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History of the Military Sniper Ghillie Suits

Updated on September 6, 2012
Using ghillie suits make snipers and soldiers virtually invisible
Using ghillie suits make snipers and soldiers virtually invisible | Source

The ghillie suits are iconic tools used by a special group of individuals that exhibit marksmanship – the snipers. More than just a distinction of wardrobe, these camouflage ghillie suits are a functional part of the snipers’ arsenal. In fact, snipers are taught how to make their suits tailored-made for their specific mission. This practical and likewise life-saving garment can determine the success or failure of a mission.

Where it all begun

Any military professional or any paintball and war games enthusiasts will know that cover and concealment plays a huge role in the success of an operation. By being stealthy, one can reach the objective with ease. For a sniper, the ghillie suit becomes an indispensable part of his arsenal. But it is surprising to know the roots of this specialized wardrobe.

Sniper ghillie suits can be traced back to Scottish gamekeepers. Yes, ghillie suits can be traced back to hunting. In fact, the term ghillie refers to the special game wardens tasked to protect the noble’s land from poachers. These game wardens put on special garments that concealed their positions from both game and poachers. Their job entailed being stealthy and the best and practical way to do this was using camouflage

The snipers ghillie suits were first adapted by the British military. After it has proven its usefulness in intelligence gathering and warfare, others followed. Today, all sniper schools teach the art of making ghillie suits. In fact, even non-military personnel who want to take advantage of it can learn how to make one.

An airsoft sniper wearing a ghillie suit.
An airsoft sniper wearing a ghillie suit. | Source

Beyond military gear

The military uses ghillie suits for obvious reasons. But wearing ghillie suits is not limited to them alone. Ghillie suits are used in hunting, war games, paintball and airsoft games and other activities that require stealth.

Today, the Internet offers numerous resources for anyone who wants to make one. There are many ghillie suits for sale online which comes ready-to-wear. You may opt for ghillie suit kits where you can customize your own. Moreover, there are basic materials you can buy online so you can make one anytime you like. There are many resources on how to make ghillie suits from whatever materials you have available.

When concealment is important, the ghillie suits make a huge difference. Of course, nothing is as important as the skill of the person, but it helps to have the right tools at your disposal. From its humble beginnings, the ghillie suit has become an iconic symbol of snipers and of stealth.

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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 3 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello there handymanbill, I'm glad you could drop by and that you thought it was a good read. See you around.

    • handymanbill profile image

      Bill 3 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Interesting information. Good read.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi Danette Watt. Nice to see you again. Yes, it did. Thanks to them I can now crawl in airsoft competitions without being detected.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

      Interesting hub about ghillie suits. I didn't know it started back in Scotland with game wardens.