The digital revolution: camouflage uniforms in the 21st century
Millennium-Journal of International Studies
It has been widely acknowledged that military uniforms are significant not only in terms of their practical utility but in terms of their symbolic function. If this is the case, then it is surely noteworthy that in the last ten years there has been a revolution in military uniforms. The disruptive patterns which were the global norm among all military forces in the late twentieth century are in the process of being replaced by new digital patterns. Drawing on the sociology of science and technology, this article explores the development of these uniforms to argue that while neither the scientific research behind digital patterns nor their possible superiority over disruptive designs can be denied, the development of these patterns cannot be seen in purely instrumental or technical terms. Status considerations have been equally important. The paper explores the way in which these new uniforms communicate the new status which professional western forces in the early twenty-first century have been trying to project.
Vol. 42, No. 2, pp. 397 - 424 (27)