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Roby

SGM 173rd Airborne DCU combat jump

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Hi all,

 

I've just found this DCU but it looks weird to me. It has a combat jump but there's no SGM Garcia on the jump manifest for 2003 jump, just a SPC and a SGT. Moreover I cannot find any info about a SGM Garcia in 173rd airborne.

 

Any opinion?

post-164393-0-00732900-1584402753_thumb.jpg

post-164393-0-56834600-1584402794_thumb.jpg


Roby

 

ALWAYS LOOKING FOR INTERESTING DCU

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Hi all,

 

I've just found this DCU but it looks weird to me. It has a combat jump but there's no SGM Garcia on the jump manifest for 2003 jump, just a SPC and a SGT. Moreover I cannot find any info about a SGM Garcia in 173rd airborne.

 

Any opinion?

 

 

 

Step one would be to flip it inside out and see if the stitching on the all the patches match. If they all match with the same stitching, you're probably legit. I get the feeling that Garcia may have a hyphenated name, but just goes by his last of Garcia. There is a Master Sergent Mendoza listed on the jump roster who could have been a SGM by the time 2005 rolled around. But that stretch would mean that his name would have been Mendoza-Garcia or Garcia-Mendoza because the Army may have only used one of his names. Secondly, his name could have been misspelled or omitted from the jump roster. I have a top from the Jump where the guy's name was misspelled on the roster, but I have matching pictures of his uniform top, to his time in northern Iraq. I think it is a legit uniform.

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How about this scenario - he was a 173rd veteran from Vietnam and did their February 1967 jump there? Its not inconceivable he was still in during the desert camo period, assuming he was a young guy in 1967. Just a random thought. The rank SGM rank could make sense for that scenario.


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How can you tell they have a combat jump?


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How can you tell they have a combat jump?

Star on the paratrooper wing, its hard to make out but I see it in the images!


Please Remember the Following Service Members who have passed on!

 

Manley S Webb- 1925-2006 US Navy WW2

James W Boutilier - 1921-1983 US Navy Seabees WW2

Russell W Haight - 1876-1953 Spanish American War, Cuban Pacification, Mexican Border War NYNG

Lt Colonel William H Warren 1921-2014 USAF

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How about this scenario - he was a 173rd veteran from Vietnam and did their February 1967 jump there? Its not inconceivable he was still in during the desert camo period, assuming he was a young guy in 1967. Just a random thought. The rank SGM rank could make sense for that scenario.

 

I thought about this as well but the only hold up would be, at ~30 years in, shouldn't he be a CSM by that point? Would also mean he'd likely be higher up in the food chain at Brigade, Division, Corps or somewhere else with all the experience he'd have had during his career.

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This DCU is configured like the ones used in the 173rd's OEF deployment to Afghanistan in 2005. Consequently, for this to have belonged to a vet that performed the combat jump in Vietnam in 1967, he would have to have at LEAST 38 years of service and be in his late 50s. Just doesn't seem likely. More likely he served in a unit that jumped into Panama, or was in on the 2003 jump with the 173rd.

 

The jacket is kinda odd... it looks to be an older non-ripstop version made from the heavier fabric like used with the DBDUs. It also looks like it still has loose threads from where the lower pockets were removed. If this one is legit, it was likely rarely worn. All of the legit DCUs I've seen from this deployment were the lighter weight ripstop versions, which would have been readily available by 2005.

 

Don't get too hung up on mismatched sewing on the patches/badges, especially in cases where combat badges/patches could have been added. I've seen many examples of 100% legit DCUs with mismatched stitching on the name/branch tapes and badges, and even some different stitching for the FWTS patch and combat-related badges earned while still on deployment.

 

Personally, I'd be skeptical of this one. But if it was cheap and came from a good source (surplus store, garage sale, etc.) it would be worth looking into.


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If it was legit could it be the Sgt Christopher Garcia seen on the manifest?

