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History of the Ghillie Suit

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Ghillie SuitThe ghillie suit is an exclusive type of camouflage suit used to hide within the surroundings. The ghillie suit has been in use for well over a century. It was invented in Scotland by shepherds who were hired by rich land owners. The job given to these shepherds was to protect the flocks against predators and poachers. These shepherds were referred to as “gullies” which comes from the Gaelic word “gille”, meaning man or servant. The shepherds used a technique to hide from the poachers and predators by wearing these suits which would conceal them among the bushes. As the predators or poachers came near they would attack them. These suits worked so well that even keen predators would pass by the shepherds without seeing them. The suits were later known as “ghillie suits”

The Ghillie Suit in Modern Warfare

The ghillie suit first appeared in early 20th century during the First World War. A Scottish commander known as Lord Lovat formed a group of scouts known as Lovat. Lovat scouts helped to fight the German snipers. Ghillies were brought in to help the scouts because of their greater tactics and marksmanship. The force put their stealth and tracking skills to trial and used their ghillie suits to hide for days without being seen while improving their intelligence using telescopes for observation. The scouts continued serving in World War I and World War II. A special unit from the Lovat scouts was formed to be sniper unit. The men were incomparable in their ability. They were so successful that the military tried to give every battalion a Lovat sharpshooter. The Lovats were important during tactical strikes and reconnaissance against the enemy.

Ghillie Suits Outside Military Use

The ghillie suit is now used by military all over world and gaining popularity outside of the armed forces. Paintball is one recreational activity that is seeing great use of the ghillie suit. The suits are the fastest developing camouflage suits used by players of paint ball courses.

Another use of the suits is hunting. In the market, there are many different camouflage outfits and patterns to choose from. However, ghillie suits are three dimensional suits unlike the standard camouflage clothing which is two dimensional.

Law enforcement is another area that is applying the use of ghillie suits. The number of state, local, and federal law enforcement snipers wearing the suits is increasing. Even the SWAT is using the suits.

Military Surplus Ghillie Suits

If you’re looking for your own ghillie suit, come visit Uncle Sam’s or give us a call at (877) 849-8777 for all your Discount Camping & Military Surplus needs.


  1. I thought that the ghillie suit started off in Vietnam War. Very interesting that it was created long before then.

    • Yeah sure, the ghillie suit was long before the war in Vietnam. Imagine a spy killing an important person at the time of the roman empire. They had ghillie suits to approach the tent/building the person was living in.

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