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Sep 21 11 11:07 AM

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Right i know i'm the Patchorak but there are some key bits of info which should be of interest and hopefully fairly helpful to you guys when you're sorting out your uniforms, this is purely for the layout, I'm not advising on whether or not you're allowed to wear it i just thought i'd pop a bit of something new to read on the website.

Insignia Layout:

Current Unit 
(ie Cav) - Left Shoulder

Combat Unit patch 
(ie previous unit which you have been in a hostile posting with) - Right shoulder
This does not as many people believe have to be a previous tour of Vietnam, any previous combat or hostile tour would be correct - Hence Basil Plumley wore an 82nd AB patch in Ia Drang long before the 82nd did their year in country.

Name Tape
Above your right pocket

Branch Tape
Above your left pocket

Combat Infantryman Badge
Above All other qualification badge on your left breast

Air Assault
Above the your left pocket

Airborne Jump Wings
Above your left pocket

Branch and name tape Orientation

In the beginning of the war when troops wore the Fatigue uniform this was really easy - both tapes were directly above the pocket

With the introduction of the tropical uniforms and their slanted pockets the Army stated that the Name and Branch tapes should remain parallel to the floor - the outer edge of the tape was placed sat directly on top of the pocket edge and a straight line was taken from that point leaving you with a wedge shaped piece of shirt showing between the top of the pocket and the bottom of the tape. Qualifications at this point were then attached in the same way as they were on the fatigues.

In September 1969 the army issued a new directive that all name and branch tapes should run parallel to the top of the pocket, however the qualifications had to remain parallel to the ground (clearly a pointless directive)

Colour Insignia
When the Army arrived in Vietnam they wore colour insignia as they always had, however they soon realised that this wasn't a good idea roughly 23% of wounds were in the shoulder and upper arm area of the troops bodies. So in mid 1967 the army issued a directive changing the colour of the Sleeve Rank Chevrons from Gold to Black, in December 1967 Small Pin on rank chevrons were authorised for wear in combat, the idea for this was that even if they're black a bunch of large chevrons doesn't exactly look natural in the jungle. However due to the trickle down effect most vets i've spoken to recall getting the pin ons in the first quarter of 68', some Sergeants still wore the black chevrons however as it meant troops could easily see who they were. In May 1968 The Army issued a further directive instructing that combat troops should wear only subdued insignia, this included all qualifications, at the same time the Rank of PFC went from one Chevron to a Chevron with a Rocker or Underscore. Obviously there will be cases of guys continuing to wear the colour patches because they wanted to but the official line was that they were to be subdued. Some units were allowed to continue using the colour patches namely, The 1st Infantry division, 82nd AB Division, 101st AB Division and 5th SFG, but in these units it came down to personal preference. Subdued insignia was not restricted to line troops, Nurses and medical staff were also issued the subdued patches even though it was unlikely they would ever be in the field.

Note: Gold coloured Metal pin on insignia was not authorised for Enlisted use until 1975

Twill Patches
These are the earliest subdued patches and are basically the unit insignia stitched in black onto green twill material, the later fully embroidered type that are still used today in various colours weren't issued until late 1969 early 1970.

So there you go I have shared with you the things that are only small details but can correctly date your kit. Just thought some of you may be interested.

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#7 [url]

Sep 21 11 1:58 PM

In reference to the above,and the "Captains" comments on PFC grades which i recall seeing recently .
what the official group directive on displaying PFC ranks ?,should those be on our sleeves or collars,or is this optional for the display on the basic grade?

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#8 [url]

Sep 21 11 2:14 PM

I haven't got a clue what the official standpoint is, my personal view is that it depends what year your kit is set up as? I've only seen pin ons amongst the guys other than the cpl's and sgt's . But like i said this is a reference material not a ruling or approval

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#10 [url]

Sep 22 11 1:41 AM

Good info for the new guys Glen! Don't want to piss on your parade geeze but the Air Assault badge wasn't unofficially authorised for wear for the101st after 1974 and then officially for all other Air Mobile units after 1978...

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#11 [url]

Sep 22 11 7:29 AM

No that's fine Russ, i should have elaborated as there are two recognised Air Assault Badges, the one Russ mentions and the original one which is a winged shield in front of a crossed lightning bolt and rifle. The latter was drawn up in 1963 but authorised for wear from early 1964 , however i'm not 100% sure but i believe this was only really authorised for use by members of the 11th Air Assault (which in Cav history is the unit which became the First Cavalry when they took over the Cav colours from Korea) and units who did the AA training with them, largely the 2nd Inf Div who were regularly borrowed by the 11th whilst they were testing the tactics of Airmobility. So in short only the old salts would be likely to possess this qualification.
Funnily enough i clocked someone in RT's camp at Belters with the newer AA badge which made me chuckle in my sad patch spotting way!

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#12 [url]

Sep 23 11 12:35 AM

Ah I see! I don't think Ive seen any pic's of guys wearing the other badge on their fatigues but I suppose if they were in the 11th air assault(airborne) they would be serious old salts probably career nco's or officers so it wouldn't be that common.

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#13 [url]

Sep 23 11 12:47 AM

With the ranks beimg worn/shown we've been pretty easy on that one. We've basically left it upto you guys want to do i.e wear pin on's or sew them on. Most of the guys choose to wear the pin on's but we're fine with either. As you kno the qualification issue is abit sticky but in the very near future i shall b updating the fng manual & taking out alot of the ifs'buts & maybe's in an attempt to make it clearer/simpler for all.

The UKAirCav motto:- Always making the best of a bad situation since 2004

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#14 [url]

Sep 23 11 1:38 AM

Cheers Joe, that will hopefully put that one to bed once and for all. Yeah I Russ i don't think you'd have many guysin 68 who would display the AA badge, by which point like you say they'd be at least a buck sgt eve if they earned it as a private.

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#16 [url]

Sep 23 11 10:09 AM

What i will say about qualification badges on your everyday jungle jacket that you wear on the display or patrol with. Jus keep it to name tape, branch tape, cav patch & previous tour/combat patch & rank for the time being. As you all kno the CIB is earned by staying overnight at 6 shows also the combat medic patch is earned if you are a 1st aider. But i will say that although i am a 1st aider i don't wear the medics patch as that would not be in keeping with my role as Lt so the watch word there is think b4 you sew is it right & would it happen.
Other than that in the evening badge up a 2nd jacjet or ya tans or class A's however you like. For me i'd like to see guys badge up their uniforms in keeping with their rank/qualifications they earn within the group because thats what i would do. But i'm not fussed & i think Phil & Bob agree that again in the evening we're not bothered by what you wear.
Also when i used to own a set of usmc dress blues. The only ribbons i put on there were commendation & service medals i.e medals handed out to everyone. I'm very funny about putting bronze, silver stars or any medal earned for heroism on any of my uniforms as i did not earn them but thats my personal view. Same as i will not by any genuine stamped dog tags. As you don't kno if the person who owned them is dead & to me its abit macabre but again my own personal view.

The UKAirCav motto:- Always making the best of a bad situation since 2004

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#17 [url]

Sep 23 11 11:12 AM

I'm with you on those there Joe.
On that note, I'm mighty tempted to request the use of Spec 4s; as all RTOs would have been specialists (apart from LRRPs sometimes) but I'll leave that up to the powers that be.

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#18 [url]

Sep 23 11 11:13 AM

Thats spot on Joe, I can't find fault with that, in fact I don't think anybody would. Thats why I don't do dress uniform - I didn't earn it so I'm not going to wear it but thats just me. Like i said i wanted to put up a bit of info so guys don't put their names on the wrong pocket etc, I'm just glad this thread was taken as intended and is hopefully helping some guys

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#20 [url]

Sep 26 11 3:38 AM

OK thats fine i fully understand and my Display Jacket is as per Group regulations ,in reference to steves note,for Spec 4 grade,other than RTO,what else can merit its use with in the group?


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