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Vietnam Special Forces -Please Help

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These are the patches on a 1967 dated uniform. Was this guy in Vietnam? What are the two patches on the shoulder? Looks like he was in for a long time. Do the two bars on his right sleeve indicate that he was wounded twice? Everything else was stripped from the uniform. I would appreciate any information you can provide.

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Left sleeve are service stripes, right sleeve are overseas service stripes or "combat stripes"; Right should is FWTSSI for Special Forces (most likely Vietnam) while the left shoulder is I believe the original SOCOM patch? Not sure what it was called prior to SOCOM...

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The patch with the horse's head is the First Special Operations Command. I cannot find the date that the insignia was authorized, but I am thinking that it dates to the early 1980's. I am sure someone else will be able to provide that information here. In that timeframe, I would expect the SSI to have a "Special Forces" tab over the SSI rather than a ranger tab, assuming that the soldier was SF qualified. Prior to the regulations change that authorized the wear of multiple tabs, the wear of the ranger tab rather than the Special Forces tab in SF circles would have been highly frowned upon.

 

Allan


Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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1st Special Operations Command SSI authorized 2 May 1983, unit activation date of 1 Oct 1983.

Special Forces Tab (clothe) authorization date is June 1983.

Hope this helps


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One other thought. Ranger tab over 1st Socom patch with a Special Forces combat patch MAY, and I restate MAY, reflect service with the 46th SF Co. which sometimes is refereed to as 46th SF Co (Abn)(Ranger).


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The patch with the horse's head is the First Special Operations Command. I cannot find the date that the insignia was authorized, but I am thinking that it dates to the early 1980's. I am sure someone else will be able to provide that information here. In that timeframe, I would expect the SSI to have a "Special Forces" tab over the SSI rather than a ranger tab, assuming that the soldier was SF qualified. Prior to the regulations change that authorized the wear of multiple tabs, the wear of the ranger tab rather than the Special Forces tab in SF circles would have been highly frowned upon.

 

Allan

 

It's also possible that the soldier was in a support capacity in an SF unit and was never SF qualified, thus not entitled to wear the SF Tab, but that he was Ranger qualified and entitled to wear the Ranger tab.

 

Not all soldiers who wear the SF patch (SSI) are SF qualified. I don't know what the percentages were during Vietnam but when I was in, the ratio of SF qualified to non SF qualified soldiers in any SF unit was about 55/45, so nearly half of the soldiers in an SF group were not SF qualified.

 

They were concentrated in the Group Support Company and in the three Battalion Support companies but they comprised a large chunk of any SF unit. Clerks, cooks, mechanics, armorers, parachute riggers, medics, communications and intelligence specialties made up the support companies. Also the Group HQ and each battalion HQ had its staff sections (S1, S2, S3, S4 and sometimes S5) that were also composed of mostly non-SF soldiers (except for S3, Operations.)


Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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The overseas bars, the horizontal bars, each denote 6 months service in a combat zone.


Wiley Winter, TNARNG (Ret)

ASMIC 1290
TMCA

 

OIF 06-07

 

In memoriam: 2d CPL Henry H. Winter
Co A, 2d Kentucky Infantry (Mounted), Buckner's Brigade, CSA

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The patch with the horse's head is the First Special Operations Command. I cannot find the date that the insignia was authorized, but I am thinking that it dates to the early 1980's. I am sure someone else will be able to provide that information here. In that timeframe, I would expect the SSI to have a "Special Forces" tab over the SSI rather than a ranger tab, assuming that the soldier was SF qualified. Prior to the regulations change that authorized the wear of multiple tabs, the wear of the ranger tab rather than the Special Forces tab in SF circles would have been highly frowned upon.

 

Allan

 

Not necessarily true

 

I knew a number of NCOs who wore the Ranger Tab, instead of the SF tab-when you could only wear one tab.

 

BTW, I always thought the original 1st SOCOM patch was a great design

 

Just my $.02


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It is possible that he was in Vietnam for one 12 month tour, as indicated by two combat hash marks. He was also Ranger qualified, possibly SF qualified as well. I base this on the date of the uniform and also because the SF tab did not become authorized until the early 90s'. I believe the 1st SOCOM patch was established in 1980 and phased out in the early 1990s'. So this combination would date between 1980 to early 1990s'.

 

 

These are the patches on a 1967 dated uniform. Was this guy in Vietnam? What are the two patches on the shoulder? Looks like he was in for a long time. Do the two bars on his right sleeve indicate that he was wounded twice? Everything else was stripped from the uniform. I would appreciate any information you can provide.

 

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