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Why do soldiers wear khaki?
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Why do soldiers wear khaki?

Like most people have said.......to be inconspicuous..in early battles like Waterloo, troops were lined up in ranks and fired at each other....the only reason for having brightly coloured tunics then was so you knew who was friendly and who wasn't...Khaki was used on the North West Frontier (Pakistan/Afghanistan) when the troops had white uniforms.....an excellent aiming mark from a distance..and the mountains did not allow for the practice of 'forming line'.....snipers were also prevelant within the foothills.....so the troops were given permission to dye their uniforms using......tea!......this colour blended in well with the surrounding countryside and enabled movement without being seen so easily. The Army still use khaki as an everyday uniform.

the uniform is dpm not khaki, kharki went out the window in the 80's, the old red tunics were designed for camoflage as well but at close quarter, when approching the ememy if your mate went down the red was supposed to hide the blood coming coming from them so all you would see is there person go down and not the injury

Conrange is correct.Many soldiers in India wore white and found the best way of toning down the colour was to dye their uniforms with tea.

Wren M
They don't. Soldiers and Marines wear various forms of Cammo, not Khaki, Khaki is a muddish yellow / brown / green colour. It was worn by the British who adopted it in India in the 1860's to blend in with the terrain. It's no longer worn, however most forms of combat clothing is referred to as Khaki by people who don't know better.

Dragoner, has the correct answer.

To blend in with the surroundings ...who knows?

Khaki (pronounced /ˈkɑːkiː/ in Britain and /ˈkækiː/ in the US) (in Persian-خاکی) is a type of fabric or the colour of such fabric. The name comes from the Persian word khak (dust/ashes) which came to English from modern day Pakistan, specifically via the British Indian Army. Khaki means earth-coloured or dust coloured, referring to the colour of uniforms introduced by the army regiments in the 1880s. More accurately, the correct shade of "Khaki" is the colour of "Multani Mitti", meaning "the mud of Multan". Multan was a well known military cantonment of British India (now in Pakistan). In 1846 Sir Harry Lumsden raised a corps of Guides for frontier service from Indian recruits at Peshawar. These were clothed in loose fitting clothing dyed a drab colour. During the Indian Mutiny of 1857 a number of British regiments followed this example by dying their white summer uniforms khaki. Khaki then ceased to be used in India (except by the Guides) until the Second Afghan War when both khaki and red clothing was worn. The practical advantages of khaki were now well established and by 1880 most British regiments serving in the region had adopted properly dyed khaki uniforms for active service and summer dress. The original khaki fabric was a closely twilled cloth of linen or cotton. The British army used khaki in the Second Boer War (1899-1902) and adopted a darker shade of khaki serge for home service dress in 1902. The United States Army adopted khaki during the Spanish American War (1898). It has become de rigueur for military uniforms of militaries the world over (e.g. the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps), as well as the police forces of many U.S. states and counties, and South Asian countries. It has also spread to civilian clothing, where "khakis" since the 1950s has meant tan cotton twill pants/trousers. Today, civilian khakis come in all ranges of colours, and the term seems to refer more to the particular design or cut of the pants/trousers. "Khaki" has also become a common slang term in the United States Navy that refers to chief petty officers and officers (who wear a khaki-coloured uniform, also referred to as "khakis"). Khakis have also become popular as business casual pants/trousers.

Anonie Mouse
They started wearing Khaki in India and the name was carried back to the UK. Also known as biscuit Brown

Soldiers wear khaki for camouflage, of course, to ensure that they blend with their background and make them less easily spotted by their enemies. In early times camouflage was not so important to soldiers; fighting at that time was usually hand to hand, and distinctive uniforms were necessary so that the combatants could discriminate between friend and foe. The uniforms were as colourful as possible, and were covered with feathers, ribbons and other decorations to give the fighting men a sense of unity, a feeling of belonging to, and being a part of their own regiment. But with the invention of the breech-loading gun and long-range artillery, camouflage became very important indeed, as the British soldiers fighting in the American War of Independence found to their cost. Many of the Americans had no uniform as such, and were their usual hunting shirts, whose neutral colour gave them good protection. The British soldiers, in their red coats and white breeches, presented perfect targets, and were unable to melt into the ladscape. In the 1840s Lieutenant Harry Lumsden was forming a regiment of cavalry and infantry in northern India, and was given permission to arm and dress his men as he wished. Since their duties would involve skirmishes with the natives he decided that his men should wear uniforms the colour of the local ground, so that they would be inconspicuous, and had cloth specially dyed locally. It was called khaki after the Urdu word for dusty, and when Lumsden's regiment went into action in 1849 they were known as the 'Mudlarks'. The success of the khaki comouflage led to all British soldiers being issued with khaki uniform when they were posted overseas, though colours changed slightly in accordance with the surrounding countryside.

because chiffon wrinkles and they certainly feel the need to be in fashion.

Khaki was first used by the British in the Indian Army. The word khaki comes from India and roughly means mud-coloured. Until the Boer War, soldiers of the British Army wore their traditional 'scarlet' [red] tunics. For this they were called 'lobsters' during the American Revolution. My Grandfather fought in the Boer War and originally wore his scarlet tunic of the Royal Welch Fusilliers. A sitting target for the Boers. The British Army in the Boer War began wearing khaki at that time and so it continues today. Most armies wear khaki these days. Helps as soldier to blend into his background - well most of the time anyway.

Scott S
Soldiers don't wear khaki; the navy does

sea link2
the soldiers wear caca

The Special One
They mainly wear khaki camouflage dpm when in terrains such as the jungle, but when training in places such as Norway where they are working & training in whiteouts then it is usually black & white dpm.

To hold their sh!t when they are scared to death. It holds better.

The army did away with Khaki uniforms in the mid 80s. However, you may be talking about the old desert battle dress uniforms, otherwise known as DCUs. They have been phased out and soldiers now wear the ACU. It is not khaki

It suits them better than pink.


Max D
to hide in tussock =)

because it is a cheap dye to produce using pigments of the kha tree and mixed with kiwi extract

we don't wear khaki, we wear camo cargo clothes. so we blend in with our surroundings and can carry all the gear we could.

cor blimey
to hide in greenery that's why

Camouflage. They blend in better with the natural environment, thus maintaining the upper hand in combat because they are not as easy of a target.

it do not become recognizable easily to enemies & also they do not look dirty even if kept on for a month or two...

Mercer Devil
It's camoflage for arid environments, like deserts and steppes.

Because, sequins fall off in the field.

anonymous a
So that can remain hidden and are not such a target for snipers and they would look silly in pink.

For camouflage. Khaki is the colour of the mud in the trenches and the dust of the roads they had to travel.

to blend in with their surroundings .....


Ali Baba
to blend in with the surrounding terrain like my thieves when we go stealing!

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