These RDF jackets were the precursor to the ubiquitous BDU’s and were often used by Special Forces and others in tropical environments like Panama, Grenada, and Nicaragua until M81 woodland BDU’s became more widespread. “RDF” is short for “Rapid Deployment Force”. Camouflage RDF uniforms have been found in ERDL (all varieties, most common), woodland, and 6-color desert camouflage patterns (source: https://www.gear-illustration.com/2020/06/14/story-about-the-rdf-combat-uniform/, https://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/9516-post-vietnam-camouflage-pre-bdu/&tab=comments#comment-58963). There was also an olive drab (OG-107) version often used by the 75th Ranger Regiment, though not exclusively (source: https://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/244390-od-rdf/).

Camouflage

Sample 1: Brown Dominant USAF “In-Country” Patched

Post-Vietnam War, as seen by blue threads on green dominant ERDL patches. Patches are in-country, likely made in Philippines.  Badge is for military police.  All badges except for rank chevrons are green dominant ERDL; main jacket and rank are brown dominant ERDL.

Tag:

Contractor tag is missing, so item cannot be dated.

Pockets:

RDF jackets have straight pockets, unlike the preceding jungle jackets, but keep the central bellows pleat from their predecessors.

Patches:

Most patches are made from contrasting green dominant ERDL material. The rank chevrons are made of the same brown dominant material used on the rest of the jacket.

Sample 2: Green Dominant Material

Large size. RDF jackets can also appear in a very similar green dominant print also used in some Vietnam era ERDL jungle jackets.

Sample 3: USMC Modified

Most RDF uniforms were not modified, though there are exceptions.

The lower pockets were removed, but not added to the arms, and the back has been taken in using darts for a slimmer fit. This was probably intended to be worn like a shirt, tucked in. The ERDL pattern is brown dominant.

Tag:

Pocket:

Standard USMC and EGA stamp on left pocket (as worn).

Sample 5: Mixed Fabric

Like some Vietnam War ERDL jungle jackets, some RDF jackets were made using panels of different ERDL variations. This jacket uses a mixture of green and brown dominant ERDL. It was found together with the tailored example (Sample 3) above.

Tag:

Pockets:

Olive Drab

Sample 6: 75th Ranger Regiment

Patch ghosts indicate this jacket was issued to a Ranger after 1984, as seen by the shape of the ribbon. The jacket was heavily used and repaired.

Patches:

Chest Pockets:

Right chest pocket (as worn) has been sewn shut. There does not appear to be anything inside the pocket.

Inside:

Olive Drab Usage Photos:

75th Ranger Regiment: