Warriors use the Ghillie suit in modern warfare as an element of concealment, usually by snipers and forward reconnaissance troops. The person using the Ghillie suit typically hand-makes it from available materials, incorporating the natural foliage of the immediate environment. When used properly, the Ghillie suit allows someone to penetrate enemy terrain unseen to set up for a sniper shot or to acquire valuable intelligence. Troops practice intensively to use the Ghillie suit properly.
1. Scout the terrain and observe the natural foliage of the area. Look for the most abundant plant life in the area that you’ll be traversing. Grab tufts of the material. Don’t grab dead brown material and use it as cover among lush green vegetation.
2. Attach the tufts of foliage to your Ghillie suit cape and hood. Most Ghillie suits are lined with burlap or jute strings. Use these to stick foliage to without actually sewing it on. Simply stuffing the material into random areas of the suit is effective. The idea is to break up the body outline and appear as a natural part of the landscape. Do not cover the entire suit with the material, otherwise you’ll look like an obvious moving bush.
3. Put on the Ghillie suit and advance toward your target. Each combatant wears a Ghillie suit that he assembles differently. You can walk slowly until you get to the area where you’ll need to use the suit. Once near the open terrain, get into the prone position and begin crawling very slowly, keeping the lowest profile possible while still being able to see your target. You must appear completely motionless. Successful combatants have crawled only a few inches per hour for effective target stalking, though they generally keep this pace reserved for dangerous combat situations.
4. Maintain awareness of your surroundings. Avoid rubbing against standing vegetation. If you bump into a bush or disturb an area of tall grass, the movement of the standing bush can look unnatural and can give away your position. Pay attention to the wind. If the wind is blowing across your body, move along with the wind while advancing slowly. Remain vigilant when advancing on your target. Do not move too far off course.
5. Grab available foliage while on the move if you need to replace or modify the suit. Often, the foliage will start to come off during motion, or the abundant foliage will change and you’ll need to modify the suit. Find an area with cover to modify the suit if necessary, then keep pressing towards your target.