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Is Army Green and Dark green same?

Is Army Green and Dark green same?

Army Green and Dark Green are two similar shades of green that are commonly used in military uniforms and equipment. While they may appear identical at first glance, there are some subtle differences between the two colors. Understanding the distinction between Army Green and Dark Green requires looking at the history and specifications of these color shades.

History of Army Green

Army Green has been used as an official color by various military forces since the late 18th century. The first recorded use of Army Green was in 1768 when Russian army regiments adopted uniforms of this color under Czarina Catherine the Great. Over the next century, Army Green was utilized by the forces of Imperial Russia along with other European armies.

In the United States, Army Green was first officially adopted in 1851 by the Regiment of Mounted Rifles (later renamed the 3rd U.S. Cavalry Regiment). The Mounted Rifles were outfitted with distinctive dark green uniforms and equipment, setting them apart from regular army units. This distinctive color became known as Army Green in America.

When the U.S. Army began moving towards camouflage uniforms in the 20th century, Army Green was retained as the official color for service and dress uniforms. It remains an iconic and easily recognizable color for the U.S. Army to this day.

Specifications for Army Green

Over the years, there have been a few variations in the exact specifications for the Army Green shade used by militaries. Here are some common definitions:

– U.S. Army: Army Green is defined as Color #4B5320 in the sRGB color model. This is a dark olive drab color.

– British Army: Army Green has hexadecimal code #006633 in the sRGB space. A slightly brighter green than U.S. Army Green.

– Russian Army: Army Green is defined as Color #617A3A using sRGB. Very close to the U.S. Army Green shade.

So while there are minor variations, Army Green is fundamentally a dark, olive-tinged shade of green used for military purposes. It sits between a regular green and a brown on the color spectrum.

History of Dark Green

Dark Green as a specific color also has military origins. In the 19th century, some British Army units used a very dark green uniform and equipment color that was close to black. This extremely dark green shade became known as Dark Green.

One early example was the uniform of the British Army’s 95th Rifle Regiment, formed in 1800. Their distinctive uniforms were noted for being an extremely dark green, almost black. This helped camouflage riflemen in the field and woods. Other units adopted similarly dark greens through the 1800s.

In the 20th century, Dark Green was adopted as an official color for use in military dress and service uniforms, equipment finishes, and vehicle paint jobs. For example, the Australian Army defined Dark Green in its official colors in 1949. It continues to be used today by militaries around the world as a durable and practical color.

Specifications for Dark Green

Like Army Green, Dark Green has some variation in precise specifications but consistently refers to an extremely dark, often grayish-green color used by militaries. Some common color codes include:

– Australian Army: Dark Green has hex code #004637 in the sRGB space.

– British Army: Dark Green is defined as Color #00492D using sRGB. Very similar to the Australian Army shade.

– U.S. Army: Though not an official defined color, Dark Green sometimes refers to the very dark Olive Green shade Color #2A360D.

So in summary, Dark Green is generally a darker, grayish-olive green than the standard Army Green. But there remains overlap between definitions of the two colors.

Key Similarities

When examining Army Green and Dark Green closely, there are a few key similarities between the two shades:

– They are both dark, muted green colors that fall in an olive drab range. Neither is a bright or vibrant green.

– They were both originally used in the 19th century by military forces for uniforms and equipment.

– Army Green and Dark Green continue to serve as official military colors today. They are staple shades for armed services around the world.

– The two colors are often used interchangeably or together in military contexts. Uniforms and gear will frequently blend both shades.

So Army Green and Dark Green share a common background and certain visual qualities that tie them together despite subtle differences in their specifications.

Key Differences

While Army Green and Dark Green are similar, there are a few key differences between the standard shades:

– Army Green is inherently lighter and brighter than Dark Green. It falls closer to a regular green than a gray or black.

– Dark Green contains more blue undertones giving it a deeper, cooler look. Army Green has more yellow making it appear warmer.

– When directly compared side-by-side, Dark Green looks noticeably darker and more muted than Army Green.

– They have different hex color codes. Army Green is in the #4B5320 and #006633 range while Dark Green is around #004637 and #00492D.

