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Rank and Patches on Military Jackets - Might I Offend a Veteran?

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,539
Location
London, UK
I'll suggest that the guilty parties often reveal themselves for what they really are.

8pm (or 20.00 hours, if you will) at the local supermarket.

It's nearly empty, I'm minding my own business and I turn into an aisle to come face to face with an older (60-70, hard to tell) tall (6') gaunt guy.
Indicator 1) He's wearing sunglasses.
Indicator 2) He's wearing one of these hats.
https://www.priorservice.com/nasevi...MIuISgnvPw3wIVDI3ICh09AAs_EAQYBSABEgKZ3vD_BwE

I look at his hat.
I make direct eye contact.
I say nothing.
I look at his hat.
I make direct eye contact.
I say nothing.

His response: "You don't know me".

Yes. Yes I do.

Seems rather leap based on.... stereotyping? Assumption from a reaction? Either way, unless he was directly engaged in perpetuating a fraud and there was certain evidence of that, I see no point in initiating such a confrontation.

Agreed, but I do like the British act of remembrance for a fallen member of the military, when a relative wears the bravery medal, awarded to member of the military who fell, whilst on active duty, on the right instead of the military left, at a service of commemoration.

If that's what folks want to do (and - one would at least hope - in circumstances where the fallen individual would have approved of the same), I don't have a problem with it.

In Canada we had an infamous incident during Remembrance Day a couple of years back. Buddy wore a full current uniform, medals galore, interviewed live on air by the CBC - never served a day in his life.

His wife was at a loss for words when asked why he wore "his" uniform - AT THEIR WEDDING.

Link to follow.

There'll always be the fetishists and fantasists out there. I remember seeing a similar story or two here in the UK - one was a deliberated fraudster who had taken advantage of gullible and vulnerable would-be partners; the other was just an oddball who never grew up out of playing soldier. The first was a despicable fraudster; the second was pitiable, really.
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,425
Location
New Forest
In Canada we had an infamous incident during Remembrance Day a couple of years back. Buddy wore a full current uniform, medals galore, interviewed live on air by the CBC - never served a day in his life.

His wife was at a loss for words when asked why he wore "his" uniform - AT THEIR WEDDING.

Link to follow.
Something similar happened in the small town of Bedworth, in Warwickshire where a supposed veteran wore an array of medals that would have been impossible to have achieved:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...edals-pukka--Im-sworn-silence-I-won-them.html
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,425
Location
New Forest
If that's what folks want to do (and - one would at least hope - in circumstances where the fallen individual would have approved of the same), I don't have a problem with it.
Do you remember Christina Schmid, whose husband, Olaf, was posthumously awarded The George Cross for bravery, whilst serving in Afghanistan? She wore all of his medals at his memorial service in Truro Cathedral. Very moving it was too.
OS.jpg CS.jpg
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,539
Location
London, UK
Do you remember Christina Schmid, whose husband, Olaf, was posthumously awarded The George Cross for bravery, whilst serving in Afghanistan? She wore all of his medals at his memorial service in Truro Cathedral. Very moving it was too.
View attachment 152328 View attachment 152329

I remember hearing of the practice being formalised some years ago (I don't do 'Remembrance'), but not specific instances.
 

John McDonald

New in Town
Messages
12
Location
San Jose, California
I have an AVI Leather Horsehide A-2 Jacket decorated to resemble the A-2's worn by the the actors in the film "The Memphis Belle." I have put on a leather 91st Bomb Group Patch bought from US Wings on the right chest and and a leather 8th Air Force shoulder patch on the left sleeve, purchased from Dan McQuality Custom Leather Patches and art work website. I also have a very nice (thick too) name tag on my left chest.

As far as people accepting it, etc. I know of many war and military veterans who accept it....don't really care. Looks great. Actual veterans I live with.

I have gotten some minor squabbles, which I usually just ignore, with people who know not thing one about me.

In short, I do think most veterans accept it, as it is not done in a demeaning way. And some even complement me and say that they like it.

