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Soviet officer uniform - all types of clothing used in the Soviet Army after 1969

In general there were three types of Soviet officer uniform. There was a parade uniform, everyday uniform and field uniform. All these were available in summer and winter setups, with winter one adding another layer of clothing. We do have an article on Soviet Army winter uniform, so in this one we will talk only about summer version of Soviet officer winter uniform. If you are interested in the topic of the Soviet Army Uniform, it will be covered in full in one of our books - Red Alert: Structure of Soviet Infantry Regiment.

Soviet officer uniform
Young officers from different regiments in the parade uniform during the graduation process

Key knowledge on Soviet officer uniform

The most important thing to understand about the topic is that the "officers uniform" would not necessary be worn by an officer. It was issued and used by anyone who was not a conscripts - basically, to all regular military servicemen of the Soviet Armed Forces. This would include praporshiks (warrant officers), professional sergeants and, of course, officers of all ranks. All these categories of servicemen would receive all the uniform listed in this article.

In the meantime, the conscripted soldiers would only receive two types of uniform - parade and everyday-field uniform, one set of each. This would create light tension between conscripted and regular personnel, as conscripts had to manage living with just one set of everyday clothing for 6 month (the usual period of uniform replacement). But of course they did not complain too much, as for them the Army was not a professional occupation.

Another thing to note is that while field officer uniform was usually mass produced and issued, the everyday and parade costumes were often made by private tailors. Military personnel could buy fabric from the military shops in the garrison and use it to get a tailor fitted set of clothing.

Parade Soviet officer uniform

The parade uniform was the best quality and the best looking out of three - the famous "officers blues". Well, it was only the Airborne and Airforce who were entitled to wear navy blue uniform, the rest of the Armed Forces had to enjoy turquoise parade suits. They were exactly the same in cut, just different in color scheme.

Soviet officer uniform
Difference in color for the Airforce and rest of the Army

The set consists of jacket, straight trousers, breeches, cap, shirt, tie, tie clip, white gloves, parade belt, black shoes and boots.

The two types of boots and trousers might seem confusing, but they were supposed to be work separately - the breeches would go with jackboots and the straight cut trousers to be with boots. The difference between two setups was the occasion - jackboots were to be worn at parade, while in the rank, while boots and straight trousers were a going out type of uniform.

The uniform was not used very often - only on special occasions, such as celebratory parades, national holidays and big life events, such as a wedding. Therefore, every family of former Soviet personnel sill has at least one set left, so this uniform is not hard to find.

Soviet officer uniform
Soviet WO and Officer posing with their platoon during the New Year celebration

Everyday Soviet officer uniform

This khaki suit was the most common type of clothing for the Soviet officer. As the name suggests, it was worn on everyday bases throughout the service. Officers would wear it in classrooms, on the parade ground, during vehicle maintenance under the coveralls and sometimes even in the field. The fashion only changed with the introduction of camouflage.

This was practical and smart uniform and was universally loved by the forces. Unlike the parade uniform it was very similar in cut, fabric and color to the soldiers' parade and field uniform, which made the whole unit look very uniformed.

Soviet officer uniform
Everyday uniform

The set consists of jacket, straight trousers, breeches, cap, green shirt and tie, black shoes and boots. The belt and shoulder-belt were essential mark of a Soviet officer both everyday and in the field, so they were worn almost at all times.

The rules for wearing the uniform were very similar to the parade one - breeches and jackets to be worn at all times within the perimeter of the military garrison, with straight trousers and shoes seen on the off-duty officers.

Soviet officer uniform
Everyday uniform on highly decorated veterans of the Afghan War

Field Soviet officer uniform

This is the type of uniform most searched by reenactors, as it can actually be used during the events. The Soviet officer field uniform closely resembles the one designed for enlisted men. But it was more expensive and better made.

Soviet officer uniform
Regular and tropical field uniforms

The standard field uniform for the officers was usually made from thick wool, making it really comfortable in winter, compared to regular cotton one used by conscripts. It was also used in summer, as it was usually preferred by officers even in tropical regions - they liked the smart look and the fact that it would not get as smelly as the cotton set. Though, of course, officers did have the access to the regular cotton and glass uniform sets for summer time.

The set consists of tunic and breeches, subdued cap and boots. The belt and shoulder-belt would also be worn in the field and used to wear officers' equipment, such as PM pistol and map-case.

Soviet officer uniform
Officers during the field exercise

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