– Certain militaries define Army Green and Dark Green as separate and distinct official colors. They would not consider them interchangeable.

So Army Green and Dark Green have enough subtle visual and technical differences to be considered distinct shades of green, at least according to formal military color specifications.

Comparison in Table

Color Hex Code Description
Army Green #4B5320 to #006633 Dark olive drab green, leans slightly yellow
Dark Green #004637 to #00492D Deep grayish-green, more blue undertones

This table summarizes the key specifications and characteristics Differentiating Army Green and Dark Green based on their formal color codes and descriptions. While close in appearance, the two greens occupy separate though overlapping portions of the color spectrum.

Usage in Military Uniforms

One way to compare Army Green versus Dark Green is to look at how the colors are actually used in military uniforms. Here are a few examples:

– U.S. Army service uniforms use a mid-tone Army Green shade. This is distinct from the Dark Green of special forces uniforms.

– British Army uniforms integrate both Army Green and Dark Green in a camouflage pattern. Lighter green for background and darker green for splotches.

– Australian Army service dress is Dark Green, while their ceremonial dress uses Army Green accents and piping.

– Russian paratroopers wear a very dark, nearly blackish form of Dark Green on their uniforms and berets.

So generally Army Green refers to the lighter, default green shade on uniforms while Dark Green is reserved for accents, camouflage elements or special forces variation. But there is considerable blending of the two greens.

Usage on Military Vehicles

Army Green and Dark Green also see distinct usage when it comes to military vehicles:

– U.S. Army vehicles are commonly painted in an olive drab Army Green color. This provides camouflage without going to a full dark green.

– British armored vehicles like the Challenger tank use Dark Green disruptive camouflage patterns over desert Army Green base coats.

– Russian tanks are often painted Dark Green with very low reflectivity. Some modern models use advanced digital camo incorporating Army Green.

– Australian Army vehicles employ both Army Green and Dark Green together in camouflage paint schemes.

So Army Green is the more common base color for vehicles, while Dark Green is frequently used for bold camouflage patches and disruptive patterning on top. The two work together to blend vehicles into their surroundings.

Usage for Equipment

Beyond uniforms and vehicles, Army Green and Dark Green also differentiate when used on military equipment:

– U.S. ammo cans and water bottles are painted in a mid-tone Army Green. While medical bags are darker.

– British field equipment often uses Army Green for webbing and packs and Dark Green for cargo cases.

– Russian soldiers’ belts, buckles and basic gear is usually Army Green. While special forces use Dark Green.

– Australian webbing and slings follow the lighter Army Green shade while backpacks are made in Dark Green.

Similar to uniforms, Army Green serves as the base equipment color while Dark Green picks out certain elements or specialized gear across different military forces. But in practice the shades blend together in many uses.

How to Tell the Difference

Given their close relationship and overlapping uses, how can you reliably tell Army Green and Dark Green apart? Here are a few tips:

– Compare them directly side-by-side. Dark Green will look distinctly darker and cooler in tone.

– Check formal color specifications. Army Green has higher values in its RGB or hex code, meaning it’s lighter.

– Refer to labeling or designations on authentic military items. Uniforms and gear using Army Green vs. Dark Green will often differentiate them.

– Identify lighting conditions and shading. Dark Green can appear closer to Army Green in bright direct light. But in shadows or overcast lighting its darker properties emerge.

– Learn the specific use cases for each color among different militaries. This helps build an eye for the subtle distinctions between Army Green and Dark Green in practice.

Getting a handle on these factors takes some experience with the shades of green. But paying attention to lighting and color codes makes telling apart Army Green and Dark Green more straightforward.


In summary, while Army Green and Dark Green are similar muted green colors used in the military, they refer to separate though overlapping shades of the color spectrum. Army Green is inherently lighter and brighter with more yellow tones, while Dark Green is deeper and cooler in grayish-green hue. When directly compared you can see Dark Green is noticeably darker than Army Green. But in many applications, Army Green and Dark Green are blended together or used interchangeably in military uniforms, vehicles, and gear. With care taken to compare color specs and lighting conditions, you can learn to distinguish between these two important military greens.