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Theater Made Army Chevrons - Iraq or Afghanistan


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I have seen many US Army shoulder patches and other insignia that were theater made in Kuwait, Iraq or Afghanistan. But I have not seen US Army chevrons that were made in Kuwait, Iraq or Afghanistan.

 

My guess would be that locals made and sold the small embroidered chevrons worn on the ACU or Multicam uniforms. This would include Velcro backed for the breast tab and various small sew-on chevrons for caps and other gear.

 

I have complete sets of US made chevrons on both ACU and Multicam backings but none that were clearly made in theater.

 

Anyone have input on this topic? Especially members who have served in these areas over the past 10 years?

Hardstripe

I collect US Army chevrons and US Army Finance Corps items. I also collect CCC insignia.

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in my travels I never really saw rank insignia that was Afghan made, my guess is that they made the items that they could sell to everyone, and not just specific ranks. you would definitely sell more ISAF patches than SGT stripes.

 

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ACTIVELY SEEKING 32ND INFANTRY REGIMENT ITEMS AND KOREAN MADE TOUR PATCHES 1946-1953!!!

 

 

 

 

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When I went to Iraq in 2005, I was with the first brigade to deploy with the ACU's and the supply train for replacements didn't really exist yet. When they wore out we were given DCU's. As for the rank if a piece was lost or you were promoted we would resort to placing a piece of pin on rank over the velcro. Also at that time the patches were still black thread on a green background. We would take sew on BDU rank and name tapes and have the Iraqi sew shops put velcro on the back. By the time my deployment was coming to an end the larger bases, IE Ramadi, TQ, had sew shops turning out whatever we needed and the patches had turned to ACU pattern as well. Somewhere I have rank that was made in Iraq. If I can find it in the next day or so I'll put up some pictures.

Always looking for WW1 28th Division; anything, papers, field gear, uniforms, etc.

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I can say that based on my experience in Iraq from 2004-2005 and 2009, that embroidered rank was available at the sew shops, but was just as cheap if there were a PX nearby, so not many opted for the locally made stuff. I have a few separate examples of in country made rank, it was often more detailed than the PX aafes stuff. I lived mostly in small recon bases around the country, and had the ability to visit several different sew shops as a result. I amassed a collection of over 400 in country made patches between the two tours, all of different U.S. and Iraqi divisions, units, and specialty patches.

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I've seen local-made rank...but unless you look at it close, you can't tell. Also, it is sometimes impossible to tell if it is Middle Eastern made vs. Korean made when it is on ACU patches.

Afghanistan Vet OEF 10-11 - Engineer Corps US Army.

Getting a medal means two things:

1. Someone saw you do it.

2. You didn't tick off the approval chain.
Seeking 984th Engineer Co (Land Clearance), 36th Engineer Regt/Bde, and Sanitary Corps items from all eras.

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Great input! I guessed correctly that the local shops made rank insignia but thought troops would use the local made stuff since it would be cheaper. I underestimated the far reach of AAFES.

 

I would like to see examples of your foreign made rank.

 

Thanks to all.

 

Hardstripe

Hardstripe

I collect US Army chevrons and US Army Finance Corps items. I also collect CCC insignia.

ASMIC Member - OVMS Member

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The only foreign made rank I have is Afghan-made French 1LT rank I wore on my vest when attached to the French. You could also order extra US-made patches once a month using ADO - Army Direct Ordering, along with underwear, pants (always ripping out), gloves, etc. They would ship in USPS boxes to you at whatever ----hole you happened to be at. This was usually the only source for insignia for guys off of larger bases with a bazaar full of vendors with embroidery machines.

Afghanistan Vet OEF 10-11 - Engineer Corps US Army.

Getting a medal means two things:

1. Someone saw you do it.

2. You didn't tick off the approval chain.
Seeking 984th Engineer Co (Land Clearance), 36th Engineer Regt/Bde, and Sanitary Corps items from all eras.

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The "far reach" of AAFES really depended on when and where you were. When I was in Iraq (FOB Falcon, southern Baghdad, 2006-2007), the little PX on my FOB did not sell ANY insignia, but the sew shop next door offered all the ranks, E-1 thru E-9 and O-1 thru O-6. The most noticeable difference was the material, with US issue stuff being on rip stop ACU fabric and the local made stuff being on a twill type fabric printed with ACU pattern. As I recall it wasn't actually all that much cheaper than US made stuff.

 

I think the shop on my FOB sold most of their rank insignia to soldiers getting insignia sewn onto hats. You could drop off your new hat and just tell them what rank you wanted on it, then pick it up later that day. Between the ADO system mentioned above and unit supply rooms, the velcro rank for uniforms were generally plentiful for most people.

 

-Vance

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Good to know. OK now for the Big Question. Anyone have enlisted rank made in theater for sale or trade? Anyone have contacts still in theater who I could contact about obtaining enlisted Rank?

 

Thanks again,

 

Hardstripe

Hardstripe

I collect US Army chevrons and US Army Finance Corps items. I also collect CCC insignia.

ASMIC Member - OVMS Member

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search out crymetimes123 on here, chris is a good dude, and is big on the OEF/OIF theater mades, he might be able to give you a hand there.

 

ASMIC 5212

ACTIVELY SEEKING 32ND INFANTRY REGIMENT ITEMS AND KOREAN MADE TOUR PATCHES 1946-1953!!!

