The Frogman Corps (“Frømandskorpset” in Danish) is well known for their achievements in special operations. But they’re also equally well known for their scary-looking uniforms. In particular, the Danish Frogmen helmet and net/veil combination as part of the special forces uniform has been an internet legend for sometime.
It’s safe to say that this uniform is really not something you’d want to come across by surprise in the dark. But why do Danish special forces wear nets? What’s the purpose of the Danish Frogmen helmet and veil look?
And are Danish Frogmen even real…or are they some Dementor-like invention that’s supposed to scare off any potential enemy of Denmark?
We’ve got all the answers for you here – including just what you need to make your very own Danish Frogmen costume!
What helmet do Danish Frogmen use?
Photos of Danish Frogmen wearing helmets indicate that they use a helmet similar in shape to a hockey helmet, with several air holes in them for circulation. However, Danish Frogmen are best known for the net they wear over these helmets.
This helmet is a very similar, commercially available version of the Danish Frogmen helmet. The holes in the front are a good indicator in particular that the Danish Frogmen helmet is along these same lines, based on the image below.
That is, the first image in this article just above makes it look like their eyes are showing through the Frogman netting, giving an undeniably creepy impression. However, those aren’t eyes – they’re simply holes in the helmets, as you can see better below.
The Frogman netting in both the first and second picture is, however, what the Frogman Corps are often best known for. It’s even been said that they kind of look like Dementors – which should strike fear into the heart of any enemy who also happens to be a Harry Potter fan.
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How to make a Danish Frogmen costume
If you’re looking to make a Danish Frogmen costume similar to the Danish special forces uniform, then it’s actually not that difficult at all. You mostly need a Danish Frogmen helmet and netting, given that that’s what they’re best known for. From there, some standard military camouflage will do the trick at finishing off the costume.
For the Frogman netting, the sniper veil below is exactly what you need – and, in fact, is intended for this purpose.
And when it comes to the helmet, the helmet below by Pro-Tec (which is a company that also makes military helmets) is almost identical to the Danish version, with the olive green being great for camouflage.
Why do Danish special forces wear nets?
Danish special forces wear nets for camouflage. The veil hides the face and breaks up the silhouette of the soldier, making it harder for an enemy to recognize that they’re a person compared to some other object. It also avoids reflections being visible from the soldier’s goggles.
The Frogman face veil and helmet combination isn’t what they wear all the time, only when they’re on a water-based mission (or training). For instance, when on parade, they’re more known for wearing burgundy berets. They have also been photographed in more typical military helmets when on land-based patrol.
However, this isn’t a new concept exclusive to the Danish Frogmen. You can see below a sniper during World War 2 who wore a veil for the exact same reason. This is also why other army units today often cover equipment with nets. It’s because, from afar, it’s harder to tell that it’s a military item rather than, say, a mound of earth.
Are Danish Frogmen real?
Danish Frogmen are real. Established in 1957, they are the Danish maritime special forces under Special Operations Command. The training program is renowned for being highly selective, with less than a dozen participants completing the nine-month training out of around 600 applicants each year.
In fact, as of 2015, there had only ever been 311 people who had completed the Frogmen training since 1957 (one of whom was Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark).
More recently, the Danish Frogman Corps has been involved in a number of special operations. This includes in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as in counter-piracy activities alongside other NATO forces. If ordered to do so by the Danish Minister of Defense and the Chief of Defense, they’re able to be deployed anywhere in the world.
The Frogman Corps also helps with operations closer to home, such as working alongside Danish police for specialized diving activities. They have also been known to support other relevant work in Denmark, like when underwater installations need to be inspected.
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How many Danish Frogmen are there?
As of 2015, only 311 people have passed the training to become Danish Frogmen. As less than a dozen are accepted each year out of the pool of around 600 applicants, it is believed that there are still less than 400 people who have passed the training programme.
It was reported in 2013 that there are 150 people at their base at Kongsøre Marine Station. However, this includes all staff involved in maintaining the location, not only the Frogmen themselves, so it’s not known exactly how many Danish Frogmen there are in service at any given time.
Are there female frogmen?
There are no females in the Danish Frogmen. While at least one woman has passed a shorter Frogman Corps training course, which is an achievement in itself, none have completed the full nine-month training programme. In fact, women were not allowed to try for some time.
That is, it was reported in 2020 that one woman completed a Frogmen training, it was later clarified that this wasn’t the full programme. Don’t assume that this means that the course was easy though, as the woman herself had been in the Danish Armed Forces for 21 years before getting to that point, so it certainly took experience in military activities to finish that course.
Denmark was actually the first NATO country to allow women to join naval battle units in 1986. However, at that time, the Defense Minister made it clear that this did not include the Danish Frogmen, which women were still banned from joining. It’s unclear whether this rule has since changed or whether no female has, as yet, been able to finish the grueling nine-month programme.
Final thoughts on the Danish special forces uniform
The Danish special forces uniform is well known for a reason. It’s not what you normally expect from these types of units but based on how highly trained the Frogman Corps is, it seems it’s effective.
And when you learn why the Frogman netting is worn alongside the Danish Frogmen helmet, the purpose of it all starts to make sense – beyond the slightly scary overall look it gives off.