M-1965 field jacket

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The M-1965 field jacket (also abbreviated as M-65) is a straight front, cold weather, field coat made of water-repellent fabrics.[1] Initially designed for the US military under the MIL-C-43455 standard,[2][3] it is now also worn as a civilian item of clothing.

History[edit]

The jacket was introduced into US military service in 1965 to replace the M-1951 field jacket which was an improvement on the M-1943 field jacket of World War II design.[4] It has a built-in hood that can be rolled up and fits into a pouch on the back of the neck as opposed to the separate hood that attached to the M-1951. The M-65 also has velcro fasteners on the sleeve cuffs and collar.

The M-65 field jacket was widely used by United States Forces during the Vietnam War in which the jacket became useful for troops serving in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam, especially in cool weather conditions following monsoonal rains.[5] It was a standard issue to US troops in several other wars all around the globe as well.

Originally introduced in OG-107, it is now produced in a large variety of colors and patterns, including military camouflage.[4] The frontmost portion of the jacket has two large hip pockets and two medium-sized breast pockets, both sets of pockets are triple stitched. The rearmost neck portion and collar of the jacket features a zipper which houses a protective hood.[4] Genuine M65 Field Coats made to milspec for the US government will have a contract number that is set up like (DSA XXX-XX-X-XXXX).

The M-1965 field jacket can be combined with a button-in insulated lining for cold-weather wear, original ones were produced by the government contractor Gibraltr Co., as well as the button on fur trimmed M51 winter parka hood. Note that only genuine Milspec M65 field coats can button on the winter hoods made for the M51 parka. It was made by Alpha Industries, and John Ownbey Co., inc. as well as other companies like Propper, Golden Manufacturing, Sportsmaster Inc. and many more, for the military.[6][7]

The olive drab M-1965 Field Coat (commonly called the M-65 Field Jacket) was issued until late 1980s. In 1981, the US military introduced the Woodland camouflage pattern, and the M-1965 began to be printed in woodland to compliment the U.S. Army's Battle Dress Uniform (BDU). An additional version of the jacket, printed in the same camouflage design as the Desert Camouflage Uniform was issued in the 1990s[8]. With the introduction of the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) in 2005, a final variant of the field jacket was issued in the new Universal Camouflage Pattern, with additional shoulder Velcro patches to match the Army's new uniform design. The jacket was retired from US service in 2009.[9]

Design[edit]

M65 jacket showing salient features from the specification

The jacket is a lined hip length design, having a bi-swing back[Note 1]; a fly front closure secured by a zip and snap fasteners. It has two piece set-in sleeves (with adjustable cuffs and hand shield extension) and a convertible stand-up collar. The collar has an adjustable tab closure, secured with loop fastener tape and a horizontal zip fastener closure on the under-collar, which acts as the exit for the built-in hood. The built-in hood has a single draw-cord adjustment, and, when not in use, is concealed between the jacket outer shell and fabric liner.

[10]

The jacket has two bellows type breast pockets and two lower inside hanging pockets all with flap closures secured by snap fasteners. The specification (revision K) requires pieces of loop fastener tape in the following positions for insignia: at top of each sleeve for placement of patches; on the right and left sides of the chest directly above the breast pockets for name-tape and U.S. Army tape and a piece of loop fastener tape for the rank centred between the second and third snap fastener on front flap. There are also pieces of fastener tape on the collar tab, under-collar, sleeve tabs and outside of underarm. [11]

The jacket collar incorporates four buttonholes for attachment of a separate fur-ruffed hood (MIL-H-43555: HOOD, EXTREME COLD WEATHER, W/SYNTHETIC FUR RUFF).

Extreme cold weather hood for use with the M65 field jacket

On the inside of the jacket there are buttons for attaching the insulating liner in cold weather. The liner is specified by MIL-L-43536. It has open underarms, buttonholes at the neck and front edges, and buttonhole tabs at the sleeve bottoms for attaching the liner to the jacket. The liner is quilted and made of polyester batting covered with 3 plies of ripstop nylon cloth. It was redesigned (i.e. buttons were added to its front) to make it capable of being worn independently of the field jacket.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]

The jacket appeared in several films including Taxi Driver; Serpico; Annie Hall; First Blood; The Exterminator, The Exterminator 2; The Terminator; RoboCop; Jacob's Ladder; Jaws 2, The Goodbye Girl, My Bodyguard, Bloodsport, Running Scared, True Romance, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, 8 Mile, Frozen City and My Friend Dahmer. It featured prominently on the television series, Gilmore Girls. Most recently it was worn by Liam Neeson in the film Run All Night; by the character James Sunderland from the video game Silent Hill 2; by the character Lincoln Clay from the video game Mafia III; and sometimes by the character Dean Winchester from the television series Supernatural.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A bi-swing back incorporates deep pleats starting at the back waistline or belt and extending up to the shoulder on each side, to avoid constriction when the wearer's arms are extended.

References[edit]