One perfectly standard pair of commercial G3 fields purchased around mid 2019. While I do like the fields in a lot of ways for their simplicity compared to the combats, I do have to say that the Crye fields also get rather close in terms of features to other options like Tru-Spec. Many of which can be purchased in the exact same NYCO fabric.
Either the stitching won’t be quite as nice or you’ll lose some pockets and other features with the cheaper options, or perhaps they’ll be made somewhere like Vietnam rather than in the US. However, with a pretty wide price gap between the likes of Tru-Spec and Leo Kohler when compared to Crye, it’s quite tough to argue for most people that it makes sense to go for the Crye option when spending their own money. Even more so with the shirts than the trousers.
So why do I own this set?
On a basic level, a green dominant camo pattern on a quality field cut set of uniform obviously works pretty well for UK woodlands, despite England not being tropical. While new MCT is fairly vivid with saturated greens, the colour palette is not actually outrageously bright (like Tropical DPM for example) and it works just fine in any largely green area. Indeed when the vegetation is thick and it’s especially lush and vibrant come late spring, this camo is excellent here in the UK. But there is another significant reason for my (also significant) outlay on this particular set.
Shortly after Magpul Dynamics changed over to be known as Magpul Core, they released a couple of sets of images containing some gear loadouts and rifle configurations that were not in lock step with the fashions at the time. The more famous of these 2 image sets contains a gentleman in a Tigerstripe shirt doing some sky diving which I will probably post another time. However those images are perhaps a little better known and more frequently dug up, whereas these jungle-style shots might not be as well remembered.
Personally however, the images you see above and below (taken from the CORE instagram) really resonated. Bear in mind these were posted in 2015-16 and while a lot of the ISAF forces had left the middle east in 2014, there were still plenty in theatre and particularly SF/SOF. The demand in the commercial market for all things SOF-style was arguably at a peak at that point.
Many SF/SOF units’ gear preferences and loadouts had of course been popularised and idolised to a previously inconceivable level on social media at that point. Combat cut shirts and trousers were absolutely the meta and were the go-to for anyone interested in some sort of military-orbiting pursuit. Freefloat rails, gucci optics and helmets, everything painted tan, multicam and desert camos, plate carriers, combat sneakers; basically everything the opposite of the typical 90s infantryman.
As you will note in these images, we see all the options selected that don’t match up with the meta of the day. Field cut uniforms in green dominant patterns, spray painted guns in simple concealment schemes with simple accessories to include iron sights and non-freefloat plastic handguards.
No helmets, minimal gear… just some men living in the moment.
As mentioned, the combat cut was very much all the rage at the time these images cropped up and personally I hadn’t even looked at the G3 field options from Crye for many years. It had simply been the norm to opt for that combat cut, it was seen as a step up and by many as simply ‘better’ than what came before. While I do much prefer a combat shirt under body armour in hot weather, there’s no doubt of course that the combat shirt is, in fact, very much not ‘better’. It is just an option.
When these pictures were posted it definitely got me thinking and did make me realise that actually the field cut still made a lot of sense and especially in a modern pattern intended for areas with lots of vegetation. I think this episode in general is a great lesson in terms of breaking from conventions and group think, as well as a foreshadowing of the pendulum swing in attitudes we are currently experiencing in the post-Afghanistan era.