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Special Forces Civilian/PMC look? Pt.1


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Hello. I dont know how many of you have seen the Navy SPECWAR pictures, or Delta force CPD or Green Berets in Afghanistan..but we were trying to get that "undercover" look. The mixture of civilian clothing with military gear is appealing to us, but it seems hard to replicate without looking like a newb who forgot to buy BDUs. My question is how to make a legitimate impression. Also I have a question to some of you who may have tried this look....do large OPs count this as a uniform for your team? Or have you found it troublesome to be assigned or accepted in Ops?

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My kit is largely based around a civilian contractor style set up. Most things go, but the basic elements are a belt kit and some form of chest rig/vest or plate carrier. The key is high speed low-drag. It has to look like something that an operator can toss on over his clothes and not get ruffled. Webbing is a no-no for the civcon look! As are paintball masks. Your rig's got to be high and tight with all the strappage stowed away.


The quick and easy way to tell if your stuff is right; If you can't sit comfortably in a car with it it's got to go. Flat colored trousers are preffered. If you've got a decent belt rig set up all you need is a 5.11 style vest to complete the look.


The good news is that you can always throw the same kit on over BDUs and look like a straightforward merc. If you talk to the people who are coming before the game you can always organise a civcon VS merc game with half in combats and half in civvies :)

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problem I've found with trying to make the civvy SF look is this:




The guys you see in 5:11s and civvy stuff could be wearing pink frilly knickers on there head, and they'd still look the part, because they've got a certain persona that comes with being bloody rock hard.


this is why when I turn up in civvy gear, a vest and a shotgun, I look like a noob, but when they do it, they look like they're about to knock over a small country.


SO- you can get round this by doing the following: take your gear, and drag it backwards through a few bushes and mud puddles to give it that authentic "just come back from the wars" look.


don't shave a week before the skirmish (unless you can't grow a full beard, in which case shave- nowt less impressive than a wannabe moustache).


Carry odd bits, but be careful in how you assemble them- they hav eto look functional and custom rigged.


essentially, you're doing what the cool kids at school do- the non-jocks who all the girls secretly fancy. its all about style and attitude. If you look like you've stepped out of a design studio, you lose all your streetcred, and you might as well go join the delta wannabes showing off their fancy NVG to each other.


If you look like you've stepped straight out of a guerilla war, still smiling and itching to carry on busting heads, then you've got it :)

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MY undercover stuff-

Set 1

-RAID woodland BDU shirt

-AUSCAM woodland pants

-SPEAR ECLs vest , or Commando chest harness




Set 2

-Spear jacket, the black one

-Spear ECLs


-black beanie and sunglasses




British Chav hunter :P


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again- looks fine on a real SF guy, but makes the rest of us look a bit like we've left our dpms in the wash again :)


roll in a few mud puddles, charge through a few thorn bushes, get someblood and oil stains on those toos, and you'll be looking dead 'ard in a matter of minutes!


and cinder, that hat has to go...you look less like a chav hunter and more like a chav, sorry mate :(


TMC- two things:


1) more mud! the thing must look like its just come back from hand-to-hand combat in the Congo!


2) PM sent concerning that sig of yours.

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look. My point is that a real SF bloke will look good in it, whereas some weedy airsofter is just going to look like they've stepped out of a bring-and-buy sale!


getting the stains right is as intricate and skilled a job as getting a paintjob or a ghillie looking professional.


the real guys don't worry about it, as it all sort of comes together over time. We arn't the real deal, so we have to put maximum thought and effort into it without LOOKING like maximum thought and effort has gone in.

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I am by no means weedy. :)


I rarely - if ever - shave, giving me quite a rough face, which works for the latest in MICH fashions...


When I get my SOE vest I am gonna go down and drag it through some mud, water, dirt, etc etc and leave it like that. :)


edit: Cinder... US contractors aren't allowed to use camoflage. So your ELCS is worthless in that aspect. Could always spray it CB or OD...

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The CivCon look is not to be mistaken for the SF 'in mufti' impression. Both of these things have seperate things to look out for.


With the CivCon look for example you can to some extent get away with not being rock hard fit and being a pasty tanless guy. Though what would a civilian contractor be doing weilding an M4 configured as an OW?


Here's a pregame pic I took of Wannabe meh before the 'unspeakable incident' up at 'The Hill'. A fairly decent impression if you will.


Mosaiced for effect.


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mix and match is the key








This page has some good pics:




I think being grizzled and standing in a desert help immensely with the look ;)




this is how I dress for work, too. less the m4



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*runs off to find big sand pit and fake beard*


its true- grizzled and in the middle of a desert help the look immensely :)


and mix n match is very much the key- a nice civ SF interpretation comes, unlike if you're doing a straight military interpretation, from looking like you've been in a few punch-ups with the enemies of capitalism, and built/'liberated' your trusty loadout as you've gone along.