 

I have some higher ranking Sgt BDU's/DCU's that I've really struggled to find bar a quick mention on together we served.

 

This one doesn't appear to have been laundered much as you can still see the stitch marks on the lower of the jacket, but from the picture I can not see any discolouration. The stitching on the tapes, ranks and qualification badges seems ok from this angle.

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If it was legit could it be the Sgt Christopher Garcia seen on the manifest?

 

I have some higher ranking Sgt BDU's/DCU's that I've really struggled to find bar a quick mention on together we served.

 

This one doesn't appear to have been laundered much as you can still see the stitch marks on the lower of the jacket, but from the picture I can not see any discolouration. The stitching on the tapes, ranks and qualification badges seems ok from this angle.

 

SGT as in "buck sergeant" or E-5? Considering that the combat jump was in 2003 and the DCU had been replaced by the ACU by ~ 2006 or so, that doesn't seem possible. E-5 to E-9 in two years isn't possible. Even E-7 to E-9 would be a stretch - he'd have to be a real stud to make E-8 and 9 that fast.


Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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One oddity is a SGM in an Airborne unit not being a Master Parachutist or at least senior parachutist....not saying this is a total red flag, but it's very odd. Airborne Infantry are usually a very tight community - very, very odd to see a guy this senior without more jumps, especially this early in the GWOT.


Afghanistan Vet OEF 10-11 - Engineer Corps US Army.

Getting a medal means two things:

1. Someone saw you do it.

2. You didn't tick off the approval chain.
Seeking 984th Engineer Co (Land Clearance), 36th Engineer Regt/Bde, and Sanitary Corps items from all eras.

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One oddity is a SGM in an Airborne unit not being a Master Parachutist or at least senior parachutist....not saying this is a total red flag, but it's very odd. Airborne Infantry are usually a very tight community - very, very odd to see a guy this senior without more jumps, especially this early in the GWOT.

I agree. 173rd is very hard to get into to (or it was when I was in). No way a SGM isn’t master parachutist and ranger qualified. I mean it could happen, but highly unlikely.


Bob Davis
Secretary, Arizona Chapter, The Orders and Medals Research Society
ASMIC Member #5364, OVMS Member #11939
US Army Infantry 2001-2009, OIF/OEF Veteran

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Here is my top. Baron and I were discussing a few subtleties on the top posted and he asked me to post some of my pics.

 

attachicon.gif90524216_2521098911490055_7971960270656372736_n.jpg

 

attachicon.gif90138004_549819962304569_5697584609919762432_n.jpg

 

 

Thanks RedLeg! If you notice....the sleeve pockets are sewn flat...and they're like that on every 173rd mod I've seen. I've read these were all done at the same Italian sewing shop off post, so they all should look similar. That being said, the pockets on yours do not look like they are done in the same manner.

 

All factors considered, I would not feel comfortable buying this as a real 173rd 2005 Mod. -_-:blush:


Afghanistan Vet OEF 10-11 - Engineer Corps US Army.

Getting a medal means two things:

1. Someone saw you do it.

2. You didn't tick off the approval chain.
Seeking 984th Engineer Co (Land Clearance), 36th Engineer Regt/Bde, and Sanitary Corps items from all eras.

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SGT as in "buck sergeant" or E-5? Considering that the combat jump was in 2003 and the DCU had been replaced by the ACU by ~ 2006 or so, that doesn't seem possible. E-5 to E-9 in two years isn't possible. Even E-7 to E-9 would be a stretch - he'd have to be a real stud to make E-8 and 9 that fast.

 

Thanks for the explanation. I'll claim limey status and not knowing the progression times between different ranks, you guys have way more NCO ranks than we do.

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I'm really enjoying this thread. Great discussion. I'm back and forth on this top. One thing I'd like to throw out. Is it possible that there was a shortage of combat wings for senior and master parachutist at the time particularly in desert? This MIGHT explain the jump wings. I guess what I'm asking are there other tops out there with combat senior / master parachutist wings from the 173d. Just a comment for discussion.


