Aesthetics Wiki

The Paramilitary aesthetic, also known as SWATcore, SWATpunk etc refers to that is not military but has similar roles/capability/functions/subculture/structure found within and compatable with the civilian sector in a nutshell. This aesthetic is common with professions such as LE agencies, Civil Defence, Security guards, Prison forces, Gendarmerie, Border Guards and various Government agencies.

Although predominantly associated with the mentioned agencies, Paramilitary aesthetic is also to an extent popular with urban explorers, doomsday preppers etc.

Wannabe forms of this aesthetic are found in Tacticool and especially Mall Ninja.

This aesthetic is also popular in many forms of media such as action and sci-fi movies, video games, manga etc with dystopian/cyberpunk themes set in (usually futuristic) urban/industrial environments.


  • Urban survival
  • Authoritarianism
  • Gas masks
  • Body armour
  • Non-military armoured vehicles such as Cash in Transit/Prisoner transport/SWAT vehicles etc
  • Tactical clothes, tools and backpacks
  • Full face balaclavas
  • Riot gear and protection
  • Ninja gear such as grappling hooks etc
  • Weaponry suited for security/riots/urban combat rather than open field environments
  • Found in areas of high profile sites such as laboratories, nuclear power stations, toxic waste dumps, industrial explosive factories, seaports, airports, borders etc.
  • Tasks with roles of VIP protection, anti-terrorism etc
  • Security checkpoints such as barricades, watchtowers etc
  • Government sites such as embassies, security compounds, fortified houses, political summits, palaces etc
  • Surveillance gear such as night vision/thermal imager etc


Soldiers of the Azov battalion

Soldiers from Azov battalion in the Mariupol, 2014.

  • Uniform/kit that looks more of a "SWAT/Ninja" operator than a soldier.
    • Fingerless gloves.
    • Knee/Elblow pads.
    • Velcro tabs.
    • Tactical vests and body armour.
    • Belt kit.
    • Rigger belts.
    • Black/Grey/Urban camo tactical clothing.
    • Flat soled tactical boots.



  • Escape from New York (1981) - The USPF and Snake Plissken, who goes on an urban black operation to rescue the US President.
  • The Running Man (1987) - The ICS guards.
  • They Live (1988) - Cable 54 armed guards.
  • Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989) - The SWAT team and of course, Sergeant Eugene Tackleberry.
  • Total Recall (1990) - Mars Colony Security Force.
  • Predator 2 (1990) - Other Worldly Life Forms Program.
  • RoboCop 3 (1993) - Urban Rehabilitators.
  • Escape from LA (1996) - USPF and Snake Plissken.
  • Fast and Furious franchise - Agent Luke Hobbs DSS, various PMC's.
  • Expendables franchise - Barney Ross's mercenaries and rival PMC'c.

TV shows[]

  • WWE - The Bushwhackers.


External links to help get a better understanding of this aesthetic.