The earliest camouflage uniforms worn by Romanian military personnel were made in Russia and were copied from the WW2 era Soviet masksirovochyi kombinezon or leaf pattern uniform. A similar style uniform, but printed in a different style of vegetated print, was also produced - both entering service in the 1960s. These remained the only standard issue camouflage uniforms until 1990, when an indigenous design was introduced. This followed four years later by another design, and both of these patterns remained in use - often alongside each other - for the next ten or fifteen years. Probably as part of a bid to enter NATO, in 2002 Romania discarded her old uniforms and adopted versions of the British Disruptive Pattern Material (DPM) for temperate and desert conditions. These remain in common usage.
The Jandarmeria Română, part of the Ministry of the Interior, is a military branch of federal law enforcement that is primarily responsible for policing the armed forces.
Romanian Camouflage Patterns
- The Soviet 1941 "leaf" pattern was introduced for service with Romanian Army reconnaissance personnel in 1960 and continued in service into the 1990s. Consisting of a grass green foliage pattern on a yellow-tan base, there is sufficient evidence to suggest the earliest production uniforms were actually produced in the Soviet Union. Later models appear to have been made in Romania. A variation of the pattern, having a grey/brown foliage pattern on a yellow-tan base, was also produced for "autumn" usage - the former reputedly intended for "spring" usage.
- An interesting locally-manufactured variation of the "leaf" pattern is also known to have been produced in the 1960s. This "inverse leaf" pattern has brown leaf shapes printed on a grass green field.
- Also introduced in 1960 was a different type of "leaf" pattern often referred to as persilla or "parsley" pattern. This design, having finely-detailed leafy shapes in foliage green on a yellowish-tan or khaki background, is known to have been introduced in Poland a few years earlier and was probably designed there. As with the other 1941 leaf pattern designs, the uniforms produced were Soviet-style two-piece oversuit models, and saw service primarily with reconnaissance personnel of the Romanian Army.
- The M1990 Romanian "leaf" pattern became one of two standard designs issued to all military personnel during the 1990s. At least two variations are known to exist, in which the black and brown colors have been reversed. There are also color variations within the two sub-types, reflecting slight differences in the specific dye colors that were used at the time of production. All variations of the pattern feature black, brown & light olive green leaf shapes on a khaki or field grey background.
- The M1990 pattern was also printed in a distinctive lighter colorway, possibly for wear at a different time of year (e.g. autumn). Again, several mild variations are known, but in general the pattern incorporates purplish-brown, olive green & ochre leaf shapes on a sandy background.
- An interesting variation of the M1990 pattern was also introduced for wear by the Romanian Ministry of the Interior. Having black, purple and grey leaf shapes on a pale blue background, this version was worn between 1990 and 2002.
- Only four years after the M1990 pattern was introduced, a different Romanian camouflage design emerged known as the M1994. Often called "fleck" pattern in English (perhaps due to its resemblance to the German flecktarn), the pattern generally incorporates black, brown & green spots on a khaki or light green background. This pattern was used interchangeably with the M1990, and there have been numerous accounts of both patterns being worn by the same individual. As with the M1990 pattern, the M1994 fell out of use in 2002 with the adoption of DPM.
- Also tested for service, but never adopted, is an M1994 urban variation with black, purple & olive green flecks on a light grey background. Unlike its predecessor, this does not appear to have been worn officially.
- In 2002, the Romanian Ministry of Defence adopted two versions of the British Disruptive Pattern Material (DPM). Known as the M2002 pattern, the temperate version uses the same colorway as the British Soldier 95 (S95) and some sources suggest the uniforms are made of cloth from the same manufacturer. Romanian uniforms are of a different styling to the British, and incoporate different types of fabric depending on the specific garment. Issue t-shirts are made from different fabric, and display a considerably different color scheme.
- The desert version of the M2002 is also a copy of the British S95 two-color desert camouflage. As with the temperate version, there is evidence to suggest the Romanian uniforms are manufactured locally from surplus British fabric. Issue t-shirts are made from different fabric, and display a considerably different color scheme.
- A unique camouflage design was introduced in the modern era for use by the Grupul Special de Protecţie şi Intervenţie (Special Group for Protection and Intervention) - GSPI. The pattern, distorted lines of black & grey on a white or light grey background, appears to be manufactured locally. As the unit does not exist any more, the pattern has probably been retired from service.
- The Brigada Specială de Intervenţie a Jandarmeriei (BSIJ) "Vlad Ţepeş" is a special operations unit within the federal Gendarmerie. The Brigade is sub-divided into four units, tasked variously with special protection, counter-terrorism, and other highly-specialized duties. Units of the brigade most frequently train and deploy in solid black or dark blue operational uniforms; however, some units have been observed wearing locally-made copies of the Universal Camouflage Pattern, as well as urban colorations of Multicam.
- The Poliţia Română are the primary national law enforcement agency, subordinate to the Ministry of Administration and Interior. The force is divided into forty-one County Police Inspectorates, each of which maintains a Rapid Reaction Unit, or Detaşamentul Poliţiei pentru Intervenţie Rapidă (DPIR); a similar unit within the Bucharest Police is called the Serviciul de Poliţie pentru Intervenţie Rapidă, (SPIR) or Police Rapid Intervention Service. Although generally these units wear black operational clothing, a special pixelated camouflage design with a blue colorway has been documented on many occasions. This design is also occasionally worn by the Serviciul Independent pentru Intervenţii şi Acţiuni Speciale (Independent Service of Special Interventions and Operations), a special operations unit under the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police.
- A special research project began circa 2011 to design a new camouflage pattern for the Romanian Army that would incorporate the latest technology and science. Designed using special software that creates camouflage patterns based on inputting data for specific geographical requirements, the new Romanian pixelated design is reputedly applicable for use in any region of Romania except areas covered with snow. The pattern incorporates black, dark brown, medium green, olive green, yellowish-khaki and sand colors. Use of this pattern was first seen by the public during a December 2016 parade, during which it was worn by Special Forces units.
- First revealed to the public in October 2016 at a National Military Conference, the uniforms seen here will be adopted by the Romanian Armed Forces beginning in 2017. Research and development on this project began in 2015 and was completed in 2016. All three patterns utilize fractal shapes to create a design, one each for the Army, Navy and Air Force. It is interesting to note that the Armata (Army) version utilizes the same color scheme as Multicam.