1
   

Please help identify a military insignia

 
 
Reply Tue 31 May, 2005 01:10 pm
My brother sent a really cool hat to Mo that has three patches on it. I knew one, looked one up but I'm stumped on what the third one signifies and I'd kind of like to know before calling him to thank him for the hat because he mentions finding the "right" patches in his letter.

It is a small, rectangular, brown patch with an eagle stitched entirely in black. It is kind of like the eagle on the great seal - with the olive branch and arrows but simplier and more stylized.

Any ideas?

I appreciate your help!
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,006 • Replies: 16
No top replies

 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 May, 2005 01:24 pm
I think I figured it out - it has to do with rank, I think.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 May, 2005 01:26 pm
If you can post a picture of it, I'm pretty sure I can tell you right away what it is, along with its history.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 May, 2005 01:28 pm
The computer I'm stuck with right now doesn't hook up to my camera but my other computer may be working later today. If I can get the image on, I'll post it.

Thank you!
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 May, 2005 01:38 pm
http://www.nmia.com/~valorc/american/insig/col.jpg
If the device looks something like this, its prolly a US Full Colonel rank insignia. Being embroidered in black on a brown background, I'd say it was a collar insignia for a camoflage battle dress blouse.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 May, 2005 01:42 pm
Yes! That's it but still just a little simpler but that have to do with the fact that it is stitched and small.

My brother is a Colonel so that makes sense.

Thank you for your help. Now I won't appear to be such a numbskull when I call.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 May, 2005 08:57 pm
So when I talked to my brother tonight he was very impressed that I knew what each insignia represented!

He started to explain and I called him on it - explaining that I had my sources and new what each emblem represented.

It is not very often that I beat my brother to the punch. How fun! He's been my best friend for so many years and we always try to "outsmart" each other.

Thank you timber - you were exactly right!
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 May, 2005 09:28 pm
By the by, Boom, the fact that the insignia were black on an olive drab background means that they were 35 years old or less . . . prior to the summer of 1970, military insignia of that type (private soldiers' strips, and officers' insignia) were gold or silver in color. This is still true for dress uniform, but the black insignia are used on "battle dress."

single stripe [<]--private (called in the army, a private "E2")
stripe w/"rocker" [<)]--private first class
two stripes (no longer used)[<<]--corporal
three stripes (no longer used)[<<<]--sergeant
three stripes w/rocker [<<<)]--staff sergeant
three stripes w/2 rockers [<<<))]--sergeant first class
three stripes w/3 rockers [<<<)))]--master sergeant
Three stripes with three rockers, and a diamond between the stripes and the rockers is a First Sergeant; a star between the stripes and rockers is Sergeant Major; a star wreathed in oak leaves is a Command Sergeant Major--the highest enlisted rank.

A single gold bar--second lieutenant (navy=ensign)
A single silver bar--first lieutenant (navy=lieutenant junior grade)
Two silver bars ("railroad tracks")--captain (navy=lieutenant)
Gold oak leaf--major (navy=lieutenant commander)
Silver oak leaf--lieutenant colonel (navy=commander)
Eagle, the one you have--colonel (navy=captain)
One star--brigadier, the symbol on a map for a brigade (navy=commodore, not used now)
Two stars--major general, symbol on a map for a division (navy=rear admiral)
Three stars--lieutenant general, symbol on a map for a corps (navy=vice admiral)
Four stars--General, symbol on a map for an army (navy=Admiral)
Five stars arranged in a "circle," describing a pentagon in the center--General of the Armies, and there have been very few in history, in the navy that's Admiral of the Navies (?--beats hell out of me, i just don't know)

In the Confederate armies, one collar stripe=second lieutenant
two collar stripes=first lieutenant
three collar stripes=captain
a single start (five points)=major
two stars (five points)=lieutenant colonel
three stars, sometimes three five-point stars, sometimes one each of five points on either side of a six-point star=colonel
the same wreathed in oak leaves=any general officer
Those insignia were based on "old army" insignia before the Mexican War. A single insignia for general officers basically is saying that the exact rank is nobody else's business but another general, all you need to know is that he's a general. In a great many photos of the civil war, Lee is shown wearing the rank insignia of a colonel, rather than a "full" general, which is the rank he held in the old army before the war. He also scrupulously referred to his fellow southerners by their rank, but referred to Federal officers by their rank in the old army before the war, as at Chancellorsville, when he said: "I'm just sending General McLaws (Major General Lafayette McLaws) over to pay a call on Major Sedgwick (Major General John Sedgwick)." The war unhinged Mr. Lee somewhat.

This is a photograph of Lee in what was then a brand-new uniform, and he is wearing the rank insignia of a colonel, the highest rank he attained in the old army . . .

http://home.att.net/~lah-rbh/civilwar/images/lee.jpg

Learn all this, and you can really make a monkey of your brother.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 May, 2005 09:32 pm
To clear up some confusion, in the United States Army before the civil war, the army which existed before the Mexican War was "the old army." After the civil war began, "the old army" meant the United States Army before that war. After the Korean War, the Army changed their uniform, and old timers referred to the army before then as "the brown shoe army." They were still calling it that when i went in in 1970.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jun, 2005 06:25 am
I'm afraid that I will never make a monkey of my brother when it comes to history, especially military history and most especially civil war history -- he's a bit of a scholar on such topics.

