10 July 2008

The "Patch"


From the Soldier side: The really cool thing about writing in your very own blogg is...you can write about almost anything you want. I have been accused of "bitching" a few times. As far as I'm concerned, any soldier has a right to bitch. As a leader, I have to hear those who work for me bitch all the time...some do it more than others...so we call them "whiners."

If you've been following my posting, you know that a bunch of my mates are deployed in Kosovo now. Some of these lads have been to Bosnia and Iraq with me...and this is their third deployment... and may not be there last. (most of the rest have been called up to fight fires in CA.) If you're like most average citizens, you may not even know we still have some troops in Kosovo....like when we were in Bosnia in 03-04, a lot of people didn't know we were still there...and didn't give a shit.

I did have as much fun as you can legally have on a deployment, in Bosnia...and I don't mean going to some stupid ass WMR rec center thing at night. I mean I went into the cites and villages to "work." It was the best job I ever had. Bosnia (in the later years) like the current Kosovo mission, is manned by National Guard troops for the US contribution.

So, while I was goofing off in the office, I looked up the web site for the US military in Kosovo (KFOR 10). I was having a really hard time trying to figure out why we were still sending troops there. Then I looked at the top leaders they have there.... they have no "Combat Patch."
However, Kosovo is a hostile/ hazard duty zone...tax free. So, I figured it out. This is a deployment for National Guard officers and Command Sergeant Majors to go to without getting shot at. It's safe, it's easy and it's tax free!

It's kind of sad...when we look at anyone who's trying to instruct us, or train us, we all look at their right sleeve and see if they have a combat patch.... if they don't we don't listen very close.

9 comments:

Miss Em said...

That small patch is very important to many warriors who want to know that the person that is instructing them has a first hand knowledge of what combat is like and how to have the best chance at survival.
Those who have never been in combat will never truly understand what the importance of it means.

I who have never been in combat know without a doubt that if I wanted to learn how to react and fight I would seek a combat vetran to instruct me. Just plain common sense and with the intention of survival.

Consul-At-Arms said...

For most of my military career, soldiers with "the patch" were actually something of a rarity. Some of my drill sergeants (and even two of my platoon-mates) in basic and combat engineer training were Vietnam veterans with patches from that conflict. There was a time after Desert Shield/Storm (which seemed to quickly taper off) where they weren't uncommon, but that was also the period when the Army was downsized from 18 to only 10 manuever divisions. So many of our combat veterans were forced out.

Nowadays, with the GWOT causing the Army to draw (repeatedly) on all of the Army's components equally (and yes, some even more "equally" than others), the rarity has become the soldier above the rank of private who lacks a Shoulder Sleeve Insignia for Former Wartime Service (SSI-FWS) or "combat patch." The more senior the soldier, the more you have to wonder how they could possibly have avoided a combat tour at this late date.

I've quoted you and linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2008/07/re-patch.html

"D" AKA CI-Roller Dude said...

Yep, When I first joined the Green Machine in 19--, all most all the enlisted E5 and abouve and occifers (officers) 0-3 and above had been to Nam. Those of us who were just kids, looked up to the Vets to show us how to really do infantry stuff.
As it started to change, we got a company commander who had no combat patch... we had a hard time listening to him (and he was full of crap)...

SSG Thul said...

Actually they have been trying to de-list Kosovo as a hostile fire zone for a couple years. But since it's Guard units going over there, they get their home state politicians to put up a fuss and magically the Pentagon decides it's still dangerous enough.

"D" AKA CI-Roller Dude said...

SSG Thul,
Yep... just like when we were in Bosnia with the Minn Nat Guard... the only dangers were the really bad drunk drivers, and getting cramps in your arm from saluting all the officers who had notthing to do... if you were stuck on Eagle Base....

Anonymous said...

I like how active duty shuns the Guard. So much for the 1 Army concept. Take a look at how many Guard members are serving overseas, and doing the job of the active Army. On top of that also holding down full time civilian jobs as well.

Anonymous said...

I was active army and now I'm National Guard. I was told I would be BBQing and drilling one weekend a month. Now the Guard is everywhere that the active Army is. We have regular civlian jobs, families, and responsibilities that active Army doesn't deal with. In the Army I lived in the barracks, had 3 meals a day, not married, no mortgage, no kids, no cares. I deployed many many many times active and it was all good. More respect needs to be given to Guardsmen especially since a lot of them are prior service.

Anonymous said...

This article is stupid. The reality is there is no combat patch authorized for Kosovo because of DC politics. While no one is dumb enough to put Kosovo is the same universe as Fallujah, the fact is there is still some violence over there. I personally saw some bombings in Kosovo. Would I be more worthy if I "earned" a patch by jet skiing in Qatar?

CI-Roller Dude said...

This is not an article dumbass, it's a blog.