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Name Tape Question?


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Gentlemen,

 

Do we know the approximate dates that name and service branch tapes were worn on Vietnam period slant pocket uniform jackets?

 

It seems that white tapes were worn before subdued green tapes. Do we know the timeline for this?

 

It seems that the tapes followed the slanted line of the breast pockets at first then were worn horozontally. Do we have a feeling for when this change took place? Was it a regulation change or simply a change in fashion?

 

Thanks for your thoughts.

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Subdued insignia probably started to be used about '67 -- name tapes first, then the rest by '68. I think they were worn along the top of the pockets until orders called for them to be worn horizontal -- a but later. Perhaps members with dateable examples can help pin down specifics.

 

G


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Subdued insignia probably started to be used about '67 -- name tapes first, then the rest by '68. I think they were worn along the top of the pockets until orders called for them to be worn horizontal -- a but later. Perhaps members with dateable examples can help pin down specifics.

 

G

 

I saw name/US Army tapes worn at an angle on jungle fatigues as late as 1987. It was clearly non-regulation, but was done neverthless.

 

Bill

Looking for older Virginia Military Institute items: insignia, uniforms, cadet sabers, documents, and groupings belonging to VMI alumni.

Also interested in Virginia Reserve Militia (VRM) uniforms and insignia, or other items of general Virginia interest.

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I would agree that 67-68 was when the first subdued tapes and insignia started to appear. The subdued tapes came first and were worn with non-subdued SSI and rank insignia.

 

I would disagree with your thoughts that name tapes were first sewn diagonally on the slant pocket jungles. It has been my understanding that the correct way for name tapes to be worn was horozontal. Yes, they wore them diagonally also, even in the 80's when the OD jungles came back and regulations specified that they be worn horozontally. The wear out date for OD jungles was 1987.

 

Gentlemen,

 

Do we know the approximate dates that name and service branch tapes were worn on Vietnam period slant pocket uniform jackets?

 

It seems that white tapes were worn before subdued green tapes. Do we know the timeline for this?

 

It seems that the tapes followed the slanted line of the breast pockets at first then were worn horozontally. Do we have a feeling for when this change took place? Was it a regulation change or simply a change in fashion?

 

Thanks for your thoughts.

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I have read that name tapes were officially ordered to be sewn diagonally with the slant of the pocket in 1969. Prior to that time they were horizontal above the pocket. The reason for going with the slant was to improve visability of the tapes and it provided more room for CIBs, wings etc., due to the collars of the jungle jackets being worn open and partially covering the tapes.

 

CB

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I just picked up a camo ERDL top that is dated 1968. You can see the outline were the name tape,Army tape, jump wings and CIB were. They run horizontal to the pockets. It currently has an army tape above the left pocket at the same angle as the pocket and you can also see where the matching name tape was removed from the other side. It does have an 82AB patch on the left shoulder as well, with no evidence of anything else being sewn on that sleeve. Maybe it was a reissue to a no jump qualified soldier but who knows. For $2.99 at the local thrift store I cold not leave it there.

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Did you read this in a private publication or an Army regulation? think.gif

 

I have read that name tapes were officially ordered to be sewn diagonally with the slant of the pocket in 1969. Prior to that time they were horizontal above the pocket. The reason for going with the slant was to improve visability of the tapes and it provided more room for CIBs, wings etc., due to the collars of the jungle jackets being worn open and partially covering the tapes.

 

CB

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Did you read this in a private publication or an Army regulation? think.gif

I cant remember where I read this, but it seems to bear out in photos. Look at pre 69 photos and the tapes are sewn horizontally above the pockets. Look at photos from 1970 on and they are primarly diagonal with the slant of the jungle shirt pockets. Of course, it all became a mute point once slant pockets were done away with.

 

CB

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Gentlemen,

 

Do we know the approximate dates that name and service branch tapes were worn on Vietnam period slant pocket uniform jackets?

 

It seems that white tapes were worn before subdued green tapes. Do we know the timeline for this?

 

It seems that the tapes followed the slanted line of the breast pockets at first then were worn horozontally. Do we have a feeling for when this change took place? Was it a regulation change or simply a change in fashion?

 

Thanks for your thoughts.

White tapes definitely came before subdued and worn were along with the old woven gold and black US Army tapes. They were on the 1st pattern jungle jackets when they became widely available in 1966.

Subdued did not become common until around 68, although the old ones continued to be seen for quite awhile.

From what I know, there were really no hard and fast rules when it comes to Vietnam era uniforms and insignia.

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Actually, most of the photos I have seen since the question was asked on this forum have shown horizontal tapes in non-subdued and subdued being worn on the majority of jungles. Maybe, you are correct about the diagonal tapes but knowing the Army the way I do.... I really can't see them authorizing this change. Have you ever seen a uniform that had it's tapes changed from horizontal to diagonal? I couldn't be convinced unless a regulation pops up.

 

I cant remember where I read this, but it seems to bear out in photos. Look at pre 69 photos and the tapes are sewn horizontally above the pockets. Look at photos from 1970 on and they are primarly diagonal with the slant of the jungle shirt pockets. Of course, it all became a mute point once slant pockets were done away with.

