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Question about insignia on BDU pickup at flea market


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I picked this woodland pattern camouflage BDU uniform up at the flea market today. What is strange about this uniform is the lack of a name tape and shoulder sleeve insignia. There is no shadowing or stitching so the uniform was worn without a name tape or SSI. The insignia that is sewn on this uniform has been there for awhile as it has that pressed in look. It appears to have been worn repeatedly. Can you get away with wearing such a uniform without a name tape?

 

 

 

 

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Typically there would have been a name tape.

 

But something in the back of my mind remembers that sometimes special operations operators wore uniforms without an identifying tape or unit insignia. Looking at the qualification insignia, this may have been such a person.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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Typically there would have been a name tape.

 

But something in the back of my mind remembers that sometimes special operations operators wore uniforms without an identifying tape or unit insignia. Looking at the qualification insignia, this may have been such a person.

Thank you for that explanation.

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When I was on active duty (3rd SFG) we were told to maintain at least a couple of "sterile" uniforms but even then they had the name tape and US Army tape. No other insignia including rank, unit or any badges were to be worn. The idea was to have a uniform that wouldn't attract attention.

 

But that BDU is not sterile. The sewn on rank and BOS for a LTC, the CIB 2nd award and jump wings with combat jump star certainly make that look like a garrison uniform.

 

After all, if the goal is to have a uniform that doesn't stand out or attract attention, having 2 awards of the CIB and a combat jump star is not the way to do it. ;)

 

If there is no indication that a name tape was ever on it, then my guess is that it's something somebody put together. Even SFOD-D (Delta Force) personnel typically wore BDUs with at least the USASOC (Army Special Operations Command) SSI on the left sleeve.

Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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Forgot to add: No SSI can simply mean the soldier was assigned to a joint command that had no SSI of its own.

 

But no name tape doesn't make sense for that uniform. Is it possible that there was a name tape there but that it was removed so gently that it didn't leave stitching holes behind?

 

Also if the 2nd award of the CIB is correct the jacket should be post 9/11. The only way a solder could have 2 awards of the CIB pre- 9/11 would be if that soldier was in the Korean War or WWII as well as one of the later conflicts between 1961 - 2001. For mathematical reasons, that is unlikely the later into the BDU period you go.

Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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Here are photos of the front and back of the material where the name tape should have been sewn upon. It does not look like it ever had a name tape yet it has been worn repeatedly. I appreciate your lengthy explanation as I too felt that if you were going to be wearing a sterile uniform there shouldn't be anything sewn on the uniform.

 

 

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Here is a photo of the back of the US Army tape with CIB. It shows that puckering and shrinkage of the material when worn and laundered repeatedly. Now this BDU uniform came out of a abandoned storage locker in Marina, California. There were other military uniform items which I didn't purchase except for this newer ACU uniform top. It is named but although newer is of a lower rank and no CIB so I still don't know what to make of the BDU minus the name tape. However both uniform tops came out of the same storage locker so the thinking is that they belonged to the same person.

 

 

 

 

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An infantry LTC with a combat jump and double CIB... There can't be too many of those running around, right? I bet someone could narrow it down to just a few names if they knew how to do the research. Gotta be a Ranger or someone from 173rd maybe?

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Ranger Regiment or somewhere in USASOC would be my guess.

 

Some kind of US SOCOM or JSOC assignment could possibly explain the no name tag thing. Maybe they wore plastic name tags that could be removed? I've seen strange things in the SpecOps world so that's a possibility.

Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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