Deanna Troi in her "S.O.B.s" in 2375.

Surface operations blacks were a variant Starfleet uniform designed for ground combat operations. They were sometimes referred to as "S.O.B.s". They were heavily padded and all black, with the exception of a colored band indicating the wearer's service division. (DS9 episodes: "Nor the Battle to the Strong", "The Siege of AR-558", TNG novel: The Battle of Betazed)

The uniforms had an ablative outer layer that was designed to deflect directed energy from an enemy attack. The colored bands were eliminated sometime between 2375 and early 2377, as they allowed enemies to distinguish between and selectively target squad members such as the squad commanders. (DS9 novel: Warpath)


In 2373, the Starfleet troops on Ajilon Prime fighting against the Klingons wore SOBs during the conflict. (DS9 episode: "Nor the Battle to the Strong")

During the Dominion War, several of the personnel assigned to AR-558, including Vargas, wore surface operations blacks. (DS9 episode: "The Siege of AR-558")

Deanna Troi and Elias Vaughn wore SOBs during the liberation of Betazed. (TNG novel: The Battle of Betazed)

In January 2377, Vaughn and several members of the USS Defiant crew donned surface operations blacks when they beamed down to Harkoum to stop Taran'atar and rescue Prynn Tenmei. (DS9 novel: Warpath)



Starfleet uniforms
By era 2140s-Early 2160sMid 2160s2230s2230s-2260s (Kelvin timeline)2240s-22652265-22702270-22782278-2350sstardate 2/5501stardate 2/72062350s-23662366-23732373-23862386-24092410s Starfleet Command logo
By type Dress uniformsEngineering suitEnvironmental variantsSurface operations blacksEV suits
See also: Federation Starfleet ranksFederation Starfleet insigniaAway team equipmentHazard team equipmentImperial Starfleet uniform

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