What are Military UDT Shorts? Can I wear UDT Shorts?

Hey all, today we are going to take a quick look at UDT shorts and where to find them. If you have seen the 2014 film American Sniper then chances are you may recall actor Bradley Cooper, playing the part of real-life Navy Seal Chris Kyle, donning a pair of iconic swim shorts. What exactly was he wearing in the film? While Hollywood type blogs may be giggling and throwing out “short-short” references, the actors in the movie were actually wearing a classic U.S. Navy uniform that included UDT shorts.

UDT stands for Underwater Demolition Team which is an elite force of the U.S. Navy that specialized in amphibious warfare in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Nicknamed Frogmen, these elite combat swimmers were tasked with underwater missions that included reconnaissance, surveys, removing mines, implementing mines and demolition. To keep their underwater profile low and from obstacles snagging them or heeding their path, these U.S. Navy swimmers were outfitted in UDT shorts.

Can I buy UDT Shorts?

Here we are 60 years later and the U.S. Navy still issues the iconic UDT shorts to Navy Seal candidates. UDT shorts are available on the open market on websites such as MilitaryClothing.com and Amazon and can be purchased by former military or anyone looking for a pair of snug swim or workout shorts. Ironically, it has become a type of fad to wear UDT shorts for swimming or for daily workouts. For men that do not like the baggy style of modern day swimming trunks, they may enjoy the look, feel and practicality of this form fitting Navy classic. Men of all ages can be seen running down the street on a daily jog or at the local YMCA with the 1940s fashion exposing a large portion of their thighs.



How do UDT Shorts Fit?

A ton of feedback has indicated that UDT shorts are snug. In fact, many of those with experience wearing the shorts recommend ordering at least one size larger to offset the tight fit. While former Navy and military personnel refer to the shorts as “nut-huggers” with restriction on their “junk”, there are an equal amount that also look back fondly on the UDT shorts and try to reaquire a pair of the constrictive uniform piece to wear for workouts or sport at the local pool.

What color are UDT shorts?

The original World War II UDT shorts were issued in Khaki Tan. This is also the color that was worn in the movie American Sniper. Although hard to find, you can also get the UDT shorts in Tiger Stripe Camo, Desert Tiger Camo or solid Black. Most of the UDT shorts are made of a Cotton/Poly blend but other fabrics may be available. UDT shorts feature a button fly, single back pocket and an adjustable front pull stap with an anodized brass o-ring. The most popular manufacturer of UDT shorts available online today is Tru-Spec®. Tru-Spec® is an Atlanco company and is well known of high quality military clothing and gear.

I hope you have found this article helpful. If you are cool with a snug, thigh revealing pair of shorts to wear at the beach, pool or for your daily work out or Physical Training session, give them a try. Heck, there are stories across the internet of ladies of all ages that dig the look of a guy in super-short swim wear. Just remember, order a size larger if you are unsure of the measurements!

On to the next!
—wallyd

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