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)
|By era||Earth Starfleet uniform • mid-22nd century • 2230s • 2240s-2265 • 2265-2270 • 2270-2278 • 2278-2350s • stardate 2/5501 • stardate 2/7206 • 2350s-2366 • 2366-2373 • 2373-2386 • 2386-2409 • 2410s|
|By type||Dress uniforms • Engineering suit • Environmental variants • Surface operations blacks • EV suits|
|See also: Federation Starfleet ranks • Federation Starfleet insignia • Away team equipment • Hazard team equipment|
- Starfleet uniform (late 2360s-early 2370s)#Combat jacket article at Memory Alpha, the wiki for canon Star Trek.