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Vietnam jungle jacket with Army and Marine patches

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The Collecting Gods prompted me to stop at the local thrift stores yesterday evening...one of the inexpensive items I found is this 1970 dated Jungle Jacket with the 3rd Armored Division patch on the left shoulder and the 3rd Marine Division for the combat patch. The question is if he was a cross service transfer, or if he was attached to the 3rd Marines. I've had a couple DCUs from soldiers in OIF who where attached to the First Marine Division that has their SSI for a combat patch, but have never seen one this early.

 

 

 

Mark sends

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Mark Conrad, MSgt, USAF (Ret)

"Poor is the nation that has no Heroes...shameful is the one having them that forgets."

The Miami Valley Military History Museum: http://www.mvmhm.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Miami-Valley-Military-History-Museum/111268115594349
Official Partner of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration: www.vietnamwar50th.com
Official Partner of the United States of America World War I Centennial: www.worldwar1centennial.org

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...and the 3MarDiv SSI.

 

 

 

Mark sends

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Mark Conrad, MSgt, USAF (Ret)

"Poor is the nation that has no Heroes...shameful is the one having them that forgets."

The Miami Valley Military History Museum: http://www.mvmhm.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Miami-Valley-Military-History-Museum/111268115594349
Official Partner of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration: www.vietnamwar50th.com
Official Partner of the United States of America World War I Centennial: www.worldwar1centennial.org

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Another theory is that this person might have been a prior service vet.

 

Judging from the jungle jacket he might have prior combat time in Vietnam and was wearing the 3rd MAR DIV patch to show a previous tour. Mind you I have no idea when the Army forbade prior service USMC veterans from wearing patches on Army fatigues. Though there were some vets that did this. I'm sure somebody more knowledgeable than myself can chime in and give a time frame estimate.

 

There a few photos floating around the forum that show prior USMC vets in active/Guard/Reserve Army units that have patches in their fatigues.

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Most likely a combat patch for prior service with the 3rd Marines....you do see these cross overs in Vietnam (I've seen Army to Airforce) but they aren't common......A very nice find!


 

 

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Yes, 3rd Mar Div as a combat patch, Vietnam most likely.

 

An example,

 

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The 3rd Mar Div for Vietnam service, worn by a S/Sgt at Benning's Pathfinder School, from the July 1979 issue of Soldiers, though the actual photo may be from 1977.

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When I first joined the National Guard in 1983 there was a captain in our unit who had been an enlisted Marine in Vietnam. At a time when the rest of us were wearing BDU's, he almost always wore a an ERDL slant-pocket jungle suit with a 3rd Mar DIv patch on his right sleeve.

 

WRT when this was no longer authorized, I know by the mid-1980's the rule was that the only way a former Marine could wear a combat patch in the Army was if the Marine served during a period when the USMC authorized SSI's.

 

I believe (corrections welcomed) that the last time the USMC authorized SSI's was during WWII. Which means the only way a former Marine should be authorized a right sleeve SSI would be if the Marine was a WWII vet. Obviously by the late 1980's that would have been a mathematical impossibility.

 

Army personnel who serve UNDER Marine command in a wartime theater ARE authorized to wear a MARINE patch on their uniforms.

 

I discovered this in 2004. I was eating lunch at the food court at Camp Doha in Kuwait and a group of soldiers in DCU's walked by wearing 2nd Marine Division patches on their right sleeves. Now, I knew the regulation at the time (or I thought I did) that Marine patches were not authorized. So I casually inquired to the soldiers asking what unit they were in and they were in a Reserve or National Guard unit that had been placed under the command of a Marine division in Iraq.

 

I then went online and looked up the regulations that covered the SSI and to my shock, it stated there clearly that Army personnel who serve under a Marine division in combat are authorized to wear the Marine patch as their SSI (even though they never would have worn the Marine patch on their left sleeve as a "current unit" because the Marines don't use SSI's and haven't since WWII.)

 

As far as CURRENT soldiers who are former Marines wearing Marine patches, here's the funny thing (or I guess the "infuriating" thing if you're a former Marine:) A Marine who served in a combat zone and who later joins the Army is NOT allowed to wear the Marine combat patch.

 

Now keep in mind all this info dates from when I was still in (I retired in 2005.) It's possible, I guess, that the Army rules have relaxed a bit and now they allow former Marines to wear Marine combat patches. But I know at least when I was in, the most ironic thing about Marine Corps patches is that they could ONLY be worn by people who were not (and never had been) Marines.

 

Weird, huh?


Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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