Photographer and safari vests, originally intended for the civilian market, were often used by Special Forces including Delta Force (CAG) and the CIA in the 1980’s to early 2000’s period.  I have tried to catalog the specific vests found in period photographs to the best of my ability given the limited info and resolution of these photos.

Banana Republic:

BR Sample 1:

Has a hood inside collar.  As used by Norman Schwartzkopf’s close protection team in Desert Storm (Gulf War 1).

See (Italian language) for more info.

BR Sample 2:

This is possibly the earliest version of its type (1986 copyright; “British Crown Colony of Hong Kong” indicates it was made before 1997.  The Humvee brand has reproduced this vest: (not a referral).  Very similar to the example worn by CIA contractors (?) here (pocket layout, diagonal zipper on upper left pocket), except without epaulettes.  The guy on the right is probably wearing 5.11 Sample 1, below.

SBS (from

5.11 tactical:

5.11 Sample 1:

Appears to match the vest worn in 2001 in Afghanistan here by the SBS:

On a PMC (Private Military Contractor, from

(still looking for more pictures of this particular vest)

Many “realistic” action figures of 2001 era CIA SAD agents have this vest.

Comparison between BR Sample 1 and 5.11 Sample 1: