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Sniper BDU


Texas36th

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OK gents, I am going to disagree about the sniper tab. It absolutely IS an authorized tab.

 

At least in some places

 

MW

OK gents, maybe some of you missed the first three sentences.

 

Nowhere did I say it was a Department of the Army authorized tab.

 

I also did not say it was authorized by any company commander. It was a Minnesota National Guard thing. And maybe in other states too. I guess I personally would think thats a wee bit higher level than "some local commander". I think my original post also noted that the guy I knew may have mentioned possible removal of the tab for Federal service?

 

My post isn't to argue Army rules, I personally don't really care what they are to be honest.

 

My post is to inform that the Sniper tab isn't necessarily some fantasy, costume, Halloween warrior thing, and that it truly is something the original soldier owner could and likely would have been absolutely 100% authorized to wear, and this this BDU jacket NOT being a put together and NOT being a fantasy piece.

 

The sniper school run by the Minnesota National Guard was run by Major John Plaster, a former Vietnam SOG soldier who has literally written books about the sniper trade and also written books about SOG in Vietnam. A lot of NG and civilian law enforcment people went through his school when he ran it. Likely he had something to do with the tab. Google his name, find his contact info and ask him.

 

Is the Sniper tab legit to the uniform? Don't know. "Authorized"? By the department of the Army - don't know and doesn't matter. By the National Guard at the state level in places? Apparently yes.

 

That's all my post was for, to explain that.

 

Geez.

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Sure, locally authorized by some commanders and worn by some units maybe, but not a DA authorized or officially manufactured insignia. Do you have an idea where National Guard uniform regulations might be found to show any state authorizations?

 

No I don't. And who cares? Call the Minnesota National Guard and find someone who knows the story behind it all.

 

I am just trying to illustrate that in some places the tab was OK to wear, and thus the uniform in Question shouldn't be immediately dismissed as some poser piece. Could it be? Sure. Could it be perfectly legit as seen? Yep.

 

The OP posted pics of the uniform, people started to weigh in, I added some information.

 

I don't want want to turn this into a pissing contest about "authorized" or not. WHO CARES! I am only trying to show that the tab isn't necessarily a fantasy piece or out of place. Nothing more.

 

Part of the reason for this forum is for people to learn. I was just trying to help educate people about something they may not have known about before.

 

Original poster - you have a great uniform, no doubt there could be a great story behind it all. Enjoy it!

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I also have an Iraq War ACU set from a completely different guy also in 135th Infantry / 34th Division Minnesota National Guard who was there for their "long tour" when their deployment got extended to allow them to be part of "the surge".

 

His ACU set has a tab he wore on it over his 34th ID patch which said SMAMMER.

 

Now that one was not likely authorized by anyone!

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Just to play devils advocate... Governors 20 tabs can't be worn on title 10/fed AD as to my understanding.

 

But I have never seen a sniper tab authorized. Who knows.

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Yeah, I know it's a bit of a misnomer since there are dudes with "combat patches" that didn't qual for a CIB, CMB, or CAB, or were working SECFOR missions with literally zero combat in country. Just clarifying the acronym to make sure we were on the same page.

 

And yeah, I'm thinking maybe confusion between EIB/CIB.

 

Remember, "combat" is not a requirement for the SSI-FWTS. It never was. Practically just being in a qualifying area gets any soldier with any MOS a right arm SSI.

 

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I understand the comments regarding national guard units and local commands allowing certain unauthorized practices to be worn. If the sniper tab was found on a Minnesota national guard uniform I think it world be more reasonable. In this case however the tab is on a uniform with a special forces SSI which is a different story. Of course there are NG SF units but they aren't likely to follow the local guard regs.

As for the "shammer" tab, I sewed a sh*y bag tab on my buddies dcu when he was sleeping but it was a joke. The major difference here is that it is sewn in the middle of a stack if tabs and can't be easily removed (like a Velcro Acu tab) without leaving an obvious gap.

I also don't like the look of the badges and that amount of material showing around the EIB. I don't know how many tabs are authorized, as another member mentioned, but that is another consideration.

I think hearing from the owner and possibly seeing pics in wear will answer a lot of questions. As it stands I think it is definitly to soon to call it "right as rain." Perhaps the owner put this together after his service to show his pride as being a sniper. I know a lot of qualified engineers used to like to do that with Sapper tabs prior to their authorized wear. Some even sewed them on class a's after they got out

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I'm sure you got a good deal on this jacket and if your happy with it then all is fine. My concerns on this jacket would be the sniper tab in the stack. Not an authorized tab to be worn in the "tower of power" stack. The other is the sewing of the other skill badges, they just do not have that, "done at Choi's" look to me. They look more like they were done by someone that had very little experience sewing on skill badges. The other concern is it looks like the highest sewn on rank was SP4 or SGT/E5 stripes by the small area left from the rank being removed. That would be too many skill sets and qualifications for a SP4/SGT and generally anyone who would go to the trouble of having all those skill badges sewn on would also have sewn on their rank and doubtfully would have worn pin on rank. With these amount of skill sets (especially MFF Jumpmaster) you would be looking at generally a SFC for rank. To me it looks like a poser jacket. But I could be completely off the mark.

 

I agree - No such thing as a "Sniper" tab!

 

Looking at the space on the collar where the rank was removed it seems too small to have had anything larger than a Specialist or Sergeant rank sewn there.

 

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I also have an Iraq War ACU set from a completely different guy also in 135th Infantry / 34th Division Minnesota National Guard who was there for their "long tour" when their deployment got extended to allow them to be part of "the surge".

 

His ACU set has a tab he wore on it over his 34th ID patch which said SMAMMER.

 

MW

 

Love to see that one....;)

 

Was the guy one of BRISTOL's BASTARDS's ?

 

Now that one was not likely authorized by anyone!

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OK gents, I am going to disagree about the sniper tab. It absolutely IS an authorized tab.

 

At least in some places. Notice my avatar pic from of the insignia from the 135th Infantry Regiment of the 34th Division. The 135th is Minnesota National Guard.

 

Troops in the 135th HAVE worn a sniper tab on BDUs, at least for a time anyway. I saw it for myself multiple times. I was never in the 135th but did know guys who were in the unit, I dealt with them a number of times when they were on duty / at drill / being paid. And there were in fact members of the 135th who were authorized to where the sniper tab. This was in the mid 1990s and the late 1990s. I got to know one guy who wore the tab on his shoulder and asked him all about it. I recall that he went to the Minnesota National Guard sniper school and graduated / successfully complete the course. He was authorized the tab as a result. And he wore it sewn to his shoulder on his BDUs, they were woodland camo at the time. I want to say he told me that if they would have been called to Federal service he would likely have had to remove it, but that while a drilling member of the National Guard he was authorized to wear it and it was OK. My one friend was a Sergeant and squad leader when I first met him and last I saw him was a Staff Sergeant.

 

Now bear in mind that this was all pre-Iraq and Afghanistan, and I never saw it being worn after those wars started, but guys DID have them on when National Guard troops did airport security duty after 9/11.

 

As with many National Guard units, the 135th Infantry of the Minnesota National Guard did at least one or two deployments to Kosovo as peacekeepers. I want to say that at least once while there they purposefully worked hard to meet the requirements for the Expert Infantry Badge and those that did so earned that badge.

 

With the insignia on the BDUs in this post, and the KFOR hats (I believe they are Kosovo souvenirs), and what I have noted about the Sniper tab, I believe that it is highly likely this BDU top came from a guy who had a lot of National Guard service. The high octane SF and Airborne badges may be from an active duty tour, the EIB and Sniper tab from National Guard service.

 

So a right as rain BDU top, with the Sniper tab an authorized badge from some state's National Guard.

 

MW

No "Sniper" tab is authorized for wear on the United States Army uniform.

 

I served 6 years as an Army Reservist in the early 1980's - with 11th Special Forces Group, and later with a Pathfinder platoon.

 

This is followed with over 22 years on Active Duty, the majority of it (14 years) with 5th Special Forces Group.

 

Let me qualify with stating up front that I wasn't an SF tabber, being MI support with 5th Group.

 

 

Only a few special skills tabs are approved for wear on the U.S. Army uniform - ANY uniform: Special Forces, Ranger, Sapper ... the Airborne tab being part of the unit patch.

 

Back when I came in (1980) there was a time when some unit-specific Sniper patches were authorized and worn on one of the fatigue breast pockets, and that only while assigned to that specific unit.

 

Army cracked down on "local unit" patches, headgear, belts, etc ... in the mid-1980's and went to uniform standards.

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Currently there are two National Guard Special Forces Groups - 19th and 20th.

 

National Guard Special Forces units tend to follow the uniform regulations for the simple fact that they are deployed in support of real world missions quite frequently, and sometimes more often than many Active Duty Army units.

I know this because my cousin happens to be a battalion Command Sergeant Major with 19th Special Forces Group. He's been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Philippines multiple times.

 

 

Sorry, but I feel that this BDU jacket is either a poser's, an airsoft player's, or a made-up 'fantasy' piece.

 

Just my opinion (and you know what they say about those!)

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Remember, "combat" is not a requirement for the SSI-FWTS. It never was. Practically just being in a qualifying area gets any soldier with any MOS a right arm SSI.

 

Totally aware, just pointing out that I'm aware "combat patch" is a bit of a misnomer.

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I also have an Iraq War ACU set from a completely different guy also in 135th Infantry / 34th Division Minnesota National Guard who was there for their "long tour" when their deployment got extended to allow them to be part of "the surge".

 

His ACU set has a tab he wore on it over his 34th ID patch which said SMAMMER.

 

Now that one was not likely authorized by anyone!

Would love to see that uniform.

 

An old squad leader was on a KFOR rotation with 2-135, he once told me that they did not rate a FWTS-SSI even though they were drawing hazard/hostile pay.

This was post 9/11 so maybe the battalions 2003ish KFOR rotation?

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