Ghillie and Miss Berkley |

Ghillie and Miss Berkley

“… militia men dressed up as bushes (What … was that all about?)” wrote Alison Berkley on July 9 in The Aspen Times. That “bush” is a “ghillie” suit. It is used by the military and militia as a type of super camouflage. It is built on a Battle Dress Uniform. Several strips of burlap or jute are attached to the suit and combed out, creating a shredded “bush” look. Most ghillie suits take dozens of hours to make, and are a very personal project. The person who makes the suit is the one who expects to wear it.

The suit which Miss Berkley saw during the July 4th parade is a hybrid suit. It is based on both the Navy Seal and Marine Sniper ghillies, taking the best of both designs. It is suitable for both crawling and stalking. In a recent desert test, that particular suit far outperformed the same desert camo which our troops are currently using in Iraq. Spotters couldn’t see the test subject even though they were staring right at it from 100 yards! The reason for that is because ghillie suits capitalize on many of the principles of good camouflage such as shape, outline dispersion and color.

In relation to its use by American militia forces, you can think of the ghillie suit as a tool to use for the “ultimate goal line defense.” It is interesting to note that there are dozens of ghillie suits in use in Western Colorado, and that more are being developed all of the time. I hope this answers Miss Berkley’s question.

Clean your guns.

Jerry Begly


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