Stenciling is one of the most useful and relatable forms of art available today. Having been with us for thousands of years, stenciling has been adopted in various industries and fields of endeavor – and stunning results were generated. The military or the armed forces is one of the industries or sectors of the economy that has found stenciling to be incredibly useful and this explains why the military have a myriad of applications for stenciling. This piece will discuss how the world of stencils became intertwined with that of guns and bullets.

Armies have thousands or even millions in some cases of vehicles, tanks, transport equipment, helmets, headgear and other items that have to be marked, numbered and labelled properly. The most efficient way to do this is to make use of stencils and ever since the military adopted this style, it has simply stuck to it. For army vehicle markings alone, millions of stencils have been prepared and used over time. Stencils are very bold, easy to make and easy to also replace. In a sector like the military where the correct marking can be the only difference between life and death, then stenciling is surely more important than many think.

In order to ensure this task is properly done and also putting the immensity of the work into consideration, there are entire army units that are dedicated to creating the stencils alone. Some of the most well-used stencil style fonts in the military are Stencil Style D, Standard Military Stencil A, Standard Military Stencil B, Early World War IIA, Early World War IIB, Stencil Style D, Military Block A, Stencil Style E, World War II and so many others.

Owing to the sensitive nature of the military and its activities, not just anyone can do their stencil work. Stencil work in the military is done strictly by specially-trained crafts professionals who are also part and parcel of the armed forces. Paint mask stars, paint mask hood and bumper numbers, body stencils and oil board stencils are some of the most regularly-used by the military.

Items like the helmets are some of the most easily-recognized stenciled materials in the military. These stencils are not used by the army alone but by all the divisions of the military and armed forces such as the navy, air force and even the special forces. The stencils are also used to a great extent by paramilitary forces like customs, immigration, border security, prisons services and even civil defense forces. A very interesting discovery with military stenciling is that although it is very obvious, it remains one of the most overlooked areas of the armed forces. This is despite the fact that billions of dollars are utilized in the production of stencils all over the world by militaries on a very regular basis. Historical records also show and indicate that the use of stencils by the military experienced a major surge during and after the end of the Second World War in 1945. Today, the practice continues due to its efficiency and simplicity and that is not going to change anytime soon.