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Combat Soldier 95

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Before you slag it off - would you like to go back to lightweights, 'Hairy Maries', 'shrink-easy jumpers' and 'crisp packet' waterproofs? Thought not.

The Combat 95 clothing system has to satisfy stringent military requirements covering infra-red reflection (IRR), thermal signature and flame resistance. It is based on the layer principle and is designed to provide the soldier with exactly the right degree of protection for any operational environment. This had previously been half-heartedly considered with such awesome kit as the Chinese fighting jacket and trousers, without much success.

The British soldier can expect to operate in extreme climatic conditions, from the jungles of Belize to the arctic wastes of Norway. Combat 95 selects the best from developments in extreme sports and expeditionary wear and makes everyone who wears it look like a bag of shit tied up with green string in the middle. And rips at the slightest touch.

Combat 95 was something of a revolution in the British Army, in that it is almost "bullshit" free. It's practical, comfortable and good. As a result it has almost completely replaced any other form of dress in many units. Most soldiers' ideal field kit before was tropical trousers, green fleeces and windproof smocks, and CS95 provided a very close match for that, but issued to everyone. Excellent, although a little late, and the jacket has an unfeasibly large neck hole.

There is a distressing tendency of late for CS95 to sprout badges, the effect of which is to make squaddies look like militant boy scouts. Said badges are dreamt up by senior officers for reasons that escape the rest of the army.

During use in barracks nearly all of its useful qualities are eliminated by frequent washing and violent ironing (the RSM likes to see proper creases) and it still rips at the slightest touch. Despite these drawbacks no alternative is provided for those whose duties keep them indoors most of the time, though this is set to change soon.

CS95 is good for dressing your lass up in and ragging her silly - albeit when she is asleep and/or hog tied.

When MTP came in as a UOR there was a limited run of the S95 pattern before PCS came into play and hence there is some examples of MTP in S95 but mainly its been phased out completely including in cadet units etc