Army: wearing marksmanship badges as an officer?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Full Metal Bulldog, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    I once recall seeing an Infantry O-3 wearing his Expert Rifle and Pistol qualifications badges back before school ended. I didn't think Officers were permitted to wear weapon qual badges? Maybe its "allowed", just not kosher in army culture? Maybe it's ok if you were prior enlisted? Any thoughts?
     
  2. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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    When I was a cadet, I was told officers don't wear marksmanship badges because "officers are supposed to be experts at everything". I'm sure it's in a reg somewhere. Your question just produced a nostalgic smile.
     
  3. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    AR670-1 says the badge is authorized for wear on certain uniforms; there is no restriction placed upon an officer re: wear.

    That being said, I've heard my army friends say it's sorta like AF officers not wearing ribbons on their blue shirts. It's a "we don't do that" type thing.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  4. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    They are not worn by officers as a matter of tradition. If he was wearing it, he wasn't technically wrong, however if I was in his CoC I would tell him to take it off, and also ask for the memorandum of award (most people don't realize that your scorecard alone isn't sufficient, as the badge must still be officially granted to you by your commander).
     
  5. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    As long as I can remember, the wearing of marksmanship badges have been viewed as declasse by officers- sort of viewed as the ultimate 2LT badgehunting. It is sort of surprising though that, in this day and age- with so many junk ribbons that get awarded just for breathing, that there is one badge in the Army's lexicon that has been blackballed by the Officer corps (though not by the enlisted ranks). Every other dopey ribbon, badge, tab etc... is ok (and by the time you have been in for a couple of years you will have 3 banks of the darn things without really having done all that much other than moved- it used to be that the AF was mocked for a ribbon for every occassion, but the Army is every bit as silly these days), but not the badge that theoretically shows that you know how to fire your weapon. Go figure:confused:
     
  6. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    There are definitely some ribbons that are given too freely (the ARCOM and BSM leap to mind) but overall, the AF still takes the cake. The big difference is that most soldiers know the ribbons are given too freely. Most airmen I've met (not all) think they've "earned" every one. I guess it's the same mentality as thinking 6 months is a "long tour" in "the sandbox" (an abhorrent part of the office-dweller vernacular). Notable cultural differences, which of course do not apply universally.

    Most units actually do a poor job policing the badges. You could go grab a handful of soldiers and easily find one wearing an expert badge who didn't shoot expert on his most recent qual.
     
  7. Wishful

    Wishful Parent

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    As a non-military person, how hard is it for military personnel to the qualify as an expert?
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Not easy, but not impossible. Just don't miss much!

    I only qualified as "marksman"... for rifle and pistol.

    Honestly, what got hard was switching from the M9 to the Sig 40 in the Coast Guard. Pistol was more fun than rifle, but also a little harder (to me).
     
  9. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    I was enlisted only in the Marine Corps. NOT wearing any badge, patch, ribbon insignia,rank or any other uniform item you were authorized was not an option. If you were authorized to wear it then it had better be on your uniform or you would have been condisered out of uniform. Keep in mind I was in an infantry unit and the Marines are pretty tight with ribbons and such. DD graduated AF BMT in March and already had 3 ribbons.
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Today's Marines are pretty decorated... maybe not to the level of the Air Force, but this aint your daddy's 5 ribbon WWII general days.
     
  11. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    True story. Seen many a USMC E-2 with 5 ribbons.
     
  12. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    I have always been told that the AD Army rule was "all, some, or none". Meaning wearing everything, or just something particular such as only ribbons or only Airborne/Air Assault badges was acceptable. "None" means only wearing rank and nametag on your ASU's, which I see alot actually.

    As an addition, that Captain that was the initial subject of this thread was NOT ROTC Cadre. Simply saw him in Class A ASU's talking to a few other officers while walking to class one day.
     
  13. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Pretty much and be prepared to be called a toolbag if you have one on. I rarely see it happen even with 2LTs most know better or are squared away fast. It;s just tradition.
     
  14. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    I call them "Thanks for playing medals." They're the kind you get for being in the military and successfully breathing. I have 2. I also have 3 ribbons--two for doing my job, and one for a bunch of people doing a good job! :redface:
    It is ridiculous, although at least with the low level stuff, everyone knows it. The BSM criteria still frustrates me, as a whole lot of people don't know the difference the V makes.
     
  15. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Met a guy at BOLC who said literally every E-7+ (including junior Os) and above who worked the TOC during one deployment got a BSM :eek::mad:
     
  16. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    This is a topic that literally gets my blood pressure to a high enough level to need medical help!

    After 30 years...I have a "rack" that to the NON military...seems like I'm a Foreign Field Marshal!

    To a military person in the USA...there are a few (3 perhaps) that folks will say: "Hmm....he's seen something/been someplace and done some things that were probably serious..." the rest?

    "I was there, I had a coke, saw the sights, I've been around long enough and NOT gotten into trouble, etc...etc..." Do they mean anything to me? No.

    We hand out FAR too many "baubles" to appease the masses. And then they are "scored" for evaluations and promotions so the push is to make sure you get as many as you can! The prime example I've seen? An E-6 that had 9 Commendation Medals and 8 Achievement Medals. This after 10 years service.

    We've become silly...er.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  17. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    Interesting point as recently I have read alot about some of the 4 stars from the 1920's to post WWII (I gotta do CULP or something next year, this summer is taking forever :D ). What stood out to me was that not too many were ever MFE officers (ordnance and engineer corps stood out ALOT more than infantry) and that very few ever went overseas for anything. 9 or 10 ribbons was worthy of being called a Turkish Admiral. Just an interesting thing to compare to the modern military.

    As a note, I've heard that due to budget cuts and politics, we're going to be seeing alot less of "every officer in the Army being sent to Airborne School", "every MFE officer being Ranger qualified", etc. and alot more support-branched officers being promoted to high-ranking command and staff positions.
     
  18. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    Engineers will be surprised that they aren't MFE:thumb:

    https://www.hrc.army.mil/Officer/Officer Personnel Management Directorate
     
  19. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    I don't know what this has to do with wearing marskmanship badges and zillions of service ribbons, but:confused:What are you talking about above? ? Was this a history book or a comic book? Virtually none of them were in any branch other than Infantry or Armor - Marshall was an Infantryman, Handy was an Artilleryman, Patton was Armor,Somervell was an Engineer, Bradley, Clark and Devers were Infantry, Eisenhower was Infantry, Krueger and Stillwell were Infantry. MacArthur started off as an Engineer. I must be missing somebody who was an Army 4Star in WW2, but I don't see any non-Combat Arms branches in there- I don't know what you read but that is literally completely untrue. What is true about the 4 stars in WW2 was that most of them had relatively little experience in command of troops in combat prior to WW2 with the exception of MacArthur, Patton and Krueger, and Marshall was the CoS for Pershing in WW1, and because the Army of the preWW2 era had so few troops and was organized with no units above a regiment located in one post- very few had any real experience around units the size of a Division much less a Corps or Army. So their experiences during the Interwar period included a huge variety of commands in and out of their branches, sometimes completely outside the Army . But you pretty much missed the boat entirely with the assertion above- go re-read or find a new book.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  20. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Well, none of what you said is true. Every MFE officer being Ranger qualified? That's a good one. That must be in some parallel Army I've never seen. We cant even get every infantryman Ranger qual'd. Every officer airborne qualified? We'd be lucky to get 33% of the force through jump school. Your last comment is completely illogical. What does less money have to do with increasing the promotion of people from support branches to high ranks?

    Sometimes I wonder if you just make this stuff up.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013

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