Modern Irish Army uniform

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Irish Army
Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg

Irish Army
Army Reserve
Equipment and vehicles
Uniform and dress
Rank Insignia

The modern Irish Army uniform is based on the layer principle and is designed to provide the soldier with the right degree of protection for any operational environment.

Field dress[edit]

Field dress with Rabintex helmet
Inspection of Cavalry Corps members in field dress with Glengarry headdress

An Irish army uniform consists of the following, including a number of disruptive pattern material (DPM) or camouflage patterned elements:

  • DPM shirt – both temperate and desert pattern.(Barracks dress)
  • DPM UBACS - (combat shirt) worn with body armour (operational dress)
  • DPM smock – combat jacket with hood in both temperate and desert pattern.
  • DPM rainsuit – breathable material, temperate and desert pattern.
  • DPM trousers (tropical all-cotton and polycotton heavyweight versions).
  • A velcro cloth name tape is worn on the over the right breast pocket on the outerlayer, and a Defence Forces Ireland or Óglaigh na hÉireann patch is positioned over the left breast pocket.
  • Summer, winter, and tropical issue socks.
  • DPM Driflo baselayers, short and long sleeve tops, trunks and short leggings.
  • DPM Norwegian pattern combat shirt.
  • DPM softshell operational fleece jacket(Barracks dress)
  • Hollowfibre "Snugpak" jacket (green/black reversible, Operational dress)
  • Boots barrack light operational (worn in barracks and in warm weather at home and abroad).
  • Boots operational (Gore-Tex lined all-leather waterproof, used in cold/wet conditions).
Ancillary items
  • DPM Scarf.
  • DPM Insulated/waterproof gloves.
  • DPM Headover.
  • DPM waterproof Gaiters.
Personal Equipment
  • Bose crewman's helmet APC crew.
  • Rabintex RBH 303IE combat helmet with DPM/UN blue covers.
  • IPLCS Battlevest,Large backpack/patrol pack, DPM web gear.
  • Combat body armour (Personal body armour with DPM/UN blue covers).
  • Hatch Protective knee/elbow pads.
  • Camelbak hydration systems normal 2.5 L version and 3 L CBRN version.
  • ESS profile NVG protective goggles.
Ceremonial party in service dress

Note that while called DPM by the Irish, the pattern has no relation to the British DPM design but is a four-color woodland-type pattern with black, reddish-brown and olive green shapes on a light olive green base.[1]

Service dress[edit]

The Service Dress (SD) Uniform is used by the Army for ceremonial and administrative duties. It resembles service dress worn in many armies, but is in a distinctive green shade. The uniform, introduced in 1961, consists of a jacket which is open to show a creamy brown shirt and green tie.[2] The layout of the uniform varies from corps to corps. For enlisted soldiers, the rank markings are worn on the sleeves of the issue tunic. The Unit and Brigade Flashes are worn on the right and left sleeves respectively. A lanyard depicting the corps function is worn over the left shoulder and pinned to the left chest pocket button (e.g. white lanyard for artillery, red for military police). The corps badge is pinned to the tunic lapels. A cloth belt with brass buckles is worn around the waist of the tunic.

Black leather gloves are worn by privates or NCOs below BQMS rank. When worn as SD No. 1, the cloth belt is traded for a white dress belt, and white gloves are worn by enlisted personnel below BQMS rank. Medals are worn with SD No. 1. Medal ribbons are worn with SD No. 2 and 3.

Peaked caps have been introduced and are worn by enlisted ranks on ceremonial occasions.

With SD No1 troops wear the all-leather "Linkers" ceremonial boot. The tunic button is a stay-bright material with a harp and the inscription "IV" commemorating the Irish Volunteers.

Army No 1 Band in uniform

Officers have their rank markings pinned to the shoulder straps of their tailored tunic. They also wear a Sam Browne Belt in brown leather. The Officers SD No. 1 Uniform also includes brown leather shoes and brown leather gloves. Non-cavalry officers in the Permanent Defence Force wear peaked caps, whereas cavalry and reserve officers wear Glengarry hats with black and green ribbons respectively. All officers except colonels and higher ranks (who have since 2010 worn a gilt badge backed with red cloth) wear bronze cap badges, marking them out from the enlisted ranks who have anodised aluminium brass coloured cap badges.

Irish Army pipe band in uniform

Army Bands wear a black ceremonial uniform with red stripes on the trousers and peak cap type headwear.[3]

The Cavalry corps ceremonial escort of honour wears a new dress uniform since 2010.

Army Pipers and drummers wear a saffron kilt with Royal green tunics and black beret with saffron band and ribbons.[2]

Brass type name tags are worn with Service dress No. 1, 2 and 3.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "DPM - Camopedia". Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b MacCarron, Donal (2004). Irish Defence Forces since 1922. Osprey Publishing Ltd. p. 24. ISBN 1-84176-742-5.
  3. ^ "Defence Forces Website > DF School of Music > Military Band Uniform". Retrieved 17 March 2013.