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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.
(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.
Above your right pocket
Above your left pocket
Combat Infantryman Badge
Above All other qualification badge on your left breast
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)
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
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.