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Fourragere challenged?


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Attaching a single cord fourragere to the blouse is pretty simple and most Marines get it right the first time. Attached (hopefully) are three period photos of Marines wearing the DOUBLE looped C de G fourragere. None of them properly. One Marine has just been presented with the MOH and is shaking the hand of the awarding official so you'd think at least he'd get it right. Lots of confusion surrounds the double looped fourragere. Popular comment has it that the two loops worn (on the outside of the sleeve) indicate that the wearer earned the award in battle and not by merely serving in a decorated unit. This makes sense as it is only natural that a Marine who won his at Belleau Wood, etc. would want to stand out from the other Marines were issued theirs only by serving later in one of the units who were awarded the honor. I've not seen any evidence that the double loop was an issue item. Quite the contrary. Lots of magazine ads from the late 20s and 30s have them listed. But despite all the mystery surrounding its origins, attaching it to the blouse is actually quite easy. First, the left should strap is unbuttoned. Second, the small loop on the end with the ferrule (the pointy brass tip) is attached to the left shoulder strap button with the fourragere hanging down the backside of the blouse. Third, the fourragere is pulled under the left sleeve towards the left side shoulder strap button with the braided bit passing under the armpit and the double loops passing on the outside of the sleeve. Fourth, the small loop on the end with the quatrefoil (the four leaf clover looking bit) is attached to the shoulder strap button. Fifth, the shoulder strap is secured with the button. Sixth, the quatrefoil is attached to the shoulder strap button ON TOP of the shoulder strap. Not difficult. HOWEVER, and this is the tricky part. Depending upon the lengths of the braided and double loops, the length of the cord to which the ferrule is attached, the position of the shoulder strap button and the size and shape (tall. short, skinny, stout) of the Marine wearing the blouse, the fourragere bits can seriously foul up an otherwise shipshape breast of medals and badges as well as hide the SSI. The more I've researched this the more it appears that many Marines (and Soldiers as well) were forced to either modify the fourragere by shortening or lengthening the loops (ever try to reweave one of these guys?), ignoring the designated attachment points or a combination of both. On a 20's dress blue EM blouse I had (with issue sewn down shoulder straps) the Marine cut the quatrefoil off his fourragere, prised up a corner of the shoulder strap where it meet the shoulder seam (as opposed to the end with the faux button) and stitched the whole thing up against the shoulder seam. Looks sharp, but not how it was meant to be. Cheers, Bill




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