Desert Combat Uniforms 1990 - 1992

With the increasing deployment of Canadians in desert or arid environments, trials of lightweight field uniforms were begun in the 1980s. Several patterns of desert tan combat uniforms were produced and issued in relativly small numbers in the late 1980s through the early 1990s. In addition, a small quantity of British Desert DPM jackets and trousers were purchased and issued to Canadians in the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM)between 1991 and 1993.

Four patterns of desert combat uniforms were produced, Types A, B, C and D. Each type consisted of a shirt and trousers, all conforming in pattern to the standard OG 107 Mk II Combat uniform. These uniforms differed only in colour and material. Issued for trials in Canada and Somalia, user responses were generally negative. It was generally felt that the uniforms were too heavy and hot for daytime wear in arid regions. What began as a good idea was shelved for operational use, but trials and prototypes for new desert uniforms continued through the 1990s culminating with the introduction of the Arid Regions CADPAT uniform in 2003.

All insignia worn on these uniforms were the standard patterns as worn on the green combat uniform. NCO rank insignia was usually worn on the green combat brassard on both arms.

In addition to the shirts and trousers, a tan combat jacket with removable liner was produced. As well, suede desert boots were acquired from American sources. These were immediately popular and became a standard issue item for future operations.

Combat Lightweight Type A



Light greenish-tan in colour, Type A combat was introduced 1989 - 1990. It was virtually identical to the Olive Green Mark II combat uniform, except for the colour. The Mark II Type A shirt was worn with matching trousers Mark III Type A.

Combat Lightweight Type B



Type B was medium tan in colour. Introduced 1991.

Combat Lightweight Type C



Made of softer, but slightly heavier material than Type A combat, Type C was a medium tan in colour. Introduced 1991.

Combat Lightweight Type D



Type D combat was made of the same material as Type A, but was a light tan colour. Introduced 1991-1992.

All name tags, rank and unit insignia worn on Canadian made desert combat was of the standard pattern issued with the OG 107 temperate combat uniform.

Desert Boots


American made rubber soled desert boots with a suede/nylon body were initially issued in 1991 and were very successful. These, and a slightly different pattern of Canadian made desert boots remain an issue item for operations outside Canada.

British Desert DPM


A small quantity of British Desert DPM (Disruptive Pattern Material) jackets and trousers were purchased for limited issue to some Canadians on duty in Kuwait and Iraq following the first Gulf War. Operation Record was the Canadian contribution to the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM). Standard Canadian pattern combat rank insignia was worn on epaulettes, along with UN and Canada identifiers on the sleeves. American made desert pattern nametags were worn on this uniform.

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