Fatigue Fashion - The Untold Story
By Charles Adams

We gun bunnies wore our green fatigues while we were on the fire bases. Our fatigues were always dirty and faded. There was times when we went on operations, one could stand his fatigue jacket up in the middle of the bunker floor! You could always tell a "Newbie" or a "REMF" when they came-a-calling on our fire base by the way their fatigues looked. If the fatigues were just "new" green then he was a "Newbie" and had just arrived in country. If the fatigues were faded, clean and had a crease down the middle, the guy was a "REMF" [and most likely some kind of "reporter"].

While on A-4 (Con Thien) near the DMZ we had a lot of what I call "shave tail" officers fly in to get their tickets punched. A shave tail officer was a strack officer with highly polished brass, spit shined Cockran boots, a very high and tight hair cut, very "green" and starched fatigues with creases that could cut "water buffalo meat!" His 45 sidearm handle struck out to the side of his body, and he had that "John Wayne" look. When at ease just standing around talking, the officer would stand with his hands on his hips with his legs spread apart, his bloused pants legs very prominent. His attached web gear had everything on it, from an upside down K-Bar to a compass. His leather holster even reflected the sun! This guy would walk around the guns looking in our bunkers and then when he came upon a group of us lowly pee-ons pulling PM on the gun, he would expect us to drop everything we were going and stand at attention and salute him! Most of these guys would have one of two things strapped around his neck -- a camera to take pictures of all the artillery craters and 81mm mortar and 122mm rocket craters that dotted A-4 at that time and/or a clip board. Most of the time, you saw them just walking around with the clip board or a writing pad in their hand taking notes and taking pictures!

The gun bunnies thought this type of behavior by those officers to be very comical. We all knew what they were doing. Taking pictures of "their ruff times." After they had gotten their uniforms real dirty from the red clay of Con Thien, they would climb into their slicks and fly south for the night! When the sun was going down, they were always in a hurry to leave! I guess they didn't want to miss happy hour at the "O Club!" Uh! What a war!