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052-191-1361 (SL1) - Camouflage Yourself and Your Individual Equipment

Standards: Camouflage yourself and your individual equipment to prevent detection by visual, near-infrared, infrared, ultraviolet, radar, acoustic, and radio sensors.

Conditions: Given load-carrying equipment (LCE), an individual weapon, a Kevlar helmet with camouflage cover, grass, bushes, trees, shadows, pieces of the lightweight camouflage screen system (LCSS), skin paint, and charcoal and/or mud for camouflage.  You are wearing a battle dress uniform (BDU).

SPECIAL CONDITIONS: When this task is performed in a nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) environment, there will be no change in standards due to mission-oriented protective posture (MOPP) 4.

Standards: Camouflage yourself and your individual equipment to prevent detection by visual, near-infrared, infrared, ultraviolet, radar, acoustic, and radio sensors.

Performance Steps

1.   Identify critical camouflage considerations, incorporating an analysis of the following considerations:

a. Movement.

Note. Movement draws attention, and darkness does not prevent observation.  The naked eye and infrared/radar sensors can detect movement.

(1)  Minimize movement.

(2)  Move slowly and smoothly when movement is necessary.

b. Shape.

(1)  Use artificial materials to break up shapes, outlines, and equipment.

(2)  Stay in shadows when moving.

(3)  Disguise or distort the shape of your helmet and your body with artificial materials when conducting operations close to the enemy.

c. Light reflection. Cover or remove the following items eliminating light reflection:

(1)  Mess kits.

(2)  Mirrors.

(3)  Eye glasses.

(4)  Watch crystals.

(5)  Plastic map cases.

(6)  Starched uniforms.

(7)  Clear plastic garbage bags.

(8)  Dust goggles worn on top of helmets.

(9)  Cigarettes and pipes.

(10)  Red-filtered flashlights.

Note. Replace all red filters on flashlights with blue-green filters.

d. Color. Blend individual camouflage with the surroundings, or at a minimum, ensure that objects do not contrast with the background (figure 052-191-1361-1).

Note. When moving from one area to another, change camouflage as required.  What works well in one location may draw fire in another.

2.   Camouflage your skin.

Figure 052-191-1361-1. Col
ors used in camouflage


Note. Exposed skin reflects light.

a. Cover your skin oils, even if you have very dark skin, using paint sticks.

Note.  Paint sticks cover these oils and provide blending with the background.

Note.  Do not use oils or insect repellant to soften paint sticks.  This defeats the purpose of paint sticks by making the skin shiny.  Work in pairs when applying paint, because self-application may leave gaps, such as behind the ears.

b. Use information in table 052-191-1361-1 when applying paint on the face.

Table 052-191-1361-1. Color Chart


Skin Color

Shine Areas

Shadow Areas

Camouflage material

Light or dark

Forehead, cheekbones, ears, nose, and chin

Around eyes, under nose, and under chin

Loam and light green stick

All troops use in areas with green vegetation

Use loam

Use light green

Sand and light green stick

All troops use in areas lacking green vegetation

Use light green

Use sand

Loam and white

All troops use only in snow-covered terrain

Use loam

Use white

Burnt cork, bark charcoal, or lamp black

All troops, if camouflage sticks not available


Do not use

Light-color mud

All troops, if camouflage sticks not available

Do not use


c. Paint high, shiny areas (forehead, cheekbones, nose, ears, chin) with a dark color.

d. Paint low, shadow areas with a light color.

e. Paint exposed skin on the back of the neck, arms, and hands with an irregular pattern.

CAUTION: Mud contains bacteria, some of which is harmful and may cause disease or infection.  Mud should be considered as a last resort as field expedient paint.

CAUTION: Expedient paint containing motor oil should be used with extreme caution.

3.   Camouflage your BDU and helmet.

a. Roll your sleeves down and button all buttons.

b. Attach leaves, grass, small branches, or pieces of LCSS to your uniform and helmet (figure 052-191-1361-2).

Figure 052-191-1361-2. Camouflaged helmet


Note. These items will distort shapes and blend colors with the natural background.

Note. BDUs provide visual and near-infrared camouflage.

c. Do not starch BDUs.

Note. Starch counters the infrared properties of the dyes.

d. Replace excessively faded and worn BDUs because camouflage effectiveness is lost.

4.   Camouflage your personal equipment.

a. Cover or remove shiny items.

b. Secure items that rattle or make noise when moved or worn.

Evaluation Preparation: 

Setup:  Ensure that all materials required in the conditions are available to the soldier.  The buddy system should be used when applying paint to the face.

Brief Soldier:  Tell the soldier, in preparation for unit defense, he is to identify critical camouflage considerations, camouflage himself or a buddy's exposed skin with paint sticks, and camouflage his individual equipment.

Performance Measures



1.   Identified critical camouflage considerations.



a. Minimized movement, and moved slowly and smoothly.



b. Broke up, disguised, or distorted shapes and outlines.



c. Covered or removed light-reflecting items.



d. Blended camouflage with the natural surroundings.



2.   Camouflaged exposed skin.



a. Selected the correct combination of paint sticks for the present location.



b. Used paint sticks to camouflage exposed skin on face with irregular patterns.



c. Used paint sticks to camouflage exposed areas of neck, arms, and hands with irregular patterns.



3.   Camouflaged uniform and helmet.



a. Ensured that uniform was not faded or starched.



b. Rolled down and buttoned both sleeves.



c. Broke up shape and pattern by attaching leaves, grass, small branches, and/or pieces of LCSS to uniform and helmet.



4.   Camouflaged personal equipment.



a. Covered or removed all items that reflected light (for example, mess kits, mirrors, eye glasses, watch crystals, plastic map cases, starched uniforms, plastic map cases, clear plastic garbage bags, goggles worn on top of helmet, and red-filtered flashlights).



b. Secured items that rattled or made noise when moved or worn.



Evaluation Guidance:  Score the soldier GO if all performance measures are passed.  Score the soldier NO GO if any performance measure is failed.  If the soldier fails any performance measure, show him how to do it correctly.







FM 20-3



FM 21-75