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The Military Order of The Cootie


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#1 Fred Borgmann

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 01:34 PM

The Military Order Of The Cootie. I just scanned part of this for my blog entry about bugs on medals and thought I'd share the whole picture with you guys. The three bars look like the original owner was a navy vet. Why the "Z" in Azores is retrograde is a mystery to me, probably just an error. I guess cooties were a problem on navy ships too. I really like the originality of the cootie idea and the motto on the reverse "Closer than a brother busier than a bee" Another neat touch is that the group was organized along the life stages of the louse; nit, grayback and cootie.

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  • cootie_1.jpg

Edited by Fred Borgmann, 28 May 2008 - 01:36 PM.


#2 Bugme

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 02:05 PM

Hey Fred, I love it! :lol: where can I get a cootie?... ah... wait... I know where to get cooties! Let me rephrase that, where can I get one of these medals?

#3 Fred Borgmann

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 03:42 PM

Hey Fred, I love it! :lol: where can I get a cootie?... ah... wait... I know where to get cooties! Let me rephrase that, where can I get one of these medals?

The medals are not that hard to find but this is the only one with the ribbon and bars that I have run across. Search on google and ebay and of course check medal dealers. Also try eCRATOR which is kind of a fixed price mini ebay that should get better as time goes on. Fred

#4 frederick

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 11:35 AM

Fred,

Glad to see the Cootie badges. Know less about this group than the parent VFW. Found a few Cootie badges over the years. In illustration one, the first badge has only country bars. Assume this may be from an Army veteran. The countries are: GERMANY, BELGIUM, LUXEMBURG, FRANCE and ENGLAND. This implies, but I have never seen, the existence of ITALY and RUSSIA bars. This badge, like yours, is white metal (appears silver or silver plate but contains no markings). It has an open broach and the top two bars have wire connections while the remaining bars have bendable tabs.

The second badge has a single bar HOSTILE WATERS which I assume was worn by a Navy veteran. Your badge is the first I have seen with other implied Navy bars. This badge is bronze with a slot broach implying later issue. The pendent is quite different from the earlier style and, I believe, a second style used post-WWII.

The third badge is one of those "I don't know what" badges. My best guess is it is an altered convention badge and not standard issue.

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  • Cootie_2.jpg


#5 frederick

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 11:42 AM

Illustration two has two older Cootie badges with bars indication the degree level of the holder. A 3RD DEGREE bar, which I have not seen, would indicate a NIT. A 2ND DEGREE bar would indicate a GRAYBACK. The 1ST DEGREE bar indicates a full Cootie. The third badge, shown as found, is a VFW membership badge with 1ST DEGREE Cootie bar. Do not know is such a combination was authorized, but one veteran was proud enough to put the two together.

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  • Cootie_1.jpg


#6 Fred Borgmann

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 04:45 PM

Nice grouping of cooties there Frederick! Notice that all of the ribbons on yours are different than mine. Thanks for sharing them,Fred

#7 Kevin Beyer

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 06:14 PM

Fred,

A while back WAILUNA was inquiring about the use of that type of ribbon on WWI related medals. I sought the opinion of an advanced collector whose knowledge I respect completely. His response regarding this ribbon was

"That ribbon has no business being on those two medals [as shown to him from the original inquiry]. The ribbon was used on a medal related to French War Relief. Donations to the cause got the medal. All the colors of the Allies are on the ribbon--the United States being the very fine red and white and blue on the ribbon's edge."

Perhaps the quoted comments are not necessarily accurate. I have since seen this ribbon used on no less than five different medals. I don't believe that to be a case of many people misusing any old length of ribbon they find to create a medal drape. I think that ribbon was commonly used for medals of the period immediately after WWI. The occurrences of its use were mainly on local Victory medals for WWI.

I would also add that the consistency with the use of the ribbons on Frederick's medals, I would go so far as to suggest that yours may be a replacement ribbon. But, I say this with absolutely no authority whatsoever. Cooties are definitely not my area of expertise.

Kevin

#8 Fred Borgmann

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 02:28 PM

Fred,

A while back WAILUNA was inquiring about the use of that type of ribbon on WWI related medals. I sought the opinion of an advanced collector whose knowledge I respect completely. His response regarding this ribbon was

"That ribbon has no business being on those two medals [as shown to him from the original inquiry]. The ribbon was used on a medal related to French War Relief. Donations to the cause got the medal. All the colors of the Allies are on the ribbon--the United States being the very fine red and white and blue on the ribbon's edge."

