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Post your Post 1958 Corporal Stripes in Use Photos


patches
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Lets see if this will garner some pages of posts.

 

Like the Specialist 7th Class ranks, Corporals post 1958-59 are rare, so if you got any photos of Cpls Army Wide post them.

 

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First up, Pathfinders in Vietnam around 67-68, unknown pathfinder unit, I think the Cav? though could be from one of the Aviation Groups of the 1st Aviation Bde.

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Hard stripe corp pictures will be hard to find, had a few in late '70's engrs, Germany. Is that a carbine? Doesn't look dark enough to be a black rifle.

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Hard stripe corp pictures will be hard to find, had a few in late '70's engrs, Germany. Is that a carbine? Doesn't look dark enough to be a black rifle.

Yeah does look like a carbine, looks like that sling slot there on the butt.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Following are some photos of guys in my father's Infantry NCO Candidate Course class at Fort Benning - October 1967 to February 1968. This was a new program to turn out NCO's for Vietnam like OCS did for officers. When the candidates entered the course, they were automatically promoted to Corporal and upon graduation were promoted to Buck Sergeant while in theory the top 10% of each class made Staff Sergeant (although that did not always happen in practice). In most cases, the soldiers entering the course were straight out of AIT so they were usually Private E-2's or occasionally PFC's. In the event they washed out of the course before graduation, they kept their E-4 rank but were converted from Corporal to Specialist 4.

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Up to 1958 the Army had Corporals. Few soldiers were promoted past PFC and a Corporal was the first level in the NCO chain. About 1956-57 the Specialist grades were created. Soldiers would be promoted from E-1 to E-2 at four months and to PFC E-3 at 6 months (providing there were no negative personnel actions involving the soldier). At that time there were no chevrons for E-1 and E-2 and the PFC wore one chevron. In 1958 the grade structure changed somewhat and soldiers were generally promoted to E-4 (or Specialist 4) at 12 months. Less if the promotion was for merit or for being an honor grad of AIT. Almost ALL MOSs had specialists in their structure. Corporal was reserved for soldiers who had completed NCO courses or were utilized in a leadership role. In 1968 the Army rank was restructured again and the Current PFC chevron, one chevron and one rocker, was created for the grade of E-3 and rank of PFC. The old PFC chevron (one chevron) was given to Private E-2.

 

These changes in part were designed to improve morale by giving deserving soldiers more pay. It was never intended that the Spec-4 would ever serve as an NCO. (In fact the original plan was that all Specialists regardless of grade would be subordinate to a Corporal.)In some cases an E-4 who temporarily filled an NCO position would be considered and acting Corporal or Sergeant and wear the rank of the NCO. Acting Corporals and Sergeants were to revert back to Specialist 4 when no longer filling an NCO position or when transferring to another unit.

 

So, to answer your question a soldier wearing corporal chevrons was a rare sight.

 

Hardstripe

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One thing to add: Notice almost all these pictures showed soldiers assigned to the Infantry School. Definitely in Junior NCO leadership roles.

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Is it just me, or do those caps in the first photo look like navy caps instead of the olive drab army one?

They are Black, pathfinders affected the wear of Black caps back then, don't know when they started to wear Black caps pathinders, but since mid-ish 50sthe Black cap like this was also worn by Airborne School instructors, both a Ft Benning Georgia and Divisional Schools.

 

 

Here are Pathfinders of the 268th Aviation Battalion at Ft Hood Texas in 67.

 

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Manchu Warrior

Up to 1958 the Army had Corporals. Few soldiers were promoted past PFC and a Corporal was the first level in the NCO chain. About 1956-57 the Specialist grades were created. Soldiers would be promoted from E-1 to E-2 at four months and to PFC E-3 at 6 months (providing there were no negative personnel actions involving the soldier). At that time there were no chevrons for E-1 and E-2 and the PFC wore one chevron. In 1958 the grade structure changed somewhat and soldiers were generally promoted to E-4 (or Specialist 4) at 12 months. Less if the promotion was for merit or for being an honor grad of AIT. Almost ALL MOSs had specialists in their structure. Corporal was reserved for soldiers who had completed NCO courses or were utilized in a leadership role. In 1968 the Army rank was restructured again and the Current PFC chevron, one chevron and one rocker, was created for the grade of E-3 and rank of PFC. The old PFC chevron (one chevron) was given to Private E-2.

 

These changes in part were designed to improve morale by giving deserving soldiers more pay. It was never intended that the Spec-4 would ever serve as an NCO. (In fact the original plan was that all Specialists regardless of grade would be subordinate to a Corporal.)In some cases an E-4 who temporarily filled an NCO position would be considered and acting Corporal or Sergeant and wear the rank of the NCO. Acting Corporals and Sergeants were to revert back to Specialist 4 when no longer filling an NCO position or when transferring to another unit.

 

So, to answer your question a soldier wearing corporal chevrons was a rare sight.

 

Hardstripe

 

I appreciate the information. Thanks!!

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You know Corporals did make a come back in Infantry units, knew quite a few at Hood, and Wainwright in 80-82. In fact at Hood I recall our First Sergeant in 81 at formation one morning stating all Corporals, if they wanted to keep their two chevrons had to come by the orderly room that day with their orders promoting them to corporal, if they could find them they would revert back to Spec 4.

 

Also in Alaska sometime in like the summer of 1982, I along with a few other E-4s in my company took a verbal quiz, like five of us, it was official, a battalion sanctioned quiz, three or four company NCOs gave it. I blew one question (a Land Nav one) , the others one or two, the one guy who got them all right was in a few days jumped from Spec 4 to hardstripe Cpl.

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Yeah, I'm talking about how it looks like a black or blue hot weather cap in the first photo. http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/106076-hot-weather-cap-big-giant-head-real/

Right, just like the OD soft cap from the 70s rather than the 60s "Beenie" soft cap. Red, now there was another color soft cap worn starting in the 60s, maybe earlier in the 50s, this color was worn by Airborne Riggers of the QM.

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As the first photo in this post shows, many Pathfinders during the Vietnam War held the rank of Corporal. Here are a few photos of them.

 

First up is Corporal Willie King of the 4th Aviation Battalion 4th Infantry Division wearing subdued sew on stripes.

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Next are a couple of photos of pathfinders of the 145th Combat Aviation Battalion.

 

In the first photo, they are wearing full color pin on rank on their black ball caps.

 

In the second photo, he is wearing subdued pin on rank which may be theater made.

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Corporal Richard W. McGee of Company A 501st Aviation Battalion. Although the battalion was part of the 1st Armored Division, Company A served in Vietnam until September 1966.

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