Obviously, this isn't necessarily how the real deals do it- they probably have sponsorships deals :) - but its looking the part, rather than being the part, that we're going for here :)


so, personally I'd say this doesn't mean you can't be "cheap", but it does mean shy away from non-military stuff- basically, I'd be working on the assumption that, if its built for the military, a civ SF might carry it.


so cheap knock-off holsters and gucci guarder vests are, for the most part, a bit of a no-no. Obviously, civilian stuff can be used in moderation, but they certainly shouldn't be key or base parts of the kit.


hats...bandanas easily will always give you more SF props than a helmet, with baseball caps somewhere in between- again, it depends on the cap...something plain, rather than embroidered with logos, would probably be favourite...


trousers...plain OD or plain tan combats, preferable kicked around a lot and nicely stained and weathered. Same for the top.


webbing/vest...if its used by the mil, use it, just give it the above kick around first :)


I suppose what I'm getting at is that the enemies of the civ SF look are uniformity, neatness, and non-functionality.


in fact, when the m15 arrives, I shall knock up a Civ SF look based on the above concepts, to see if I can put my money where my mouth is- can't guarantee it, as I'm a long way from a sandpit...though I think I saw some builders sand down in the basement...might make good rust brown staining stuff...

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An excerpt that a shooter friend in the states who attended a Warriors Mindset ADV Rifle course got sent by James Yeager. Written by a real civcon who at time of writing was running a security gig in Iraq. It's been around so you might have read it before;


THE GOLDEN CONNEX BOX... It ain't coming dude. If I had a nickel for every

time I have been told "Oh yeah man, we ordered ten of those and they should

be here in three days" Or my favorite "don't worry, it will meet you

incountry". If you don't have good guns, ammo, armor, or comms. Just say no

like Nancy Reagan used to say. Some companies are total pieces of *beep* and

will leave you in Iraq with a busted *albatross* stolen AK and two mags. Some will

do you better than a tier one unit. Personally, I just want the above

mentioned items and the rest to go to my bank account. If I want a three

hundred dollar backpack Ill buy it.

Bottom line. Remember what gear is critical. Demand it be the best and take

proper care of it.


From one end of the spectrum to the other.


So while some of you may have preconceived notions of what should and should not be. Pretty much anything goes. The wisened rule of do what you can with what you have still applies for gucci maketh not the gunner :)

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This is my look... :D Trust me on this one, put your hand in a toasty maker before ramming camo cream on your face, ripping out the darkest clothes you have in your wardrobe, jumping in the bath then, after picking up your uber juiced rifle roll around in a sand pit which i dog has crapped in. WOLLA!!


The ultimate ###### bad guy look...


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spot on countdoom- full marks for effort and presentation, though the singed smell of dog poo is possibly a bit OTT.


that civcon guy sums things up nicely- again, I'm not saying that civcons/civ SF DON'T wear gucci gear or matching stuff, I'm sure they do.


Difference is, they've got that whole thousand yard stare, do-you-up-a-treat-jimmeh look in their eyes and posture that means, as i first said, that they could be wearing a pair of pink knickers on their head, and it'd be a suicidal idiot who'd dare to smirk at them.


so, to compensate for lacking the whole "I'll kick your teeth out and wear them as a necklace" attitude, the pink knickers probably have to go and be replaced with functional stuff that looks like its been assembled over time and on the hoof. Preferably mid-fight :)


out of interest- given the tendency of the average enemy of capitalim to be waving an AK around the place, what are the odds of SF chaps carrying AK mag pouches about their person?


afterall there can't be many things more depressing than having your shiny armalite snap on you, only to find that, when you grab the nearest gun to hand (preferably the ak of the guy who made your m4 snap), you've got no-where to store extra mags?


just a thought I was pondering last night, while I waited for slumber to whisk me back off to 'nam...

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Funny you should mention that :) It's also in the e-mail;


You remember when Sam Elliot said "If I need one there will be plenty laying

around" in the film WE WERE SOLDIERS ONCE, in regards to the rifles? He was

right. If you've seen those pictures of us on the net Chip was on a SAW and

I had a M203. There were weapons strewn about the roof by wounded and those

who elected to not play on the two way range. No *beep*. By the end of week

two here we all had our choice in weapons. No *beep*. We fired RPK, AK47, PKM,

MK19, M249, M203, M4, Druganov, and M60 at bad guys between the eight of

us... That was unreal...

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right, an you have the famous story from the second modern gulf war (first being Iran v Iraq), where british soldiers were ditching their lean mean green pile of crud for aks they found- so woul it make sense for SF and civcons to be carrying a few AK pouches about their persons? just wondering if anyone knows whether this is something that happens, or if they just sort of make do?

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