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Czechoslovakia: Uniforms and Rank Insignia
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > Armed Forces > Uniforms and Rank Insignia


In 1987 the Czechoslovak air and ground forces uniforms were the same style and color, except for two air force officer messdress uniforms, which were blue as opposed to the traditional olive green. Officers and warrant officers had three basic uniforms (dress, service, and field) designed for year-round wear. NCOs and enlisted personnel had only year-round and field uniforms. The service uniform for officers and enlisted personnel was worn for garrison duty and routine training activities and, with minor variations, was used as a dress uniform by enlisted men. The service uniform consisted of a single-breasted, opencollar, four-pocket, olive-green coat worn with matching trousers, a khaki shirt, and a black tie. NCOs and enlisted men wore this uniform with black boots and belt and an olive-green garrison cap. A variation of the uniform for NCOs and enlisted men consisted of olive-green trousers, a green-gray shirt, black boots, and an olive-green garrison cap.

The summer service uniform for ground force officers resembled that used by the NCOs except that it was worn with an olive-green shirt, trousers with red piping on the outer-leg seam, brown boots, Sam Browne belt, and a service cap. The air force officer service uniform consisted of olive-green trousers with blue piping on the outer-leg seam, a green-gray shirt-jacket that buttoned at the waist, and brown, low-quarter shoes. The summer service uniform for ground force and air force generals resembled the officers' service uniform except that the former was worn with a white shirt and had trouser-piping consisting of two white stripes for the ground forces and two blue stripes for the air force.

The NCOs and enlisted men had a summer and a winter dress uniform that closely resembled their service uniform except that it was worn with a white shirt and a service cap. A full-length overcoat with a fur collar, a fur cap, and gloves were worn with the winter dress uniform.

Ground force officers had a service/dress uniform that, with the addition of a silver belt and aiguillettes, functioned as a parade uniform. Both ground and air force generals and officers had mess uniforms that consisted of an open-collar coat with two waist pockets. The ground force uniform was olive green, and the air force uniform was blue.

The field uniform worn by all personnel consisted of a lightgreen coat and trousers with a tear-drop and dark-green leaf pattern that served as camouflage. In winter all personnel wore this same uniform with a fur cap and a belted, single-breasted overcoat that had a snap-in lining and a detachable collar. White overalls were used for winter camouflage. The airborne troops also had a tricolor (yellow, brown, and green), puzzle-piece pattern camouflage uniform with a matching soft field cap.

In 1987 the rank insignia of ground and air force personnel were indicated by gold and silver stars and round silver studs of varying number and size. Rank insignia were worn with the field uniform on shoulder-strap sleeves and on shoulder boards made of the same material as the uniform. The shoulder boards and sleeves of warrant officers were trimmed with silver piping, while those of generals and field officers were trimmed with gold piping.

The rank structure of the armed forces was broken down into twenty-one ranks: four general officer ranks, three field grade officer ranks, four company grade officer ranks, three warrant officer ranks, three regular NCO ranks, and four conscript ranks. Traditionally, the rank of army general was reserved for the minister of national defense, who was always an active-duty army officer.

Data as of August 1987

Last Updated: August 1987

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Czechoslovakia was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Czechoslovakia Main Page Country Studies Main Page

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