Another Alpha Industries icon, after the MA-1 Flight Jacket, would be the M-65 Field Jacket. Eponymously named after the year it was introduced, 1965, the M65 had its origins in the M-43 field jacket.
The M-43 field jacket was first used during the Second World War. Faced with varying climates and requiring flexibility for a better range of motion, the ETOUSA (European Theater of Operations United States Army) decided offering soldiers garments that provided multiple layers thereby allowing them to adjust their clothing according to temperature and comfort. Several key features of the M-43 jacket were buttons inside to attach a liner during the cold weather, reinforced cargo pockets, and an attachable hood.
Evolving with the times, the M-43 field jacket was modified in 1951 by the United States Army. The M-51 field jacket replaced buttons with brass zippers and metal snap buttons, allowing soldiers greater accessibility and agility on and off the battle field. The M-51 was so successful during the Korean War that the Army produced matching trousers with six cargo pockets and drawstrings.
By 1965, with America at war with Vietnam, the Army decided to once again modify the utilitarian jacket—calling it the M-65 field jacket. The M65 included a hood that could be tucked away into the collar as opposed to attaching a separate hood with buttons. Like prior field jackets, the M-65 had inner buttons to attach an insulation liner during cool weather which was necessary for American soldiers stationed and battling in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam during monsoon season.
Originally the M-43 and M-51 were only offered in olive green shade 107. With the introduction of the M-65, the United States Army began producing the field jacket in 5 different colors—Khaki, navy, black, woodland camouflage, and olive.
Although there are many replicas of the original M-65 field jacket available, Alpha Industries is the only authenticate one. Made with high quality rip-stop NYCO fabric, Alpha’s M-65 is wind and water resistant. Based on the original Alpha Industries field jacket, it includes inner buttons for the liner, contains the tucked in hood at the collar, a drawstring at the waist, and brass zippers. Today, the M-65 has not only remained a true army jacket but even fashion-conscious admirers have included in their wardrobe. If you can’t take our word for it, check out what GQ had to say about the Alpha Industries M-65 Field Jacket.