Posted on Jul 14, 2019
Capt Michael Wilford
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Marines do not wear combat patches on any of our uniforms, but we do have patches that represent our Divisions. I recently encountered a US Army soldier who is a former Marine and he had a 1st Marine Division patch on his right shoulder. Has the Army authorized this patch to be worn as a combat patch for soldiers who served in combat when they were in the Marine Corps?
Posted in these groups: Ar Army Regulations
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SGT Aircraft Mechanic
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If you were in a unit that was aligned under a Marine Division, then yes.
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WO1 Construction Engineer Technition
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1SG (Join to see)
This is not accurate. With GCS or G1 Approval you may wear it. It is a simple memo to achieve for a company size element;
670-1 19-17 d(3) v. May 2017
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1SG Retired
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WO1 (Join to see) are you aware of any units that received written permission under 19-17 a. (d) (3)?
[Unless otherwise approved by this regulation, Soldiers attached or under operational control (OPCON) to other
services are not authorized to wear their patches as their SSI–FWTS without written approval from DCS, G–1 or a desig-
nated representative.]
That doesn't mean other periods haven't been authorized by the DCS G1, after 2017. Authorizations between the 2014 version and the 2017 version should have been reflected in the 2017 version, as part of the change.
My company was assigned to 1 MARDIV during the authorized period. The 1MARDIV SGM asked me if my Soldiers would be able to wear the patch. I explained why we couldn't, and provided him the wording from the then current AR 670-1, and a draft proposed change, at hos request. He was adamant that he wanted to limit the time period to the period reflected in both changes. It wasn't the Army that wanted Soldiers to wear it, it began with him.
Now, the USMC may have changed their mind about limiting its wear, and the DCS, G1 may or may not seek input from the USMC before authorizing an Army unit to wear their 1MARDIV patch, but all of that is beyond the scope of my knowledge. I'm only aware of how it began.
To correct my response to the original question posed: Unless the Soldier was present during the period authorized by AR 670-1, or has written documentation from the DCS, G1 authorizing its wear, the wearing of the 1MARDIV patch as FWT SSI isn't authorized.
I'll add that if the Soldier was wearing it because he deployed with 1MARDIV as a Marine, it definitely isn't authorized.
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1SG Dennis Hicks
1SG Dennis Hicks
3 y
Sort of like that nasty rumor about wearing a CIB if you were a MARINE and awarded a CAR. The whole Combat Patch/FWTS-SSI has been clarified since 2008 because of the patch hunters. Unless you were assigned during the authorized period you can NOT WEAR any MARINE patches and you also can not wear the patch if you were a MARINE now assigned to the Army.
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1SG Dennis Hicks
1SG Dennis Hicks
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WO1 (Join to see) - Chief if you deploy as an ARMY COMPANY SIZE element you wear your SSI as your FWTS-SSI that was established many years ago.
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SSgt GG-15 RET Jim Lint
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We used to fight over if we could wear shooting badges, USMC, on an Army uniform for former Marines. It was yes in 1983-4 maybe 85. I do remember hearing that the Ranger unit that went to Parris Island for 2 weeks of shooting, and qualified on the KD range were allowed to wear the USMC Shooting Badges.
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1SG Retired
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IAW AR 670-1 21-17 b. (14),
Soldiers who served with the 1st Marine Division between 19 March 2003 and 21 April 2003 during combat operations in support of OIF are authorized to wear the 1st Marine Division SSI as their SSI–FWTS.
**Note this is a very limited 34-day period where it is authorized.
So, if he was in the Army during this period, deployed to CENTCOM area in support of OIF, and served with 1 MARDIV, it is authorized. If he doesn't meet this criteria, it isn't authorized.
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Capt Michael Wilford
Capt Michael Wilford
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Thank you, 1SG, for this very thorough and comprehensive response. I would say that, based on this, the soldier I encountered was not authorized to wear the 1st Marine Division patch as his combat patch.
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SGT Academic Budget And Planning Analyst
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There is authorization, and then there is enforcement. I knew a former Marine infantryman who wore the 1st Marine Division combat patch on his BDUs and Class A’s. He was one of two Vietnam Veterans in my battalion who were still on active duty (this was the early 90’s). At that time, AR 670-1 only authorized WWII Marine Corps veterans to wear Marine Corps SSI-FWTS on an Army uniform. Everyone knew he was in Vietnam and no one ever corrected him, even during command inspections. It is up to the commander and senior NCO to enforce that rule in AR 670-1.
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