The history of the ‘smock’ in military usage goes back to the Second World War when they became famously associated with the German Fallschirmjaeger, the British and Allied Airborne Forces and the British Special Air Service.
WWII-era British Airborne Force ‘Denison Smock’, from the Imperial War Museum’s collection. © IWM (UNI 11787)
Continuing to be inherently associated with Airborne and Special Forces in the UK, Commonwealth and Western European countries, the ‘old skool’ style smock reached what was perhaps the pinnacle of its design with the famous ‘Kit Karry Smock’ from Special Air-Sea Services in the UK (see below). However, since the start of the Global War On Terror, the kit used, carried and worn by Special Forces (and even regular grunts) has undergone a remarkable transformation – so much so that many people felt that the smock no longer had a place in the modern kit list of combat shirts and body armour / plate carriers…
But, as is so often the case, units are (re)discovering that some of the old ways were in fact the best ways. Such is the case with the new Striker Stealth Smock from UF PRO®. UF PRO® learned from working with European Pathfinder and other Special Units that there are occasions when you simply want to or need to travel light, and that there are also times when a combat shirt under a plate carrier simply doesn’t provide enough warmth or weather protection, and that you also sometimes want to carry secondary or sustainment items in your backpack but keep all of your essential items’ within reach of your hands…
After reviewing the current needs with a German special unit, it became clear to UF PRO® that the classic smock design couldn’t meet the desired criteria – so they would have to reinvent it, and the result is the Striker Stealth Smock.
UF PRO® came up with a design so that the jacket could carry a wide range of gear; the Striker Stealth Smock can be loaded with as much as 12 – 15 kg, but in order to maintain user agility with a fully loaded jacket, they had to rethink the whole concept of a smock design. A salient feature of the design of the Striker Stealth Smock is the breathable load bearing system, which consists of two modules; a waist belt which not only carries the weight but also fixes it onto the hip area, and a huge area of air/pac® inserts in the upper torso and back area which carries the remaining weight.
Another special thing about the Stealth Smock pocket configuration is that it is modular. The integrated front PALS system allows the wearer to either attach his own or the new UF PRO® pouches. The unique load bearing system of the Striker Stealth Smock combined with the choice of first rate fabrics and some cutting-edge design ensures that even fully loaded the jacket does not get caught up around you whenever you make a move. It ergonomically distributes the weight over the whole torso and provides truly excellent levels of comfort and performance.
The Striker Stealth Smock can also be equipped with the UF PRO® Elbow pads, and benefits from the excellent Hood/Harness system which allows unhindered vision, air circulation and good hearing while wearing the hood.
MultiCam® and PenCott-GreenZone® variants are constructed from milspec Nylon-Cotton Ripstop fabric, with 100% CORDURA® nylon reinforced areas. The Flecktarn and Brown-Grey are constructed from Polyester-Cotton Ripstop fabric, with 100% CORDURA® nylon reinforced areas.