Perhaps the quoted comments are not necessarily accurate. I have since seen this ribbon used on no less than five different medals. I don't believe that to be a case of many people misusing any old length of ribbon they find to create a medal drape. I think that ribbon was commonly used for medals of the period immediately after WWI. The occurrences of its use were mainly on local Victory medals for WWI.

I would also add that the consistency with the use of the ribbons on Frederick's medals, I would go so far as to suggest that yours may be a replacement ribbon. But, I say this with absolutely no authority whatsoever. Cooties are definitely not my area of expertise.

Kevin

I would suspect that you are right Kevin. The ribbon on mine was a common private ribbon used on some privately issued fund raising medal that had a coat of arms and the inscription "DO RIGHT" if my memory hasn't failed me. I bought my medal out of the Gary Krug estate about 25 years ago. Who knows?

#9 frederick

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 05:47 PM

Finally found my Cootie Constitution & ByLaws booklet. It was between several music CD (have no idea how it got there. Just doing too many things at one time).

This booklet is dated 1945 and has no mention of bars for the Cootie badge. Assume the bars were no longer a Cootie issue item by this date. Just copied some of the information related to the titles of officers and references to badges.

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#10 frederick

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 05:48 PM

Illustration two.

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  • Cootie_b.jpg


#11 bigredone

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 03:18 AM

The MOC is like the Legion's 40/8. It's seperate but its not. I suspect it had something to do with setting up their monster huge annual conventions.

#12 Chukpike

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 10:33 AM

The MOC is like the Legion's 40/8. It's seperate but its not. I suspect it had something to do with setting up their monster huge annual conventions.


The Military Order of Cooties is still an active organization within the VFW. The Cooties are a some what irreverent group that does not take it's self to seriously except in the primary area of the support they provide. They primarily deal with support of veterans in VA Hospitals, or veterans in rehabs. While the VFW is active in all aspects dealing with veterans the cooties primary concern is more like one on one support for veterans.

Irreverent in that when a Cootie State commander or the Cootie National commander is ushered in to speak at convention he is loudly and soundly booed, the louder the boos the happier he is.

This is probably a little simplistic explanation as I have not joined the Cooties. I cannot currently devote the time needed to be active. I only have so much time I can give in support of the VFW. The cooties spend time supporting the VFW and then more time dedicated to veterans.

#13 USAFnav

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 03:52 PM

Nice find, appropriately gaudy.
Pete

#14 Bob Hudson

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 09:01 PM

Nice find, appropriately gaudy.
Pete


Today I found a similar vest for the Military Order of the Devil Dogs, which could be considered the Marine Corps League's versions of the Cooties: http://www.usmilitar...showtopic=49185

#15 Bob Hudson

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 03:23 PM

This was found in a thrift store today

image.jpg

image.jpg

#16 Kevin Beyer

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 08:27 PM

Did you buy it?  I think I would have snatched that up in a heartbeat.   :)



#17 COOKIEMAN

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 09:00 PM

Speaking of Cooties, I have had the hat depicted in the attached picture for a long time.  It is in pretty good shape, but ahs several pin holes wear several badges / pins were attached at one time.  If anybody is interested in it, PM me.

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  • COOTIE.jpg


#18 Bob Hudson

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 02:24 AM

Did you buy it?  I think I would have snatched that up in a heartbeat.   :)

 

I did!



#19 hirsca

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 03:21 PM

Here are a few more items to look at.  Pic heavy.  Happy New Year to all!  Al.

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#20 hirsca

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 03:22 PM

More

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#21 hirsca

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 03:24 PM

Last ones.

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#22 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 11:40 AM

Haven't seen a Cootie patch on the forum yet.....

 

Grand Scratch Pacific Areas 1972

Japanese made 4"

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  • VFW Military Order of the Cootie Grand Scratch 1972 002.jpg


#23 10esee

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 01:18 PM

I am a Life Member of the Military Order of the Cooties! The Cooties are to the VFW, the same as the Shriner's are to the Mason's! I have a hat and jacket if anyone is interested in doing some horse trading.



#24 10esee

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 08:52 AM

Vin Cain PT 72.jpg



#25 10esee

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 09:00 AM

PT72 front.jpg




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