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"Early M1/M2 green, CARC or not?" Topic

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MadMax1728 Oct 2016 5:37 a.m. PST

Hey all,

So we know that all the new M1s and M2s being fielded to USAREUR units were plain green in the early 1980s. What I'm trying to figure out was it the FS34079 Forest Green of the Winter Verdant MERDC scheme, or the FS34094 of the CARC NATO 383 Green? In my googling, ive found two theories:

1) It was the non-CARC MERDC green, because CARC wasnt around yet, and no MERDC patterns existed for the M1 and M2 yet, so they were left in the base color for MERDC Winter Verdant.

2) It was the CARC NATO 383 Green because the brown and black weren't in production yet, and/or the US was waiting on the BW to finish their trials so NATO could settle on a common pattern and pallette.

Many on the internet call it "Forest Green," but i think they're using it generally like people say "OD Green."

My hunch is that it was CARC, as units were not allowed to paint over that with regular paints. If it was regular MERDC green, i find it hard to believe some enterprising good idea fairy field grade of CSM didnt make the boys pretty the rides up over a weekend.

What say you?


Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian28 Oct 2016 5:51 a.m. PST

They were a Dark (I always heard it was Forest) Green. Not as brown as OD, really dark almost a black-green

MadMax1728 Oct 2016 7:04 a.m. PST

Hi Saber,

Thanks. So would you say CARC, MERDC, or something else?


Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2016 7:37 a.m. PST

I dunno. I thought CARC wasn't around at the time if your Theory 1 holds true? It could be the same case as WWII German tanks in their base dunkelgelb. I'm leaning towards MERDC green. At least the folks behind 'Team Yankee' thought so: link

All-over Forest Green

You will note that the colour Forest Green appears in a number of the MERDC variations above. This was also the colour that all new equipment was to be issued in. It was up to the local unit to then apply the other three colours to their new piece of kit, should they choose to.


Paint it Pink28 Oct 2016 7:56 a.m. PST

My 1984 M1009 CUCV was painted in CARC.


Says 1983, but the paint was around from 1974.

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2016 8:52 a.m. PST


MadMax1728 Oct 2016 9:59 a.m. PST

Good to know about the CARC intro date Paint it Pink, thanks! So that makes theory 2 entirely possible then.

Thanks for the pictures 28mm. Yeah i saw that post over at TY. Nothing against them, Im not entirely convinced by their article, no sources cited, could very well be based on the "it was Forest Green" generalized statement.

Id be interested in Saber's thoughts of the photo posted, is that the color you saw? Maybe thats his black-green after some dust, mud, and sun exposure?

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2016 11:00 a.m. PST

Barring any definitive sources one way or the other on the web, why not send your inquiry to General Dynamics Land Systems or Army public affairs: link and get it straight from the horse's mouth?

Granted, it's over 30 years ago but what do you have to lose in trying?

Paint it Pink29 Oct 2016 10:40 a.m. PST

I would bet that the tanks were painted CARC NATO green.

sgt Dutch29 Oct 2016 1:56 p.m. PST

I worked for GDLS on the V hull styker and the Egyptian M1. You will very luck to get an answer from them. The company is very tight lips on giving out info. Lost a good position there because of defense cuts.

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2016 8:17 p.m. PST

For what it's worth, here's an earlier thread on this topic: TMP link

MadMax1730 Oct 2016 4:51 a.m. PST

Yeah unfortunately that discussion doesn't provide anything more specific than "Forest Green."

It does bring up an interesting point though, the pseudo-summer MERDC M1s stateside. They wouldn't have been able to do this over CARC. So this would point to MERDC green, unless they were putting CARC on vehicles bound for Europe and MERDC for those stateside. Makes absolutely no sense to do this from a production and logistics point of view, but then again it is the Army, which ceased to surprise me long ago.

And the Army PAO won't know anything or do anything (Im Army myself). Bummer on GDLS.

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP30 Oct 2016 2:45 p.m. PST

Here's another modeler site for MERDC Dark "Forest Green" FS34079 and only lists CARC Green FS34094 as part of the NATO standard 3-tone camouflage on the M1: link

It's unsubstantiated obviously, which means it could be a widespread misconception. If you prefer CARC green over the darker MERDC green, then use it.

I've read that even though CARC green's been around since the '70s, it wasn't approved by the army for use until '83 and did not appear on military vehicles until '85.

Garand31 Oct 2016 11:08 a.m. PST

When I get home, I'll try to check some references. My recollection is that it was Forest Green FS 34079, not NATO green. Certainly the picture that 28mm Fanatik posted looks a heckuva lot like Forest Green rather than NATO green. Dunno if Hunnicutt mentions this in his book, but I'll check it out…


werwulf14 Nov 2016 8:11 p.m. PST

According to the Tankograd Special on MASSTER/WERDC and DualTex the CAC colors were ok'ed for used on all US Army vehicles in 1983.

Legion 415 Nov 2016 9:23 a.m. PST

'83 sounds about right to me …

MadMax1720 Nov 2016 1:32 p.m. PST

Ah so maybe the answer is "both." Perhaps the pre-1983 vehicles were 34079, then after CARC was ok'd in 1983, vehicles produced thereafter were in 34094… sounds plausible no?

RudyNelson21 Nov 2016 6:43 p.m. PST

We got ours at Fort Hood in 1979 from the factory in base green. They were sent to the Division paint shop as soon as the paint shop got the overlay for the Europe camo scheme. Those that went to the 2nd AD were given a desert pattern.

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