Q and A on Insignia

The subject of Unit insignia has generated a lot of interest, comments and questions from our group. I know that many of us have seen, or are aware of, guys wearing things that they were not really authorized to wear.

Army Insignia - you will find much information on this Institute of Heraldry Website including enlisted and officer insignia.

Recently we asked the group to supply answers to the following questions. Many of you have shared stories but it has been difficult to really accurately come up with hard facts. Therefore the answers below represent a consensus of the answers received as well as information found in the Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia manual.

If anyone has questions on any of this, please let me know so we can make it as accurate as possible.

Q. Does anyone know how we can actually verify what insignia were really authorized for the 83rd during 1966-1971?

A. Click here to see the various insignia, medals and patches that could be worn based on when you were there and what you were awarded. Also see the Military Awards manual for more information on individual and unit awards.

Q. Does anyone know how we can actually verify what Unit Citations were really authorized for the 83rd during 1966-1971?

A. Click here to see the various citations awarded.

Prior to the 83rd moving north to I Corp, the 83rd was part of II Field Force and was authorized to wear that patch.
Ron Cox has supplied the following information for the 83rd after moving to I Corp:
a. The 83rd was assigned to XXIV Corp and can wear their patch.
b. "C" Battery was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for support of the 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division during January 22-March 18, 1969.

Q. Does anyone know how to get exact, official descriptive wording for the patches, medals, etc?

A. The various insignia, medals and patches have descriptive text under the picture on the website.  Click here to view.

Q. Since I doubt that merely firing a support mission for a unit is sufficient reason to wear a unit patch, what is the criteria that determines officially if someone can wear a specific unit patch (e.g. First Cav, 101st etc)?

A. You had to be attached to that unit (e.g. 101st) before you would be authorized to wear that unit's patch.

Q. Is wearing a specific patch or unit citation only valid for those who were members of the 83rd at the time the patch or citation was authorized?

A. Yes. A unit award is given to an operating unit and is worn by members of that unit who participated in the cited action. Personnel who did not participate in the cited action, but who are assigned in the cited unit, are authorized temporary wear of some unit awards.

Q. Where should unit patches be worn?

A. On the left sleeve for your current unit. If authorized, you can wear a former unit's patch on the right sleeve indicating former wartime service. Click here to see the Army manual on wearing of insignia.

Q. Where should medals, ribbons and citations be worn?

A. The left breast of your uniform, except the Presidential Unit Citation and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry which are worn on the right breast above your name plate.


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