Watching 'The Green Berets' for the first time since I was a child, I realised how much the film was just pro-Vietnam war propaganda - probably not surprising considering the well known political views of the films star, John Wayne. As the film was so supportive of the war, the US marine corps provided the film makers with full support, including providing completely authentic uniforms for use by the actors. This included the OG-107 green and "Tiger Stripe" Tropical Combat Uniform (jungle fatigues), with correct Vietnam War subdued insignia and name tapes. The variation worn in the film became so iconic that it's become known as the John Wayne pattern, it features bold black stripes over a background comprising dark green and dull brown with tan trace elements.
The term "tiger stripe" refers to the family of camouflage designs developed in Southeast Asia (particularly in Vietnam) during the 1960s. Tiger stripe was derived from the French 'tenue du leopard' or lizard camo pattern of the 1950s. French camouflage uniforms were supplied to the Colonial Vietnamese army, fighting with the French, during the First Indochina War. Once the French left Vietnam local producers started to make their own copies of the lizard pattern which became Tiger stripe. This pattern was first worn by the Vietnamese Marine Corps and then adopted by the first US military advisors and special forces arriving in Vietnam - as a means of assimilating with local forces. Being manufactured by different producers in different materials, at different times led to a very wide variety of patterns and color shade variations. During the latter stages of the war, tigerstripe was gradually replaced in American special forces units by the-then-new ERDL camo.
Still in production today there are now even more variations of Tiger Stripe camo: different materials, colour combinations and shades, from sparse to dense. Tiger Stripe has also proved to be one of the most popular camo patterns that has made the transition into streetwear and fashion clothing.