A Guide to Military Jacket Styles

Serving in the military requires a great deal of discipline, fortitude, and most importantly, reliable tactical gear to get the job done right. It’s a high-pressure, high-stakes career field, with lives depending on your ability to stay calm and collected in the face of danger.

Oftentimes, troops rely on their clothing to provide some measure of safety and protection from the elements, as well as a modicum of comfort while on duty. Take military jackets as an example of a crucial piece of gear for any service member – there are a variety of types to choose from, depending on your needs.

What Are the Most Common Military Jacket Types?

Depending on the specific branch of the military, as well as the climate and terrain where you’ll be deployed, there are different types of jackets that are commonly used by service members. Most of them can also be worn long after you’ve left the service, and make great fashion statements to boot.

A2 Leather Flight Jacket

Source: A2 Leather Flight Jacket

Kicking things off is the A2 leather flight jacket which, as you might have guessed from the name, is most commonly associated with air force personnel as well as non-air military members who need a little extra protection. It’s a classic style that has been around for ages, and there’s a reason it’s still in use today – it just looks and feels good.

Made from durable, yet soft and supple leather, the A2 provides a sturdy barrier between the wearer and the elements, with the padded collar doing a good job of protecting the neck from windburn. It’s also lined with fur or wool, creating a warm and cosy environment inside the jacket, perfect for long days spent in a cold cockpit.

The flap pockets are also a nice touch, providing a place to store any small items you might need while on the job, and the overall style of the jacket just oozes authority. They can be found on either side of the zipper, which runs the entire length of the jacket from top to bottom.

As for the shape, it closely resembles modern-day bomber jackets, with a slightly shorter hemline that hits at the waist and ribbing at the bottom and sleeves to keep the cold out. The A2 is definitely a timeless style that looks just as good today as it did when it was first introduced way back in World War II.

M65 Field Jacket

Source: permanentstyle.com

For ground troops that are in constant motion, the M65 field jacket offers both style and function. It’s a more modern take on the classic trench coat, with a fit that’s slightly closer to the body to allow better mobility.

It’s made from a durable cotton blend material that can withstand a fair amount of abuse, and features a removable liner for added warmth in colder climates. The collar is also lined with fur or wool, providing some much-needed insulation in the colder months.

Additionally, the M65 has a bevy of pockets to store any essential items, including a couple of large ones on the chest, as well as two smaller ones on the waist. The jacket also features a drawstring at the hemline which can be used to cinch it in and keep the cold air out.

The design of the M65 is such that it can be easily layered over other pieces of clothing, making it a versatile piece of gear for any service member. It comes in a variety of different colours, including the iconic olive green, as well as black and camouflage.

Softshell Jacket

Source: winfieldsoutdoors.co.uk

As the name suggests, softshell jackets are made from a softer, more pliable material that’s designed to offer better mobility and range of motion. They’re often used by troops that need to be able to move quickly and easily, such as those in the Special Forces.

The material is also waterproof and windproof, making it ideal for use in inclement weather. Plus, it’s breathable to prevent the wearer from overheating and features several pockets of different sizes to keep necessary items close at hand.

The fit of the softshell jacket is somewhere between the A2 and the M65, being neither too loose nor too tight. And like the two other types of flight jacket I previously mentioned on this list, it’s also available in a few different colours, including black, green, and brown.

Insulated Bomber Jacket

Last but not least is the insulated bomber jacket, which is a bit of a hybrid between the A2 and the softshell. It shares many of the same features as those two jackets, such as the wind and water-resistant material, as well as the multiple pockets.

However, what sets the bomber jacket apart is the insulation. It’s typically made from down or synthetic fibres and designed to trap heat in, resulting in a jacket that’s extremely warm without being too bulky.

Anyone stationed in a cold climate will appreciate the extra warmth that the bomber jacket provides, with the added bonus of still being able to move around freely thanks to the more relaxed fit. It doesn’t have the same tailored look as the A2 or M65, but it more than makes up for it in function.