The M-65 Field Coat

In late 1965, Alpha Industries was awarded its first contracts to manufacture the newly designed M-65 field coats and quickly became one of the top producers. The M-65 was issued to most Army and Marine Corps personnel and many Air Force servicemen and women. The popular Army cold weather field jacket was introduced in 1943 and had its first major revision in 1951. But the design still did not meet the demands of modern soldiers. In 1965, after years of testing, the field coat underwent what would be its last major revision and was renamed the M-65 field coat. It was an integral part of a new cold weather clothing system with various components, including trousers, liners and hoods, which could easily adapt to many different weather conditions.

The M-65 had several major improvements over the M-51. Instead of cotton, the M-65 field coat was produced in NYCO, a newly developed nylon/cotton sateen fabric. Built to meet the demands of the modern battlefield, NYCO was virtually indestructible and extremely wind resistant. Other improvements were a hidden hood in the redesigned collar, brass zipper, Velcro closures on the cuffs, and a hidden triangular cuff that could attach to gloves for protection against radioactive fallout.

After receiving its first contracts in 1965, Alpha would continue to receive at least one M-65 government contract every year for the next 25 years. While originally manufactured only in Olive Green, Alpha also produced the M-65 for the military in Woodland Camouflage beginning in the 1980s and in Desert Camouflage in 1990. Today, Alpha still produces the traditional M-65 field coat in a variety of colors and uses this timeless silhouette as inspiration for many new designs.

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