The Republic of Serbia
Serbia was originally one of the six Socialist Republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, formed in 1946 following the end of the Second World War. Beginning in 1991, the SFRY began to disintegrate as the various republics voiced their desire for sovereignty. By 2003, all that remained of the old federal republic was Serbia and Montenegro, which remained a confederation with that name until 2006 when Montenegro became its own state.
Many of the original Yugoslavian camouflage designs remained in use with the Vojska Srbije i Crna Gore (Army of Serbia and Montenegro) well into the present era. However, some new designs have also been implemented in recent years. Even while a part of Yugoslavia, Serbian police units did also use some camouflage designs that were not in use by the other member states of Yugoslavia.
Serbian Military Patterns
- M89 oak leaf pattern (originally introduced to the JNA in 1990) remained in general use by Serbian forces until around 2003.
- M93 oak leaf pattern replaced the M89 series of clothing. This is essentially the same camouflage pattern as the M89, but used on a new series of field uniforms.
- First introduced for use by the 63rd Paratroopers Brigade, Counter-Terrorist Battalion of the 72nd Special Forces Brigade, and the "Cobras" Military Police Detachment in fall 2001, the M-MDU-02 (Maskirni Dezen Uniforme, Model 2002) is a "woodland" oak leaf pattern, retaining the old shapes of the M89 design but incorporating an updated color scheme that was believed to coincide with many patterns worn by NATO countries. The first color variation uniform was apparently popular with soldiers of the Serbian Armed Forces, but never officially adopted due to it being expensive to produce.
- A second color variation of the M-MDU-02 "woodland" oak leaf pattern was introduced later, in a slightly different uniform style. There are some mild variations of the color standards in this pattern, depending on the manufacturer and production run of the textiles. This pattern has seen extensive issue with the Serbian Armed forces as a test model, but was apparently never approved for everyday use.
- Designed for use in the mountainous terrain of Montenegro, the M-MDU-03 uniform featured a unique camouflage design featuring light green and dark green fleck-like leaves, with white, black, brown and dark grey geometrical shapes on light grey background. The pattern itself has been nicknamed Karst (limestone), which is one of the predominant features of the Montenegrin mountains. Neither the uniform nor the pattern itself was ever officially adopted, and most articles found in this pattern are of commercial manufacture.
- Several variations of a pixelated camouflage pattern (nicknamed "Dragon Flight") known as Tactical One by the manufacturer were given consideration for adoption by the Serbian MOD in 2007, but none were ever officially adopted. The pattern can now be found in commercial markets. The pattern illustrated below is a pixelization of the M-MDU-02 design.
- A desert version of the M07 pixelated patern was also considered, but never adopted.
- A new pixelated camouflage design has been introduced for use by the Serbian Army since the fall of 2010, designated M-MDU-10. Designed by the Military Technical Institute (VTI), it is slightly fragmented, scaled-down and pixelated version of the M-MDU-02 camouflage pattern.
- A desert variation of the M-MDU-10 is now also being fielded to some Serbian military personnel, such as those serving with the United Nations. The design incorporates a medium brown and pinkish sand color on a tan background.
Serbian Police Patterns
- The blue tiger stripe or blue lizard pattern (also called purple tiger or purple lizard) was used extensively by the Serbian police, originally introduced 1992 when the nation was still Yugoslavia. Since 1997 this was worn as field uniform by all police officers for riot control, field exercies and during the conflict in Kosovo. The pattern, a variation of the green tiger pattern by JNA and having either a predominantly blue or purple colorway, was phased out in 2001. Several colour variations exist, although it is generally conceded the differences are a result of manufacturing techniques and not due to by intentional design.
- A grey tiger stripe variation was worn by the MUP (Ministarstvo Unutrašnjih Poslova - Ministry of Internal Affairs). The predominant feature of this pattern is the grey background color, usually overprinted with stripes in a shade of brown and green.
- Variations of the tiger pattern with a more green coloration have been worn by the MUP (Ministarstvo Unutrašnjih Poslova - Ministry of Internal Affairs) since the 1990s. This pattern was originally fielded by Yugoslavian (JNA) special forces units, but later transitioned to the MUP. In many instances, it becomes difficult to differentiate between the grey and the green versions of the tiger stripe pattern. Although there are very obvious differentiating features from examples at the extreme ends of the spectrum, some examples could fall into either category.
- A grey version of the Army M89 pattern was introduced for the Police in 1993, but may never have been officially adopted. Few examples have survived.
- A blue puzzle variation of the Army M89 pattern has was worn by the Serbian Special Police since around 1992. Only two series produced.
Serbian Special Units
JSO (Jedinica za specijalne operacije or "Special Operations Unit") was an elite special unit of the Serbian Service of State Security. It was formed in 1996 when paramilitary units (like "Arkan's Tigers") was merged into a unit under the Serbian Security Service. It was disbanded in 2003 when the Serbian Prime Minister - Zoran Đinđić - was assassinated and some members of this unit was involved.
- An urban camouflage pattern, based on the US woodland drawings has been worn by the JSO. Sources suggest the fabric was possibly made in Hungary.
- A copy of the US m81 woodland camouflage pattern has also worn by the JSO, locally produced in ripstop fabric. Additionally, original US-produced woodland uniforms have also been documented in use by this unit.
- In limited service with the and SAJ (Special Anti-terrorist Unit) was a copy of the British DPM camouflage pattern, similar to both the British and Romanian productions.
- The Žandarmerija (Gendarmerie) was formed in 2001 as a national police force. The JSO and PJP (Special Police Unit) were both later attached to the Gendarmerie, which consists of four battalion-sized units: Belgrade, Nis, Novi Sad and Kraljevo. In 2010 they acquired Tru-Spec UCP pixelated camouflage uniforms.
- A special urban variation of the Tactical One camouflage pattern designated Maskirna Dragon Tactical i Digitalna Urbana has been fairly standard issue with the Ministry of the Interior, worn by both PTJ (Counter-Terrorist Unit) and SAJ (Special Anti-terrorist Unit). A four-color variation incorporating brown, olive green and black shapes on a khaki background is also worn by the PTJ.
- The camouflage design here, heavily-influenced by but not directly copied from the USMC MARPAT temperate pattern, has been documented in use by the PTJ of the Žandarmerija. However, so little photographic evidence exists that researchers are assuming the design was only tested and has not been fully adopted bu this unit, or any other Serbian paramilitary entity.
- Members of the Srpska Dobroljacka Garda (Serb Volunteer Guard, also known as Arkan's Tigers) wore Greek lizard pattern camouflage uniforms. Led by Arkan (Zeljko Raznatovic), the unit was founded in 1990 and fought in the wars in Croatia and Bosnia.
Foreign Camouflage Worn on UN Deployments
- A Serbian Army medical team deployed on a United Nations mission to Chad was issued with special uniforms made from Bulgarian desert DPM camouflage fabric. It appears this was only a one-time use of the fabric, however.
- On a UN deployment to Mali, the Serbian contingent wore German Army desert flecktarn pattern camouflage uniforms with their own national insignia.