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1948 4-color Camouflage Pattern

The 1984 4-color camouflage pattern was originally designed in 1948 at the Engineer Research and Development Laboratory (ERDL). Subsequently, it was translated to fabric under guidance by the QM Research and Development Command and type classified in 1966 as the US Army 1948 camouflage pattern, also directed toward minimizing sniper scope detection.


Combat experience in Vietnam proved that the original ERDL pattern was too bright. Accordingly, the color were toned down by Natick laboratories (NLABS) in such a manner that the merged color more nearly approximated the OG color standard. The standard for this pattern is called NLABS-1; when that standard was depleted in 1979, a replacement was chosen, NLABS-2.

  • ERDL
  • NLABS-1
  • NLABS-2


  • Rizzo, F.J.; Ramsley, A.O. ; Campbell, A.M.; Bushnell, W.B.; Natsios, B.A.; Merola, A.; Kidder, G. Support to MASSTER Phase II Camouflage Test. April 1976. [pdf]
  • Ramsley, Alvin O. Camouflage Patterns - Effects of Size and Color. NATICK/TR-79/030, (CEMEL-202), July 1979 [pdf]
  • Ramsley, Alvin O.; Yeomans, Walter G. Psychophysics of Modern Camouflage. June 1982. [pdf]