Republic of China (Taiwan)
Once a name for the government of mainland China (est. 1911), the Republic of China (中華民國) was re-established in 1949 on the island of Taiwan (previously known as Formosa) after the government of Chiang Kai-shek was defeated by the Communists and his supporters forced to evacuate the mainland. The political status of the nation is contentious due to the fact that the People's Republic of China insist the island is a historical part of their nation, and that the government of Taiwan is illegal. The ROC considers itself a sovereign nation, but it is unrecognized by the United Nations.
The Republic of China (ROC) Armed Forces encompasses the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Military Police Force of Taiwan.
Camouflage Patterns of the Republic of China
- The earliest camouflage design of the ROC Army was produced as a helmet cover. Rather than printing the fabric, the covers are individually sewn together from patterned pieces of fabric in blue, olive green & khaki colors. This helmet cover is known colloquially as the "Buddha Ji Gong," and was worn with the US style M1 paratrooper helmet.
- Sources suggest that some companies in Taiwan were producing tiger stripe camouflage during the Vietnam War, although fabrics and uniforms seem to have been exclusively exported to South Vietnam or obtained privately by US military personnel serving there. Yet, tiger stripe camouflage designs have been worn by some members of the ROC Armed Forces since 1979, and by members of the Army by the mid-1980s. The earliest fully-documented tiger pattern was created for the ROC Marine Corps (中華民國海軍陸戰隊). Printed initially on very stiff fabric that tended to fade very quickly, over time numerous improvements were made both to the dyes, fabric and style of uniform issued.
- Variations of the ROC Marine Corps tiger stripe design would be issued from the mid-1980s onwards, some having slight color differences depending on the manufacture and type of fabric. Uniform styles changed considerably as well.
- Introduced in the mid-1980s, the ROC Airborne & Special Forces Command were issued with a tiger pattern camouflage having black, brown & dark green on a pale green background. This is the "green tiger pattern," intended for wear in lowlands or jungles.
- A second tiger stripe design for the Special Forces was issued between 1989 and 1991, called the "red tiger pattern." This version featured horizontal stripes of black, reddish-brown & green on a khaki background, and was intended for use in highlands or mountainous areas.
- Still another Taiwan-produced tiger stripe variation is seen here, but of uncertain origin. This design has very prominent black stripes, with a pale green base color and seems to be copied from one of the original Vietnamese designs. Nevertheless, it may have been worn at one time by members of the 862nd Special Operations Brigade.
- Another tiger stripe variation pattern from the 1980s is seen here, utilizing a completely different set of drawings and a different color scheme. Incorporating black (fading to blue), dark olive and medium green stripes on a khaki background, this pattern also saw extremely limited use with airborne and special forces units.
- Until 1991, the standard uniform of most units in the ROC Armed Forces was olive green or khaki. A copy of the US m1948 ERDL design was issued in the 1991-92 time frame, however, having black, brown & green leaf shapes on a mustard yellow background. When compared with the US design, the early pattern appears to be aligned vertically rather than horizontally. At least two production runs were issued before the alignment was changed.
- By 1994, the ROC Armed Forces leaf pattern had been standardized for all intents and purposes, having a much more similar appearance to the original US design. Although fibre content and uniform styling would change over the years, the pattern has remained fairly consistent and continues to be the standard uniform of the ROC Armed Forces.
- A slight variation of the ROC ERDL camouflage design appeared circa 2000. Produced now in a ripstop fabric, the colors changed somewhat with the background color being much more yellow. This pattern is issued to ROC Air Force personnel, and possibly other.
- In 2007, the ROC tested a pixelated camouflage design with the Special Operations Command. The design incorporates black, brown & lime green on a dark olive green field.
- Circa 2013, the Ministry of National Defense opted to adopt a different pixelated camouflage pattern, seen below. The pixels in this design appear smaller and much denser than the version tested by the SOC, and the coloration has been significantly modified.
- The Defense Ministry unveiled a new pixelated version of the old tiger stripe pattern camouflage for the ROC Marine Corps in May 2017. Improved uniforms will replace the older issue style by January 2018.