Submitted to: Military Medicine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2004
Publication Date: 10/5/2005
Citation: Debboun, M., Burge, R., Klun, J.A., Lee, H., Kim, H., Klein, T. 2005. Field-user acceptability of new camouflage face paint formulations in the republic of korea.. Military Medicine. 170 (10):49-53.
Interpretive Summary: Deployed soldiers are trained to use camouflage face paint to minimize chances of being seen by enemy forces. They are also instructed to apply insect repellent, Deet, to exposed skin to protect against mosquitoes and other blood-feeding flies that can transmit human diseases. The problem was that a soldier had to apply repellent to skin and then apply face paint over the repellent. This process was time-consuming process and soldiers did not always have time perform it under battle-field conditions. As a time saving device, a new face paint product containing insect repellent was developed so soldiers could make one skin application and be simultaneously afforded protection against mosquito borne diseases and camouflage against the enemy. However, before the new material could be distributed to troops it had to pass soldier acceptability testing. Experimentation of product acceptability was planned and conducted under combat-field conditions. Results showed that soldiers liked the new product, and this allowed its inclusion in the military supply and distribution system.
Technical Abstract: New formulations of camouflage face paint (CFP), one with 30 percent DEET (treatment) and the other without DEET (control) were evaluated for soldier user acceptability during a military field-training exercise in the Republic of Korea. The formulations were evaluated while soldiers participated in simulated combat exercises for five days during hot, humid summer weather in Korea. Results showed that 91.3 percent of the soldiers found both of the new CFP formulations easier to apply and remove than the previous standard military issue CFP. Soldier acceptability for the new 30 percent DEET CFP formulation was higher (70.5 percent) than the CFP formulation without DEET (52.9 percent) and they recommended it more frequently (70.5 percent) than the CFP formulation without DEET (50.0 percent). The new CFP formulation with DEET was rated more often (79.5 percent) as either good or excellent than the new CFP formulation without DEET (67.4 percent). Soldiers reported that the CFP formulation with DEET successfully performed its function of camouflaging the soldier's face better (92.7 percent) than the formulation without DEET (80.0 percent).