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Army Officers and marksmanship badges...


DutchInfid3l
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VolunteerArmoury

 

And as a MSC officer, the CMB is usually valued more than either (much like the CIB is for the Infantry guys). As far as medals...I ,too, was 9/11 prior and was turned down for a fairly high medal because "Officers don't get medals, they get good OERs"

 

Keith

 

 

Things have changed. My BSM recommendation was nixed because at the time "officers get Bronze Stars not Junior NCOs." Many units I saw officers & E-9s, some 8s get BSM with NCOs getting ARCOMs & AAMs. Saw many times were MSMs were an officer's version of an ARCOM & Legion of Merit an officer's award where as NCOs retirement award. I saw tons & tons of badge hunting officers from both combat arms & the other branches especially towards the end of Iraq.

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Everyone I ever talked with who'd earned both jump and air assault wings said that AA was by far the more difficult school to complete.

That said, I never saw anyone wearing 'dope on a rope' wings above the jump wings.

But I bet around 101st folks, that was pretty common. I only ever worked with them once, on a horrible JRTC rotation when i was as sick as I've ever been, so my memory is hazy on who was wearing what wings, the majority of people I recall seeing only had AA wings anyway...

 

Throughout my career, I wore my AASLT wings above my ABN-- to include DA photos (I remember several photographers trying to "correct" me).

 

I was enlisted in the 101st and then commissioned, so I had about a five year spread in earning the wings. The AASLT wing always meant more to me since I earned them as a Private, just out of Basic Training.

 

During my 20+ years of commissioned time, I don't recall seeing anyone else doing the same thing, to include during two additional tours with the 101st. I usually got odd looks, especially whenever I was at FT Bragg. In fact, I remember being "corrected" by a private at one point-- he got a Hooah from me and "read the reg"!

 

 

As far as the Marksmanship badge-- we were told in the Basic Course, that all Infantry LTs should be experts with their weapons, so no need to wear it. At that time, those IOBC students who didn't shoot expert; continued to shoot on weekends and holidays until the standard was met!

 

Scott

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Here is a photograph of a General Officer inspecting US Constabulary Troops. He believed in wearing his firearm qualification bar(s)... and it appears that he qualified a lot!

 

 

Constabulary Marksmanship bar.jpg

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Here is a photograph of a General Officer inspecting US Constabulary Troops. He believed in wearing his firearm qualification bar(s)... and it appears that he qualified a lot!

 

I'm not sure what limitations they had on qual bars back in the 40s. I seem to recall seeing something that limited qual bars to either two or three to an qual badge, though I could be wrong about that.

Technically, I earned three badges; for rifle, grenade and antitank weapon (the latter two for ranges I ran, I jumped through all the hoops to qualify for each but I don't think the ppaerwork ever went in as it didn't mean anything to me to go through much trouble for qual bars I was never going to wear anyway).

I'm sure someone can (or has) look through the regs to see how many bars you can hang under a qual bar these days, but there's no way anyone would be allowed to wear that many today.

One funny thing, one of my 63W's came from a family that ran a jewelry store and they made custom stuff. They'd made him a mechanic's badge in silver (with clutch backs) and made a silver "Floor buffer" tab to hang from it! He'd taken it off the Class A jacket for his promotion board and was showing it to us. I begged him to have them make me one and advised I'd be happy to pay top dollar for it, but they never did. I did get a photo of it, but I have no idea where that picture is today so I can post it. It's an old gag, but I'd never actually seen it really done before then, and done so well you'd think they really did give out tabs for floor buffers! :lol:

The Private Murphy cartoon did a take on this a few years later: http://www.usmilitar...-1224158144.jpg

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"Floor Buffer" bar, I love it!

 

When I was a company commander I always joked with my 1SG that I wanted to get "Lawn Mower" bars for the driver/mechanics badge and start presenting those to soldiers. I'm sure most of them had enough hours to qualify. Being in the deep south, providing soldiers for grass cutting detail was nearly year round. We actually had to track and report riding mower licensing to our BN S3 on a regular basis. Gotta love the Army!

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I do want to point something out with regards to this topic and collecting uniforms. It is obvious that the mast majority of officers do and did not wear their qual badges. However, when they retire, some tend to pin them onto their uniforms anyways. I tend not to think any less of an officer uniform with the badges on them for this reason. Also, I have talked to a few vets who were field commissioned later on and was told they liked to wear them just to show they were once enlisted. The same situation occurred with previously enlisted officers with the navy good conduct. I was once told by a MOH veteran / WW2 USMC ace that he sometimes liked to wear only his MOH ribbon, DFC ribbon, AM ribbon, and lastly his Navy good conduct. He enlisted before pearl harbor and retired as a Lt. Col and said

1) who in the h@ll was going to tell him what to wear on his rack and

2) he was most proud of the MOH and the Good Conduct; that he wasn't a 90 day wonder as he put it.