At the end of the day, it is not about what other people think about you. It is about how you think/feel about yourself.

And yes, it is a sort of homage to a time gone by. When it was like 24 years before I was even born.
 

Peacoat

Bartender
Bartender
Messages
5,794
Location
South of Nashville
I have an AVI Leather Horsehide A-2 Jacket decorated to resemble the A-2's worn by the the actors in the film "The Memphis Belle." I have put on a leather 91st Bomb Group Patch bought from US Wings on the right chest and and a leather 8th Air Force shoulder patch on the left sleeve, purchased from Dan McQuality Custom Leather Patches and art work website. I also have a very nice (thick too) name tag on my left chest.

As far as people accepting it, etc. I know of many war and military veterans who accept it....don't really care. Looks great. Actual veterans I live with.

I have gotten some minor squabbles, which I usually just ignore, with people who know not thing one about me.

In short, I do think most veterans accept it, as it is not done in a demeaning way. And some even complement me and say that they like it.

At the end of the day, it is not about what other people think about you. It is about how you think/feel about yourself.

And yes, it is a sort of homage to a time gone by. When it was like 24 years before I was even born.
I can't imagine any veteran taking offense at someone wearing a WWII flight jacket with patches. Nor can I imagine any veteran taking offense at someone wearing a field jacket with unit patches as long as that someone isn't claiming to have been in the unit. Rank insignia is a bit more problematic. I would advise against wearing any rank that wasn't earned.

When someone asks my advice about wearing a jacket with a patch, they usually have a good reason for the patch they have chosen. The last person who asked me wanted to honor his father who served in VN by wearing the !st Air Cavalry patch on the sleeve of his field jacket., along with his name and US Army tapes. I told him that would be perfectly acceptable, and that if he got called on it, just tell them the reason for the patch.

Another popular patch is the 8th Air Force roundel from WWII, as John McDonald notes in his post. If I would wear that patch and was questioned about it, the answer would simply be, "I admire the job the 8th Air Force did in WWII, and I am wearing this patch to honor the unit." That would probably end the discussion.

A word about the proper sleeve on which to wear patches: In the Army, the current unit patch is worn on the left sleeve at the shoulder. The patch of a unit in which one has seen combat is worn on the right sleeve. If one is currently serving in a combat unit, that unit patch is worn on the left sleeve, to be moved to the right sleeve when subsequently serving in another non combat unit.
 

caddyd

New in Town
Messages
12
Life is a stage and the movies are full of posers. So best to re-create an actors uniform.
And bottom line wear and display with honor and respect.
 

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Bushman

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,031
Location
Joliet
The way I look at it with buying used original military jackets, is I didn't earn the rank or serve in the unit, and therefore I don't have the right to associate myself with it. Heck, I'm hesitant to even wear a jacket with a patch denoting a branch I didn't serve in.
 

Drewdog2323

Familiar Face
Messages
69
Well here is my Cockpit Movie Heroes Top Gun G-1 jacket I wore to the new movie showing and on Halloween to an airplane museum. Got a bunch of compliments on it and some guys who might have been retired pilots liked it as well.

When wearing flight jackets with patches, you just have to be prepared to be asked questions such as: are you a pilot? Or what do you fly? Are you active/retired military? Or the occasional “thank you for your service”. In these cases it is best to clarify that you aren’t military or what they were asking. That what you are wearing is just a flyer’s jacket. Feel free to add in something like you are wearing it because of some personal connection, or you just think these jackets are cool, or in my case thinks it’s cool and am a big fan of Top Gun.

Whatever you do, do not falsely claim to be something you are not.

My own personal rules are do not wear any rank insignia, name tag with rank and/or wings on it, or a patch that clearly denotes a branch of the military (i.e. United States Navy), if you in fact did not earn those. I sometimes wear a blank leather name tag to cover the chest velcro on my CWU-36/p and CWU-45/p jackets to go with the patches.
 

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