Top 7 Army Jackets Of All Time

Some say it was just a fad but I tend to disagree… I speak of civilians wearing Army jackets. Quite popular during the Vietnam era, even today, I see many civilians donning military jackets they often purchased at surplus stores or online at ebay or Amazon.

After all, if these jackets were good enough for the soldiers protecting us, they should be good for us.

If you really consider it, the Army and other military branches ensured that clothing made for military personnel was and is, well designed and made of the best materials.

Celebrities helped push the trend of military wear. People like:

  • Jessica Alba
  • John Lennon
  • Kylie Jenner
  • Jane Fonda
  • and many others

Just take a look at the people in the mall or on a busy street. How many are wearing Army coats?

In today’s post, we will examine the top 7 Army jackets of all time. Now, this is my opinion and you may think differently. That’s cool! As a matter of fact, feel free to share your opinions in the comment area at the end of this post.

#1: The Eisenhower Jacket

It is actually the M44 jacket, but since it was designed because of a request by General Dwight Eisenhower, the jacket is better known with his name.

It was during World War II and the conditions could be bitterly cold. The primary jacket used at that time by Army personnel was the M-1943.

Dressing in layers was taught to battle the freezing conditions.

The Eisenhower jacket was designed as an under-jacket to be put on before the M-1943.

The Eisenhower jacket was a waist length coat that was an olive drab color and featured

  • a storm collar
  • front “snag-free buttons that were flapped
  • breast pockets
  • shoulder straps
  • and staggered cuff buttons

In 1944, the Eisenhower jacket became standard issue.

When President Eisenhower died in 1969, he was dressed in one of these jackets and buried with it.

Eisenhower jacket remakes are big sellers. Check this one out.

#2: M-1951 Field Jacket

We used to love these jackets for hunting.

The M-1951 is both water repellent and wind resistant. It was made of a cotton sateen cloth and colored olive green.

Some of the features of the M-1951 were:

  • snaps inside to install a liner
  • a zipper with flap that snaps
  • button cuffs
  • separate hood that buttons to collar

The M-1951 jacket also came with Field Trousers made of the same material.

Here are some for sale on ebay.

#3: M-1943 Field Jacket

The Army felt that the previous Army jackets were inadequate, so they developed the M-1943.

Made of the cotton sateen cloth and much better protection against wind, the M-1943 was an Olive Drab #9 color.

The length was unique in that, it came down to the upper thighs. Other features included

  • detachable hood
  • drawstring waist
  • two large breast pockets
  • and two skirt pockets

You can find originals here on ebay.

Other posts you may enjoy:

  1. Army Field Jacket: 13 Cool Facts
  2. The Uniform That Won: Army Pink And Green
  3. Top 21 U.S. Army Crests
  4. Goodbye To The M9, Hello To The ?
  5. Army Authorized Sunglasses: What Every Soldier Should Know

#4: M-1965 Field Jacket

A great cold weather jacket. The M-1965 was designed with the Vietnam Highlands in mind.

Originally, it came in Olive Green, but many manufacturers now make it in various colors.

The M-1965 has a built in hood that is rolled and pouched on the back of the neck. Velcro was used for cuff adjustment

The M-1965 also had a button inner-lining available for colder weather. The jacket has two bellows type breast pockets and two lower inside hanging pockets all with flap closures secured by snap fasteners.

The M-1965 was also used by actors in many movies such as:

  • Taxi Driver;
  • Serpico;
  • Annie Hall;
  • First Blood;
  • The Exterminator;
  • The Terminator;
  • RoboCop;
  • Jacob’s Ladder;
  • Jaws 2
  • and more.

You can get M-1965’s and liners in various colors here.

#5: M-42 Field Jacket

While many troops stuck with the M-1941, the M-42 was issued to paratroopers. It had 4 front patch pockets with button snaps. The cool thing with the M-42 was the dual zipper knife pocket on the upper lapel.

The color was a dark olive drab.

It didn’t take long, but the M-42 was phased out for the M-1943, but many airborne soldiers kept their M-42s just to show their experience.

You can find some nice ones here on ebay.

#6: M-1941 Field Jacket

Widely known as the Parson’s Jacket, the idea came from Major General James Parsons. This was actually the first Army issued field jacket.

The design was based on the windbreaker and was made of cotton poplin and was an olive drab color. It came with a dark olive drab blanket wool flannel lining.

The color would fade quickly in weather conditions becoming a green beige. It had a front zipper front closure with a buttoned storm flap. The jacket also had buttons at the collar for closing the lapels to warm the neck region, as well as buttoned adjusting tabs on each side of the waist and at the cuffs to seal in body heat, and buttoned shoulder epaulets.

Amazon has 1 here.

#7: A-2 Flight Jacket

Many may say this was an Air Force Bomber jacket and it is true but, the A-2 was issued before the Air Force was a separate military force.

So it is an Army jacket.

The A-2 was leather and had 2 waist pockets with snap fasteners.

Here is a nice A-2 on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

That is my opinion of the top 7 Army jackets of all time. What is your favorite?

Leave any questions or comments below.

Thank you.

References

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/magazine/how-the-army-jacket-became-a-staple-of-civilian-garb.html
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenhower_jacket
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Army_M1943_Uniform
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M42_jacket
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_jacket
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-2_jacket
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1941_Field_Jacket
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-1965_field_jacket
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-1951_field_jacket

About The Author

Greg Boudonck is a full time freelance writer and the author of over 50 books. He served in the United States Army in the early 1980’s and enjoys writing about military subjects. You can see Greg’s books on Amazon by searching his name and you can also visit his website at Lancerlife.com.

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