the M16.
The E3 version of this light machine saw wide use with the US military throughout the 80's and 90's.
The M240 saw use alongside the M60.
The M249 was introduced in 1984 to bolster automatic firepower in a squad.
Used by the United States Marine Corps, the bolt action M40A1 was introduced in the 1970's. It served as the Marine Corps primary weapon system until the 2000's where it was replaced by the M40A3.
The M21 was used by the US Army as its primary sniper weapon system until it was replaced by the M24 SWS IN 1988.
The military version of the Remington 700, the US Army adopted it over the M21 for it's snipers.
The Complete loadouts:
During the Gulf WAR in 1991, Nighttime Desert camo was sometimes used by SEALs and other members of the military. It was developed to better hide the user against night optical devices.
I hope you enjoyed this guide. I put a lot of time and effort into it. All the gear can be found on Ebay or even your local surplus store. Hopefully it will help you build your own 1980's'1990's loadout. Good luck :tup: