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The glossary of terms used on the site and also many military acronyms, army navy terms, words, slangs and phrases and serves as a dictionary and reference to better understand the words throughout the site.







Acrylic is a fiber that is lightweight, soft, and warm, with a wool-like feel. It is known to be resilient, retains its shape, and resists shrinkage and wrinkles. Acrylic is a less expensive alternative to cashmere, due to the similar feeling of the materials.


ACU The Army Combat Uniform (ACU) is the current combat uniform worn by the United States Army. It is the successor to the BDU. Material breathes very well and results in a cooler uniform in high temperature climates.




BDU The Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) is the name of the military uniform that the armed forces of the United States have used as their standard uniform for combat situations since September 1981. Recently it has either been replaced or is in the process of being replaced in every branch of the U.S. military by the ACU, though the uniforms or parts of them are still occasionally worn. In addition, BDU-type uniforms are sometimes worn by police who may work in tactical situations, such as SWAT. These uniforms are called battle dress uniforms because they are intended for use during "battles", as opposed to "garrison" dress uniforms worn at parades and functions.


Beret is a soft round cap, usually of wool felt, with a flat crown, which is worn by both men and women and traditionally associated with France. Berets are worn by many military and police units, and in some countries are particularly associated with elite units, who often wear berets in more unusual colors.

Boonie hat

Boonie hats were first introduced to the U.S. Military during the Vietnam War. They are made in various patterns, in cotton rip-stop or nylon blend cloth. Contains adjustable chin strap, screened side vents, and branch loops. Later boonies are called "Hat, Sun" or "Hat, Sun, Hot Weather", which is still the designation for this type of cover.

Button fly

Button fly is a button closure on clothing.



California Proposition 65

WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm.

Calisthenics workout

Calisthenics is a workout that does not require equipment or weights. Ex: Pushups, pull-ups.


Canvas is an extremely heavy-duty plain-woven fabric used for making sails, tents, marquees, backpacks, bags and packs, tool bags and other functions where sturdiness is required.


Capri are a style of pants usually worn in warm weather. They are designed to end mid-calf or just below the calf. Though Capri pants are most popular with women, they have become popular among men in many countries.


CE Approved or CE marking is a declaration by the manufacturer that the product meets all the appropriate provisions of the relevant legislation implementing certain European Directives. CE marking gives companies easier access into the European market to sell their products without adaptation or rechecking. The letters "CE" are the abbreviation of French phrase "Conformité Européene" which literally means "European Conformity". The term initially used was "EC Mark" and it was officially replaced by "CE Marking" in the Directive 93/68/EEC in 1993. "CE Marking" is now used in all EU official documents.


Coolmax is a fabric created by the company Invista that employs specially-engineered polyester fibers to improve "breathability" compared to natural fibers like cotton. Clothing made from coolmax is primarily intended to be worn during exertion - sweat can evaporate quickly so the wearer is kept dry. Other useful properties include resistance to fading, shrinking and wrinkling.


Cordua is the registered name of a certified (nylon) fabric created by the company DuPont. It is designed to be long lasting and resistant to abrasions, tears and scuffs. It is used on clothing and bags amongst many other products.

Cotton Polyester

Cotton polyester products are composed of both cotton and polyester. In some instances a higher concentration of cotton over polyester may be used.




Dacron is a type of polyester textile fiber (polyethylene terephthalate) that is wrinkle-resistant and strong.


DCU The Desert Combat Uniform (DCU) in three-color desert camouflage was introduced in 1992. Also known as 3 color desert camo, tri-color desert camo, desert camo. Three-color DCUs replaced the six-color Desert BDU pattern of the 1990s.

Distressed leather

Distressed leather is leather that is dyed with one color over another (usually darker over lighter) so as to create rich highlights and an artificial aged appearance. Also called antiqued leather.

Dog Tags

A dog tag is the informal name for the identification tags worn by military personnel, because of their resemblance to actual dog tags. The tag is primarily used for the identification of dead and wounded along with providing essential basic medical information for the treatment of the latter such as blood type and history of inoculations. In the event the member has a medical condition that requires special attention, an additional red tag with the pertinent information is issued and worn with the dog tags.

Wearing of the tag is required at all times by soldiers in the field. It may contain two copies of the information and be designed to break easily into two pieces. This allows half the tag to be collected for notification while the other half remains with the body when battle conditions do not allow the casualty to be immediately recovered. Alternatively, two identical tags are issued. One is worn on a long chain around the neck; the second on a much smaller chain attached to the first chain. In the event the wearer is killed the second tag is collected and the first remains with the body.

Dogtag tattoos, alternately known as "meat tags" are growing in popularity for active U.S. soldiers. These are tattoos that are usually featured on the torso, and can be used for identification in case the deceased is otherwise unidentifiable.

Also known as: military dog tags, dogtags, military id tags, militay dogtags, army dogtags, army tags, dog tag chains.




ECWCS is an acronym for Extended Cold Weather Clothing System. ECWCS are designed to maintain adequate environmental protection in temperatures ranging between +40 to -60 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately +4 and -51 degrees Celsius). The advancement of fabric and design created several generations of ECWCS products. The 2nd generation (2G or Gen II) ECWCS apparel includes two different layers made with polartec fabrics. When used in combination with each other the layers in the ECWCS system provide protection between +40f and -40f (+4c and -40c). 2nd generation ECWCS is currently being worn by the US Marines, US Special Forces, US Army and US Air Force soldiers stationed in extreme environments from Norway through Bosnia to Afghanistan. The 3rd generation (3G or Gen III) ECWCS is a radical redesign of the clothing system. It features seven new layers of insulation including 3 polartec fabrics, 2 layers of polartec power dry and a layer of polartec thermal pro high loft. There are many variations to ECWCS types but most abide to the basic rule of better protection in extreme cold weather.

Embossed leather

Embossed leather is a leather that has been "stamped" with a design or artificial texture under very high pressure.



Full-grain leather

Full-grain leather or top-grain, refers to hides that have not been sanded, buffed or snuffed (otherwise known as corrected) in order to remove imperfections (or natural marks) on the surface of the hide. The natural grain also has natural breath ability, resulting in greater comfort for clothing. This natural full-grain surface will wear better than most other leather. Rather than wearing out, it will develop a natural patina and change in its appearance over time. The finest leather furniture and footwear are made from full-grain leather. For these reasons only the best raw hide are used in order to create full-grain or top-grain leather.




Genuine are products that have official government issued specifications. In most cases it is the exact product used in the field.

GI type

GI type Government issued (GI) type refers to when a certain product attempts to duplicate the exact government issued military specifications. Many times GI type products are just as good and could even surpass military specifications. Also known as GI style, military style, military type.

GI style

GI style Government issued (style) refers to when a certain product attempts to duplicate the exact government issued military specifications. Many times GI style products are just as good and could even surpass military specifications. Also know as GI type.

Globe and anchor

Globe and anchor the eagle, globe, and anchor is the official emblem of the United States Marine Corps. The current design was adopted in 1955. Can symbolize the three elements in which the Marines operate; they are the only service that frequently see action in land, sea, and air.


GORE-TEX is a waterproof/breathable fabric (waterproof laminate), and a registered trademark of W.L. Gore & Associates. It was co-invented by Wilbert L. Gore (1912-1986), Rowena Taylor, and Gore's son, Robert W. Gore for use in space. Robert Gore was granted U.S. Patent 3,953,566 on April 27, 1976, for a porous form of polytetrafluoroethylene with a micro-structure characterized by nodes interconnected by fibrils. For his invention, Robert W. Gore was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006. Gore-Tex is manufactured from polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Now that the main Gore-Tex patent has expired, there are several other products on the market with similar characteristics that use similar technology.


Grommets are reinforced eyelets, as in cloth or leather, through which items can be attached too. Also grommets found on clothing have become a very fashionable design.




Hipora is a waterproof, breathable material.


Hyvat is a special 3 layer fabric that insulates, is waterproof, gives protection against wind, protection from the cold, moisture infiltration, evaporation, and promotes ventilation.


Hides are skins obtained from animals for human use. Examples of animal hide sources are deer and cattle typically used for producing leather.





Jungle hat

Jungle hat has similar characteristics as the boonie hat, but if looked at closely the side vents on the jungle hat are not the screen side vents found on the boonie hat. Contains adjustable chin strap, side vents, and branch loops.




Kevlar was developed at DuPont. Kevlar has very good resistance to high temperatures, and maintains its strength and resilience down to cryogenic temperatures (-196 c); indeed, it is slightly stronger at low temperatures. Developed to be a light and strong fiber. Civilian applications include Kevlar reinforced clothing for motorcycle riders to protect against abrasion injuries and also emergency service's protection gear if it involves high heat (e.g., tackling a fire), and Kevlar body armor such as vests for police officers, security, and swat.




Leather is a material created through the tanning of hides and skins of animals, primarily cattle hide. The tanning process converts the putrescible skin into a durable, long-lasting and versatile natural material for various uses.


Lycra is a trademark of Invista (formerly part of DuPont). It is a synthetic fabric material with elastic properties of the sort known generically as spandex.



Made in USA

Made in USA is a country of origin label indicating the product is "all or virtually all" made in the U.S. The label is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Berry Compliant products are included in the Made in USA military clothing and military products that are also known as: USA made, American Made, Made in America, Made in the USA, US Made.


MARPAT is a pixelated camouflage pattern in use by the United States Marine Corps, introduced with the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform (MCCUU), which replaced the Camouflage Utility Uniform. The United States Marine Corps has patented MARPAT, including specifics of its manufacture. MARPAT has patterns produced by highly complex fractal equations that result in a non-repeating pattern. The purpose of the digitized pattern is to match the visual texture of typical backgrounds. Many imitations are available.

Merino wool

Merino wool is typically 3-5 inches in length and is very fine quality. Fiber diameter is the single most important wool characteristic determining quality and price. The amount of crimp corresponds to the thickness of the wool fibers. A fine wool like merino may have up to a hundred crimps per inch.



NATO phonetic alphabet


A Alpha
B Bravo
C Charlie
D Delta
E Echo
F Foxtrot
G Golf
H Hotel
I India
J Juliet
K Kilo
L Lima
M Mike
N November
O Oscar
P Papa
Q Quebec
R Romeo
S Sierra
T Tango
U Uniform
V Victory
W Whiskey
X X-ray
Y Yankee
Z Zulu



Neoprene is a synthetic rubber invented by DuPont scientists produced by polymerization of chloroprene and used in weather-resistant products, adhesives, shoe soles, sportswear, paints, and rocket fuels. Originally called duprene it was the first mass-produced synthetic rubber compound.


Nomex (styled NOMEX) is a registered trademark for flame resistant material developed in the early 1960s by DuPont. It is sold in both fiber and sheet forms and is used as a fabric wherever resistance from heat and flame is required. Military pilots and aircrew wear flight suits made of over 92 percent Nomex to protect them from the possibility of cockpit fires and other mishaps. Recently, troops riding in ground vehicles have also begun wearing Nomex.


Nylon is any part of a family of high-strength, resilient synthetic polymers, the molecules of which contain the recurring amide group CONH. There are several qualities that nylon material invariably possesses, and they are the following: exceptional strength, elasticity, resistance to abrasion as well as to damage from a number of chemicals and oil, the capability of being dyed into various colors, resilience and low level of absorbency. Replaced silk in military applications such as parachutes and flak vests, and was used in many types of vehicle tires.




Official are products that have official government issued specifications. In most cases it is the exact product used in the field.




Piltrol is just one of the many trade names of acrylic.

Pistol belt

Pistol belt features a plastic side release buckle and medal waist adjusters. Pistol belts contains grommets with eyelets to hold certain type of gear.

Polar Fleece

Polar fleece (also known as microfleece or micrafleece) is usually referencing the fabric fleece. Fleece is soft and comfortable to wear, very warm and lightweight fabric used on many clothing products. Water vapor from perspiration passes through readily and little is held within the fleece. This makes it a good choice for physical activities where sweating is likely to occur. It is a good alternative for those who are allergic or sensitive to wool. Fleece dries very quickly and retains much of its insulation capability even when it is wet.


Polartec is a a trademark used for a fleecy synthetic fabric that is warm, lightweight, and water-resistant.


Polypropylene possesses excellent resistance to organic solvents, degreasing agents and electrolytic attack. It has a lower impact strength, but it's working temperatures and tensile strength are superior to low or high density polyethylene. It is light in weight, resistant to staining, and has a low moisture absorption rate. Doesn't soak up water, making it ideal for uses where it will be constantly subject to moisture.


when this is seen, it is meant that the polyester/cotton product is composed of both polyester and cotton. In some instances a higher concentration of polyester over cotton may be used.

PVC material

PVC material is abbreviated for polyvinyl chloride. PVC is a hard plastic that is made softer and more flexible by the addition of phthalates (plasticizers). Used quite often in the manufacturing of rainwear.





Ragg wool

Ragg wool is a sturdy wool fiber made into yarn and used in many rugged applications like gloves.


Rip-Stop is very resistant against tearing and ripping. Advantages of rip-stop fabrics are the favorable weight to strength ratio and that smaller tears and rips can not easily spread further in the fabric. Many fabrics can be used to make rip stop fabric, including cotton, silk, polyester, or polypropylene, with nylon content limited to the crosshatched threads that make the material tear-resistant.



Safety green

Safety green is a neon green color known for its high visibility. Works great in the outdoors. Under the right conditions it can be noticeable from very far distances away. Great for hunters, construction workers, bicyclist, public safety employees, law enforcement, etc.


Spandex or elastane is known for its exceptional elasticity. It is stronger and more durable than rubber. Able to be stretched repetitively and still recover original length. Soft, smooth, and supple. Easily dyed.

Split leather

Split leather is a leather made from the lower (inner or flesh side) layers of a hide that have been split away from the upper, or grain layers. Split leather is more fragile than side leather or full-grain leather, and is typically used in the form of suede.


Suede is a type of leather with a napped finish. Suede leather is also popular in upholstery, shoes, bags, and other accessories, and as a lining for other leather products. Suede should be cleaned as per manufacturer's directions.


Surplus refers to excess military products. Majority of the time these items were leftovers which were in excess of what was required. Can be both new and used items. If the surplus item is used, it will visibly be named as such.

Swat cloth

SWAT cloth is a trademarked fabric that is made of polyester and cotton rip-stop material. It's the cloth of choice for federal agencies. Great for all climates, breathable in summer, wind resistant in winter. Durable, colorfast, resists fading, tearing, abrasions, wrinkles, and shrinking.




Teflon is a brand that has come to represent a variety of benefits to consumers including easy clean, nonstick, repellency and durability. Teflon is not a chemical. A fluorocarbon polymer with slippery, no sticking properties; polytetrafluoroethylene.


Thinsulate is a synthetic fiber used for thermal insulation in clothing. The insulation properties are beneficial for retaining some of the heat produced by the body for comfortable warmth while the moisture produced, ex: by sweating, is supposed to evaporate.






Vintage is characterized by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal. In most cases vintage has a washed out look.




Wool has the power to readily absorb and give off moisture. It can absorb moisture up to one-third of its own weight. Synthetic fibers can only absorb 2-3 percent of moisture before they begin to feel wet. Wool is harder to ignite than most synthetic and cotton fibers used in equivalent products (higher ignition temperature); it has lower rate of flame spread, low heat release, and low heat of combustion; doesn't melt or drip; forms a char which is insulating and self-extinguishes. Wool is static resistant as the retention of moisture within the fabric prevents a build up of static electricity. Woolen garments are much less likely to spark or cling to the body.




X-static is a fiber made with a layer of 99.9% pure silver, which is permanently bonded to the surface of a textile fiber. It has been used primarily as an industrial and medical product, servicing high-tech industries and the department of defense. More recently it has been thrust into consumer product markets as a result of the need for a safe, natural and effective antimicrobial solution. X-static is a fiber antimicrobial, all natural, heat transfer, anti-static and therapeutic.





Zipper fly

Zipper fly is a zipper closure on clothing. Generally this refers to men's pants that will have a zipper fly closure on the front. The alternative is button fly.