- Militaries around the world use camouflage to evade detection by the enemy in all kinds of environments, from jungle and desert to city streets.
- Avoiding detection is often a matter of life and death, and the patterns and colors are dictated by the environment where troops expect to operate.
- Some work better than others, but all patterns are designed to help troops blend in with their surroundings.
- Cpl. Daniel Wiepen/UK Ministry of Defence
Desert camouflage has gone through a host of updates since the war in Iraq began, in an effort to make troops harder to spot in sandy and dusty environments there.
US Marines wear a digital pattern with small pixels.
- US Marine Corps/Sgt. Olivia G. Ortiz
MARPAT, as the camo pattern is known, is widely viewed as one of the best concealment patterns because of the small, digitized pixels.
US and Romanian Army camouflage, pictured during an exercise in Poland, shows how different countries combine colors and patterns to blend with environments where they expect to operate.
- Spc. Hubert Delany/US Army
Russian soldiers wear a digital pattern with small pixels that’s designed for the forest.
- Russian Ministry of Defense
Dutch woodland camouflage uses darker colors to blend in.
- Hille Hillinga/Mediacentrum Defensie
Exercise Trident Juncture brought together 30 countries, all wearing their various camouflage patterns.
- Allied Joint Force Command Naples
Australian sailors wear a grey and black camouflage pattern.
- LSIS Tom Gibson Royal Australian Navy
The US Navy used a controversial blue digital camouflage pattern that is now being phased out.
- Mass Communications Specialist Seaman Ethan Carter/US Navy
Up close, this US Army camouflage doesn’t seem to be effective at concealment.
- Scott T. Sturkol/US Army.
From a distance, it helps the soldiers blend in with the treeline.
- Scott T. Sturkol/US Army
Militaries have creative ways of concealing vehicles, like this infantry carrier.
- Spc. CaShaunta Williams/US Army