Kingdom of Morocco
The Kingdom of Morocco (المملكة المغربية) was originally inhabited by Berbers and was known as Mauretania during the classical period. It was the Phoenicians that first built substantial settlements there, governing parts of present day Morocco as a colony as early as the 6th century BCE. As a province of the Roman Empire the region was known as Mauretania Tingitana, and after the fall of Rome it was briefly occupied by the Vandals and Visigoths before being incorporated into the Byzantine Empire. Most of the mountainous regions of present day Morocco remained unsubdued during this time period, inhabited only by native Berbers.
Arab invaders brought their language and Islam to Morocco in the late 7th century, but their control over the region was short-lived and between 739 and 743 the Berber population revolted and reclaimed their traditional lands. A series of small states and kingdoms would arise under Berber control, and eventually several dynasties would rule over all of Morocco from the 11th through the 13th centuries. Over the course of the following centuries, migrations would increase the Arab population dramatically, while many of the native Berbers returned to a nomadic way of life. By the 16th century, the Saadi Empire would rule over most of Morocco, followed in turn by the Alaouite dynasty, which would reign until 1912. Increased European interest in all of Africa, however, culminated in the Treaty of Fez (1912) which made Morocco a protectorate of France, although appointing Spain protector of much of the Saharan region and thus establishing Spanish Morocco. Unfair treatment under the French colonial system and a sense of nationalism would result in some violent outbreaks in the 1950s, leading ultimately to the granting of independence by both France and Spain in 1956.
The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces were founded in the year of independence (1956), and today consist of the Royal Army, Royal Moroccan Air Force, Royal Navy, Royal Gendarmerie, and the Royal Guard. In total, approximately 256,000 active duty personnel comprise the entire armed forces. The Royal Moroccan Army fought on the Golan front during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, and intervened decisively in the 1977 conflict known as Shaba I to save Zaire's regime. They also sent a small contingent to assist coalition forces during the Persian Gulf War. Moroccan forces continue to wage a counter-insurgency campaign in Moroccan-governed Western Sahara against the Polisario Front (Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro), an Algerian-backed national liberation movement seeking independence for Western Sahara. Morocco is also an active participant in many UN-sponsored peacekeeping missions, including MONUC, ONUCI, EUFOR, KFOR and MINUSTAH.
Moroccan Camouflage Patterns
- Moroccan copies of the French tenue de leópard or lizard pattern have been in service since the 1970s, and are still worn to this day. Many variations have been documented, including a vertical pattern worn by the Marines of the Moroccan Navy. The earliest patterns seem to mimic the original French designs, with very detailed brushstrokes and similar colors. Later variations have thicker, less defined stripes and very dark colors, the brown being almost maroon.
- Also worn by some units in the Moroccan Army Forces, the French-made K-way jigsaw camouflage pattern raingear.
- Introduced in the 1990s, a "desert lizard" camouflage pattern is now being issued to the Morrocan Armed Forces, primarily on deployments abroad or operations in particularly arid regions.
- Some members of the Royal Moroccan Gendarmerie wear a woodland style pattern with a blue colorway.