Semper Fi

Jeff

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I'm really enjoying this thread. Great discussion. I'm back and forth on this top. One thing I'd like to throw out. Is it possible that there was a shortage of combat wings for senior and master parachutist at the time particularly in desert? This MIGHT explain the jump wings. I guess what I'm asking are there other tops out there with combat senior / master parachutist wings from the 173d. Just a comment for discussion.

 

It is funny you mention that as a possibility. I've got a DCU from a 173rd guy who made the jump, and went to 3rd ID for their 05 deployment as a part of 3rd Brigade. He took one of his tops he used during Northern Delay, and slapped on 3rd ID on it, and left it how it was along with his mustard stain. He also had a fully desert badged DCU from 3rd ID, but his wings lacked the stain. He absolutely made the jump, even though his name is misspelled on the roster, so he probably had the situation described where he couldn't get one.

 

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Thanks to all for your precious answers.

The seller is saying that he exchanged the shirt in Caserma Ederle in Vicenza with some Italian stuff (he was providing some services for the base so he had many contacts with the soldiers). I asked him about the condition and he answered that is almost new.

However there are too many red flags on this (no SGM Garcia identified, basic wings for a SGM, odd pocket modification, pretty new condition), I think I'll pass on this.

I attach some pics of another 173rd DCU from my collection with the same pocket modification of RedLegGI's DCU

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Roby

 

ALWAYS LOOKING FOR INTERESTING DCU

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2

post-164393-0-39149300-1584564404_thumb.jpg


Roby

 

ALWAYS LOOKING FOR INTERESTING DCU

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3

post-164393-0-41602100-1584564450_thumb.jpg


Roby

 

ALWAYS LOOKING FOR INTERESTING DCU

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Thanks RedLeg! If you notice....the sleeve pockets are sewn flat...and they're like that on every 173rd mod I've seen. I've read these were all done at the same Italian sewing shop off post, so they all should look similar. That being said, the pockets on yours do not look like they are done in the same manner.

 

All factors considered, I would not feel comfortable buying this as a real 173rd 2005 Mod. -_-:blush:

Baron,

 

Just wanted to point out that earliest DCUs have baggy lower pockets while later DCUs have flat pockets.

 

So in this case, I dont believe shops really intended to make all sleeve pockets flat. They just move pockets. Note that DCU appears to be early heavy cotton type. Need to see date tag on that DCU to be certain.


ALWAYS ON A LOOK-OUT FOR OEF/OIF ITEMS.

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Yeah, we have 9 enlisted grades and the top 5 are NCO's, or the top 6 if you include Corporal, but very few soldiers hold the rank of Corporal these days. Most soldiers in the grade of E-4 are "Specialists" which is the current name of the E-4 specialist rank, which was originally called "Specialist 4" or just SP/4. Corporals and Specialists are both E-4s and receive the same pay, but a Corporal is considered to be a Noncommissioned Officer, while a Specialist is not.

 

Making the lowest NCO grade of E-5 (Sergeant) in 2 years is theoretically possible and making it in 3 years is very common. However, E-9 takes a minimum of 12 - 15 years of service even for a super-soldier, and 18 - 20 is more common.

 

One other difference between the US and UK military is that for the most part there are no "career privates" or even corporals in the US Army.

 

My understanding (corrections welcomed) is that if a soldier in the UK army wants to be a Private or Lance Corporal for 20 years, he can (with time-in-grade adjustments to his pay.)

 

In the US Army, they have "retention control points" based on rank, so, for example, an E-5 usually cannot serve past 15 years. If he hasn't made E-6, he will not be allowed to reenlist. E-4's I think can serve for a max of 12 years total service. Generally speaking, a soldier has to serve at least 20 years and reach the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6) before he can retire with a pension.

 

Of course, medical retirements are different and the years-of-service don't apply but that's a special circumstance.


Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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