 

CB

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Actually, most of the photos I have seen since the question was asked on this forum have shown horizontal tapes in non-subdued and subdued being worn on the majority of jungles. Maybe, you are correct about the diagonal tapes but knowing the Army the way I do.... I really can't see them authorizing this change. Have you ever seen a uniform that had it's tapes changed from horizontal to diagonal? I couldn't be convinced unless a regulation pops up.
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Army Regulation AR 670-5 dated 1968 states in paragraph 1-6 requires the tapes to be worn parallel to the ground. The tapes to be green with black letters. I do not have a copy of AR 670-5 dated 1966 so you need to check it to see what it says. According to Shelby Stanton in his book U.S. Army Uniforms of the Vietnam War the 1966 regulations were not clear on the subject and each unit wore the colored tapes as they interpreted the regulation, some parallel to ground some slanted. The 1968 regulations effective 26 Feb 1968 required the new subdued tapes to be worn parallel to the ground. This was revised by a DA message dated 5 Sep 69 that they be slanted. AR 670-5 incorporated this on 6 Oct 69 when it published changed 5.

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Excellent, thanks for the clarification.

 

Army Regulation AR 670-5 dated 1968 states in paragraph 1-6 requires the tapes to be worn parallel to the ground. The tapes to be green with black letters. I do not have a copy of AR 670-5 dated 1966 so you need to check it to see what it says. According to Shelby Stanton in his book U.S. Army Uniforms of the Vietnam War the 1966 regulations were not clear on the subject and each unit wore the colored tapes as they interpreted the regulation, some parallel to ground some slanted. The 1968 regulations effective 26 Feb 1968 required the new subdued tapes to be worn parallel to the ground. This was revised by a DA message dated 5 Sep 69 that they be slanted. AR 670-5 incorporated this on 6 Oct 69 when it published changed 5.
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Willthekid,

 

Thanks for digging out the 1968 regulations and 1969 revision. These, along with the unclear 1966 regs, seem to account for the confusion and mixed styles seen on uniforms from the period.

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Stanton's book on Vietnam Uniforms and his others are an excellent source of information.

 

As much as we would like to date the uniforms we find by their insignia and the prevailing regulation of the time, I think the correct answer is that you saw them worn both ways during concurrent time periods.

 

Case in point, Stanton has a wonderful photo on page 231 of members of Special Forces Det. A-502. In it you can clearly see name and US Army tapes being worn both "parallel to the ground" as well as others "parallel to the top seam along the pockets." The photo was supposedly taken in 1970, all the more confusing due to the mix of subdued, part subdued and part color, and color insignia.

 

In this unit, as well as many other A Teams, you probably had several folks on their second or third tour. Going out and having their insignia switched around was probably not a high priority for either them or their commander.

 

There are also pictures on page 226 and 150 of officers wearing name and "identifying tape" parallel to the ground after the September 69 regulation was adapted.

 

As for Post Vietnam, I have seen a number of "recycled" uniforms that showed stitch holes showing where the insignia had been moved from one angle to the other. I will have to go back through my photos, but I believe I have seen it both ways.

 

You can find a copy of Stanton's book on Amazon and half.com... a must read for the VN collector. He also has books on the Korean War, WWII, and the Cold War.

 

ISBN-10: 0739402242

 

http://www.amazon.com/U-S-Army-uniforms-Vi...515&sr=11-1

 

http://product.half.ebay.com/U-S-Army-Unif...o#othereditions

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

This thread reminded me of a book I have that shows just about every configuration of insignia on Vietnam uniforms. The book is "First Infantry Division In Vietnam, July 1965 - April 1967: Volume I". It was printed in Japan during the war. No date is given but I assume that it was sometime in 1967. I have two other volumes for 1967 through 1968 and 1969. Anyway, I have always enjoyed flipping through this book to see the variety of uniform types being worn by different guys at the same time as well as all the different methods of wearing insignia. Just a few examples that jump out at me:

 

1. First pattern exposed button jungle jacket with subdued nametape worn parallel to the edge of the pocket.

 

2. Second pattern jungle jacket with subdued theater made Army tape and CIB and name inked on white cotton tape both worn paralle to the ground along with what looks like beercan type sergeant first class pin-on collar rank worn straight up and down on the collar so that it points straight up when you are looking at the person instead of being worn angled with the tip of the collar.

 

3. Second pattern jungle jacket with all full color insignia including 1st Infantry Division SSI, staff sergeant sew on sleeve insignia and white name and black and gold Army tapes being worn what I would say is an angle about halfway between parallel to the top of the slanted pocket and parallel to the ground. I guess that was sort of a compromise between the two options.

 

There is also a section of seven pages showing various soldiers, from generals down to privates, being presented with awards and there is just about every combination of full color and subdued insignia on first and second pattern jungle jackets as well as a variety of OG-107 utility shirts.

 

On the other hand, in Volume II, which covers May, 1967 to December, 1968, it pretty much shows nothing but troops wearing third pattern jungle jackets with subdued insignia (except the 1st Infantry Division SSI of course) with the name and Army tapes consistently sewn parallel to the ground. It looks to me that from about 1965 to the middle of 1967, it was pretty much anything goes as far as type and placement of insignia but that maybe that became standardized by mid-1967. Anyway, if anyone has Volume I of the 1st Division history, it is very interesting for an insignia collector.

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