 

 

 

 

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The local sew shop on FOB Warhorse could make anything you wanted. They had a large book of just about every patch ever made they could do for you. Their ranks were just as good a quality as their patches. one thing to look for on theater made stuff is the velcro on the back. It looks more plastic than standard issue stuff and can come in a variety of colors. Have a look:

 

At far right in this picture you see the book I mentioned, also in the glass case you can see a variety of ranks from differing branches.

post-5589-0-22102800-1400688358.jpg

 

This pic shows all the variety of items they can do, as well as their sewing areas. Lots of boonies were embroidered with whatever you'd like, just as long as you supplied the stock.

post-5589-0-24764500-1400688363.jpg

 

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I love the 36th Engineer Bde patch that's looks to be as big as a first cav patch! Would have been a great mission patch.

Afghanistan Vet OEF 10-11 - Engineer Corps US Army.

Getting a medal means two things:

1. Someone saw you do it.

2. You didn't tick off the approval chain.
Seeking 984th Engineer Co (Land Clearance), 36th Engineer Regt/Bde, and Sanitary Corps items from all eras.

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This is one of my PC I had rank sewn on when I was coming home the second time in 2010. Rank was made at one of the camps in Kuwait, can't remember which. Yes it is salty, was new then...a year of training and then a third tour did it in, so it was retired and I wore a new one home again. Sidenote: anytime I had rank sewn on a PC in Kuwait, they always wrote my last name inside.

 

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Looking for items from the 38th Infantry Regiment

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ASMIC: 5218

"Live for something rather than die for nothing."

-General George S. Patton Jr.

 

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Yes, I can see that it is very hard to tell the theater made from AAFES stock. I guess you would have to be there and buy them yourself to know. Is there someone in theater who could possibly buy me a set?

 

Thanks for these pics. Looks similar to the insignia shops in Korea.

Hardstripe

I collect US Army chevrons and US Army Finance Corps items. I also collect CCC insignia.

ASMIC Member - OVMS Member

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It gets even worse. remember, theres generally at least one military outfitter off post at every station. you can generally find everything you want there, and cheaper than at AAFES. so unless you have someone who can tell you his rank or patch was made overseas, theres always the possibility that it was made off post, but stateside as well. more than half my crap was made at Bradleys Surplus outside of FT drum, and to many standards some people would thing my one piece 10th MTN patches or my ISAF's and sew on CIB were theater made, but really, they were bought there because it was half price. keep that in mind too.

 

ASMIC 5212

ACTIVELY SEEKING 32ND INFANTRY REGIMENT ITEMS AND KOREAN MADE TOUR PATCHES 1946-1953!!!

 

 

 

 

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Your best shot is just as you asked, have someone overseas send you a set from the sewshop. I will send out a few messages and see if I know anyone deployed right now.

Looking for items from the 38th Infantry Regiment

Feel free to read/leave For Sale section feedback: CLICK HERE

ASMIC: 5218

"Live for something rather than die for nothing."

-General George S. Patton Jr.

 

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Finding someone currently overseas is always the best method, but of course that's getting harder and harder these days. The below thread has a few examples of 'theater made', which more often than not really just means using a hand-guided embroidery head on the machine.

http://oefoif.forumotion.net/t649-how-to-identify-theatre-made-patches

 

Look for curves that are uneven, or sharper or weaker than usual. A great example is the SPC rank in the above thread - note how shallow the curve at the top of the rank is compared to what it should be. Stripes are generally poorly done as well, and after collecting over 100 DCU jackets you can generally tell the hand-guided from the computerized examples. Overly thick, thin, or rumply embroidery is also a sign of theater made examples. Shoot me a PM; when I get the chance in the next few weeks I'll see if I can dig up a velcro example for you.

 

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This is my first pattern ACU rank from April 2005. When we were overseas to get more of these it was common to take a piece of new BDU sew on rank to the local sew shop and have them fold it and add velcro.

post-131982-0-94819300-1388287421.jpg

post-131982-0-41154500-1388287435.jpg

Always looking for WW1 28th Division; anything, papers, field gear, uniforms, etc.

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Was this made overseas? I have a full set (all enlisted ranks except SMA) that came in the Vanguard packages.

Hardstripe

I collect US Army chevrons and US Army Finance Corps items. I also collect CCC insignia.

ASMIC Member - OVMS Member

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Curious. Did they also make Class A Gold on Army Green Chevrons, and now the new ones, Gold on Blue? even if no one would really buy them and tempt the Regs by sewing them on back in Garrison stateside.

 

If you paid them, they would make it. I unfortunately do not a have a picture, but we had 1SG that was a mortarman so the mortar section naturally harassed him a lot. At our last formation in country while waiting for the birds to come take us to Balad, we switched the 1SG rank on his IBA with a hot pink one the sew shop made for us. It was worth every damn pushup as he know exactly who had done it when the company burst out laughing as he went to put on his gear.

Looking for items from the 38th Infantry Regiment

Feel free to read/leave For Sale section feedback: CLICK HERE

ASMIC: 5218

"Live for something rather than die for nothing."

-General George S. Patton Jr.

 

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Curious. Did they also make Class A Gold on Army Green Chevrons, and now the new ones, Gold on Blue? even if no one would really buy them and tempt the Regs by sewing them on back in Garrison stateside.

 

I don't think I ever thought about my class A's while I was deployed. I may be over extending here but I would bet most everyone was the same. Stuff like that doesn't really come in to your mind as your deployed. Now I will admit that before I deployed it did cross my mind thinking that I might need to pack my class A's before that was dispelled with a packing list. Also as above, they would make whatever it is you wanted.

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Agree with redleg. The only local made dress uniform items I've seen were on guys stationed in Korea.

Afghanistan Vet OEF 10-11 - Engineer Corps US Army.

Getting a medal means two things:

1. Someone saw you do it.

2. You didn't tick off the approval chain.
Seeking 984th Engineer Co (Land Clearance), 36th Engineer Regt/Bde, and Sanitary Corps items from all eras.

donation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

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