Neckerchief (Sweat Cloth), Combat, Tropical: US Army
Rectangle of lightweight olive green cotton fabric, folded triangularly.
The Tropical Combat Neckerchief, or sweat cloth, was developed by the US Army Concept Team in Vietnam (ACTIV) in 1966, influenced by the scrim 'sweat scarf' worn by ANZAC forces in southeast Asia. First tested by the Longe Range Reconnaissance Patrol of the 1st Infantry Division in the same year, the neckerchiefs were found to be ideal for sun protection, wiping sweat from the face and removing dirt from the body as well as from weapons and ammunition. Following ACTIV's recommendations, they were issued to combat troops operating in the region who wore them in a variety of fashions such as around the neck or over the head, with their versatility extending to other practical uses such as facial protection at helicopter landing zones, makeshift tourniquets and bindings for prisoners. Custom variants inevitably appeared, such as those made from camouflage parachute nylon or branch-coloured cloth with unit-specific embroidery.