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"Rank insigna in the field" Topic

16 Posts

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Comments or corrections?

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2019 6:22 a.m. PST

Did NCOs use their chevrons in the field?

Major Mike11 Jul 2019 6:29 a.m. PST

Yes, link

Old Wolfman11 Jul 2019 6:40 a.m. PST

In subdued colors.

Personal logo brass1 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2019 7:02 a.m. PST

Depends on the service and the year. In 1968, the Army began using subdued rank insignia pins on the collar.


Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2019 9:36 a.m. PST

They were flat, non-reflective black. I still have mine.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2019 10:27 a.m. PST

Thanks, would it be om noth shoulders?

Legion 411 Jul 2019 10:49 a.m. PST

Yes, certainly depends on the year and in subdued black/colors. As pointed out by many here.

The larger colored insignia of any kind would make you a target.

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2019 1:23 p.m. PST

They were worn on the collar.

Legion 411 Jul 2019 2:27 p.m. PST

Yes, when I started ROTC in '75. All Rank was worn on the collar for Fatigues. That picture MAJ Mike posted was early in the Vietnam War. With the subdued rank [and unit patch], on the sleeve.

Major Mike11 Jul 2019 2:55 p.m. PST

4th ID, 1968, you can see the corporal stripes on the soldier on the right with the brownish helmet cover. link

Major Mike11 Jul 2019 2:58 p.m. PST

This is a 1970 picture from the Americal Division. You can see the rank clasps under the collar flaps of this soldier.

Personal logo brass1 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2019 4:44 p.m. PST

The larger colored insignia of any kind would make you a target.

Sure did. While BGen Joseph McDonough was in command of the 196th Infantry Brigade there was no authorized subdued version of the brigade insignia, so people in the field were expected to operate with a blue, red, and yellow patch on their shoulders that a blind sniper couldn't miss. We took them off as soon as we hit the ground and put them back when we got back to the rear.

I suppose we could have gotten in trouble if the general ever caught us but being in the field was a pretty good way to avoid generals in those days.


Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2019 4:45 p.m. PST

The original question isn't limited to US forces.

I'm not sure about the answers for ARVN, ROK, ANZAC, Thai, and PAVN. I think that the VC didn't wear rank insignia, but I could be wrong.

Legion 412 Jul 2019 6:57 a.m. PST

LT +1 thumbs up

Also I was told some units e.g. SF, etc., would at times "go sterile" wear no insignia what so ever …

BTW Great pics MAJ Mike !

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2019 8:48 p.m. PST

I have heard of the sterile uniform, too.

Tom Clancy did, too, and added it to A Clear and Present Danger.

Legion 413 Jul 2019 8:44 a.m. PST

A guy I knew in the 101, he was the Co XO. He told us when he was going thru Airborne School at Benning. Said there were a few guys at the school who wore sterile jungle fatigues and had long hair & beards. They were told not to have any contact with them, talk to, ignore, etc..

He figured they were CIA going thru parachute training … That made sense to us.

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