The M-65 took the place of it's predecessor, the M-51, in 1965. Its most notable enhancements included a built-in hood that could be folded into the collar and velcro on the sleeve cuffs and collar. Like the M-43 and M-51, the jacket had four generous pockets and was meant as a waterproof layering piece. It had internal buttons to allow the addition of a liner and button-holes on the collar for a separate extreme-weather hood.
The M-65 saw extensive use in Vietnam, sans liner and cold weather hood. Despite being too warm for the majority of humid jungle combat, the jacket came in handy especially in the colder, post-Monsoon months.
Alpha Industries was commonly responsible for the creation and production of the M-65 and had to start 2 additional companies, post-Vietnam to manufacture reproductions suited for post-war, civilian consumption. Despite the M-65’s association with a hugely unpopular war and emergent military-industrial complex, the jacket gained a following among the counter-culture.
Its slouchy profile worn by anti-war protesters and hippies partially divested the jacket from its previous military context. And cinema also did its part in making the M-65 a highly appreciated item of clothing. Think Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver (1976), Woody Allen in Annie Hall (1977), and Sylvester Stallone in First Blood (1982), all of whom donned the M-65 on the silver screen, popularising the famed M-65 amongst the common man.
All in all, the M-65 is a well-made field jacket and a hugely popular jacket of choice because of its versatility and function. And this popularity carried its use in an official capacity with the US military through the 1980s, before an overhaul of the old uniforms birthed the standardised Battle Dress Uniforms (BDUs). Whilst the M-65 itself continued in different camouflage prints, the underlying Olive Green pattern remained through 2005, before the entire uniform system was overhauled again for the Army Combat Uniform (ACUs), which is still in issue today.
This M-65 Jacket* size Medium Short (circa 1970s), is made by Alpha Industries and comes complete with an attached cold climate polyester liner vest**, and is an authentic service issued jacket***. Depending on need, the liner can be attached or stripped to best suit climate changes across a variety of seasons, and makes for a great addition to any modern wardrobe.
Don’t just talk about an original classic. Own one.
*as these M-65s are of a vintage nature, variants in the actual tone of Olive Green on the Jacket and the Liner is to be expected. The photographs are representative of an example of the M-65 Jacket you’re purchasing.
**the usual standard issue liner has been custom tailored without the sleeves, and makes for a unique liner vest to wear separate to the jacket when intended.
**note also that as these jackets are service issued garments, and vary marginally in wear. We have taken it upon ourselves to only source good examples of these jackets, that aren’t excessively worn or faded. Expect a quality close to the photos provided.