That is very interesting about a General's stars representing map points. I'm filing that information in a sturdy part of my brain. By the end of this year we will most likely know whether I will be able to add a star to Mo's hat!

Reading through your list I find myself wondering how those different insignia come to represent the different ranks. Yesterday when I was scouting around looking for the patches I was wondering how the designs came to represent the different divisions. I suppose people within the military recognize these thing signifiers instantly.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jun, 2005 08:20 am
Some do, some don't . . . i was fascinated by the topic from an early age. As a boy, it was my ambition to be a professional military officer. That ambition did not survive exposure to the Army circa 1970.

The primipulus--first spear--of a Roman cohort needed little outward sign of his authority, having browbeaten most of his charges into the discipline he sought. But the Romans were, in some respects, well ahead of their times--specific variations in the otherwise uniform dress and equipment of the decurion, centurion and primipulus identified each for his authority to those who were not personally acquainted with that person, which is a crucial ingredient of uniform discipline.

Throughout most of succeeding European history, however, the concept of uniformity was most noticable by its absence. An army assembled by the feudal levy was of necessity a motley collection of dress and accoutrement. A king or would-be king could not count from one moment of a battle to the next on the loyalty of those pledged to support him (or her, if it were a Margaret of Anjou, attempting to maintain a shakey throne for a Henry VI). When Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, defeated Richard III at Bosworth, Richard's principle ally and commander of the largest single force on the battlefield was the Earl of Norfolk--who did nothing and watched Richard go down to defeat.

Often, soldiers would identify themselves to their fellows by a spring of evergreen in the band of their hat, or a strip of white cloth wrapped around their arm. Who might claim the authority of a sergeant or an officer was generally determined by the force of their character and the actual leadership they provided. Gustavus Adolphus provided a uniform dress and equipment for his Swedes because it was part and parcel of the military colonist system initiated by his grandfather, Gustav Vasa, which had statutory provision for the minimum of dress and equipment to be provided by the king. There is no evidence that this uniformity was extended to the Germans who eventually made up the majority of Swedish armies in Germany. The Parliament during the English civil wars of the mid-17th century decreed that their foot soldiers would wear a scarlet coat, and the horsemen a buff coat. The armies of Louis XIV would, a generation later, wear tabards which identified them as members of this or that organization. It was only in that era that European armies came to wear uniform dress, and only gradually thereafter that emblems of rank came into use.

Of much greater importance were the regimental colors, as the eagles of a Roman infantry formation once had been. A soldier, however "green" (or "blue," as the French say) he might be, would recognize those colors, and move to join them in the confusion of battle. Casualties among members of the color guard were usually appallingly high. Knowing this, at Breeds Hill (think: Bunker Hill) the self-styled Colonel Prescott told his men to fire at the one's in fancy dress. Casualties were high among not only the English color guards, but the drummer boys, other musicians and officers as well. As late as our civil war, there was much less than total uniformity in the dress of soldiers, and the regimental colors remained crucial. During what is now known as "Pickett's Charge," Lewis Armistead uncovered his balding head, and placed his hat atop his sabre, as a guide-on for his brigade, and it served well enough for them to reach the "highwater mark" of the Confederacy. Armistead died of wounds on the field of battle, having made himself a conspicuous target. The father of Douglas MacArthur, Arthur MacArthur, when just 18 years of age, carried the regimental colors of his Wisconsin regiment to the top of Missionary Ridge in September, 1863, and became the most recognizable soldier of his generation, as the "Boy Colonel." A less than grateful Congress did not see fit to award the Congressional Medal of Honor to him, however, until 1891.

Insignia of rank can be a minutely fascinating study for those so inclined. In the end, however, leadership only exists in the individual--it takes a Lewis Armistead or an Arthur MacArthur displaying true leadership to attain the desired goals, no matter how fancy or humble the dress of the leader and those who follow.
0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jun, 2005 08:49 am
Thanks for the information, Setanta. I've missed your posts!
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jun, 2005 08:51 am
You're a sweetiepie, Boss . . . however, i may be gone again for quite a while . . .
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jun, 2005 12:21 pm
Fascinating, Setanta! Thank you.
0 Replies
 
Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jun, 2005 04:57 pm
What were the other two patches?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jun, 2005 06:33 pm
Hi Asherman! The other two patches are Ranger and 3rd Infantry.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jun, 2005 06:53 pm
Third ID (as they call it these days)--that was Audie Murphy's unit in Dubya-Dubya Two. Quite a fascinating character, ol' Audey was . . .
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Facs on the Famous - Discussion by gollum
URGENT!!! (BEER STATISTICS) - Question by Sarah17
WHAT TIME IS IT NOW? - Question by farmerman
Are Print Encyclopedias Obsolete? - Discussion by Phoenix32890
what d'you call a prince? - Discussion by Endymion
Collecting - Numismatics - Discussion by gollum
What a Trip - Discussion by gollum
New York State Economy - Discussion by gollum
Finding Old Articles - Discussion by gollum
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Please help identify a military insignia
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/28/2021 at 09:47:49