History Today in Military History

Today in military history: Happy Birthday Woobie

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On Jan. 1, 1963, the beloved Woobie was established by the U.S. military.

Otherwise known as a wet weather liner or a poncho liner, the Woobie is a piece of field gear that provides warmth in mild temperatures and comfort in darker times. Made of nylon, polyester, and freedom, the woobie is lighter and faster drying than the standard-issue wool blanket and originally came in a camouflage pattern similar to Vietnam-era BDUs.

It’s made of two layers of nylon, meant to remain light enough for soldiers while they were fighting and sleeping in the Vietnam jungle climate. It also dries quickly, adapting to a moist environment.

The liner is sewn to withstand the elements, with a hard seam stitch, and a distinctive pattern throughout the bulk of the fabric to keep pieces in place, despite rough conditions. 

What’s most interesting about the poncho liner is its engineering that somehow keeps in heat while keeping the cold at bay. Even when wet, the liner can keep a soldier warm, all while drying quicker than their wool blanket. This is even more impressive considering they were first made from excess parachute material, in duck hunter camo, that was leftover from WWII.

Originally, that’s why liners were released in a dated camo pattern. But even once the excess material was used, the use of tri-color camo continued. 

The Marines produced their own with a Woodland Pattern on one side and a solid coyote color on the other. It has evolved throughout the years to include a variety of color patterns, zipper modification kits, and even a pocket for your ego. Now each branch has their own specific design as well.

Whether on active duty fighting for democracy, or safe at home enjoying a good cuddle sesh, the Woobie is a faithful companion to our nation’s heroes. 

Happy Birthday, Woobie. We salute you.