Anyway, just some observations I have had over the years.

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Dutchinfid31,

 

You started a very interesting thread. Comments by all informative. I hadn't ever thought about it, but the entire time I was on AD (Grunt Platoon Leader in VN and on) and after in the USAR, I can't recall an officer wearing weapon qualification badges. I never thought about it and don't recall any discussion/order about it. I just don't recall officers wearing such badges.

 

Thanks for the discussion.

 

Ken

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I'm not sure what limitations they had on qual bars back in the 40s. I seem to recall seeing something that limited qual bars to either two or three to an qual badge, though I could be wrong about that.

Technically, I earned three badges; for rifle, grenade and antitank weapon (the latter two for ranges I ran, I jumped through all the hoops to qualify for each but I don't think the ppaerwork ever went in as it didn't mean anything to me to go through much trouble for qual bars I was never going to wear anyway).

I'm sure someone can (or has) look through the regs to see how many bars you can hang under a qual bar these days, but there's no way anyone would be allowed to wear that many today.

One funny thing, one of my 63W's came from a family that ran a jewelry store and they made custom stuff. They'd made him a mechanic's badge in silver (with clutch backs) and made a silver "Floor buffer" tab to hang from it! He'd taken it off the Class A jacket for his promotion board and was showing it to us. I begged him to have them make me one and advised I'd be happy to pay top dollar for it, but they never did. I did get a photo of it, but I have no idea where that picture is today so I can post it. It's an old gag, but I'd never actually seen it really done before then, and done so well you'd think they really did give out tabs for floor buffers! :lol:

The Private Murphy cartoon did a take on this a few years later: http://www.usmilitar...-1224158144.jpg

 

LOL, Floor Buffer! I'd like to expand on that... How about an E-Tool bar? Maybe one for p=38?? That one'll date ya! I still have a P-38 I used on the DMZ in Korea, I've probably used it a hundred times as a screwdriver since then, but still open the occasional can.

 

While we're at it, to extrapolate the buffer idea just a bit further... I want a Flooring and Underlayment Bar. Of course, that wouldn't all fit, so it would have to be abbreviated...

FUBAR! :P

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  • 1 month later...

I wore my President's Hundred tab, the distinguished pistol shot badge and distinguished rifleman badge on my uniform, with my CW3 bars.I will always believe officers don't wear shooting badges to help take the shame off those that qualify marskman. More officers qualify marksman than expert, I know, from attending many qualification courses in my career.

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I wore my President's Hundred tab, the distinguished pistol shot badge and distinguished rifleman badge on my uniform, with my CW3 bars.I will always believe officers don't wear shooting badges to help take the shame off those that qualify marskman. More officers qualify marksman than expert, I know, from attending many qualification courses in my career.

 

Yeah -you're right on the reason - however I'll say this as an officer who always seemed to shoot sharpshooter (I think I shot expert once) - I always thought it was more important to "qualify" "expert" with the field radio as an officer- it seemed to always bring more to bear in a situation than my carbine. :D

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I wore my President's Hundred tab, the distinguished pistol shot badge and distinguished rifleman badge on my uniform, with my CW3 bars.I will always believe officers don't wear shooting badges to help take the shame off those that qualify marskman. More officers qualify marksman than expert, I know, from attending many qualification courses in my career.

My hat's off to you regarding earning the President's One Hundred, the Distinguished Pistol and Distinguished Rifle badges. I would guess only a competitive shooter can appreciate just how difficult it is to earn these qualifications. Congratulations! Jack Angolia

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  • 1 month later...

I'm pretty sure that Army officers not wearing marksmanship badges and Air Force officers not wearing their ribbons on anything other than their dress jackets is pretty much a perception of professionalism. There's nothing that requires it, but there is an expectation of certain skills in the officer corps that result in un-written rules and perceptions and I'm sure that some platoon leader wouldn't want it advertised that he's the worst shot in the unit.

 

As for Air Force officers not wearing their ribbons on their shirts, the reg doesn't require it and I do know that in that instance, it is all about professionalism.

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I wore my President's Hundred tab, the distinguished pistol shot badge and distinguished rifleman badge on my uniform, with my CW3 bars.I will always believe officers don't wear shooting badges to help take the shame off those that qualify marskman. More officers qualify marksman than expert, I know, from attending many qualification courses in my career.

I agree, I was the only officer in my Battalion who qualified expert on the last range I shot on while on active duty. I got 39/40 pop-ups and missed one only because of a weapon jam (and ion the 25 meter one, darn it).

As for the President's 100, I bet you get questions all the time on that. I had a solider who was awarded that in pistol shooting. It took forever for us to find the tabs for the guy, even clothing sales on post didn't know what it was or how to order one. I wound up getting one for him from a mail order catalog.

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