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150 Pages of Army Insignia

British_Army_Officer_rank_insignia_since_1953

What a wonderfully diverse organisation the Army is, just to catalogue its insignia needs 150 odd pages.

Anyone hazard a guess how many pages it will be after SDSR 2015?

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16 Responses

  1. {tongue in cheek…or maybe not!}…so we don’t get rid of a unit due to cap badge costs? I assume some are more expensive than others!

  2. I’m surprised that it is so short. Merely within the Household Division and the Cavalry, I can think of about a dozen ways of describing Corporals and Sergeants, and in some Regiments Lance Corporals wear two stripes, in others an SQMS wears four stripes, there’s gold versus white stripes….. All good fun and really desperately important. Even my old man (an Infantryman) was a bit non-plussed when he came to inspect my squadron once, with our posted in Life Guard Sergeant Major, who of course was a Corporal Major and correctly referred to as such, while the RQMS was also a WO2, and referred to equally correctly as Mister. Then the Irish Hussars and the Blues retain Cornet as a rank, rather than 2Lt (but then they would, both of them being the ice cream Cavalry), various mascots have ranks, including the Scots Greys drum horse being a Major. My dog never made it beyond Trooper, and she was once charged under my Regimental number for disrupting two hours of firing at Lulworth by running down range after rabbits. She couldn’t be busted any further (she had form for being naughty), so she was fined 10 cases of beer, payable by me.

  3. Makes you proud to be British, and no tongue in cheek.
    I would assume that certain ones, such as “Cross Belt, The Rifles WO’s” and “insignia US Presidential Citation” will have probably been a Life time Buy. Next thing you know, the auditors will come in, see that they have only issued 2 in the year, and as they are holding stock of 200 will demand that the surplus get disposed on and that they go to a realistic holding of “10”. This despite that fact that all will fit in the “box” on the shelf in Donnington, and replacements will no doubt cost 50 times the current price as such small quantities.

  4. Its just pretty funny seeing that someone somewhere felt that something as obscure as the *actual* cap badges cost would unbalance something somewhere regarding regiments…

    I can imagine the officers mess talk now :D

  5. Mike,

    Any proper Officers’ Mess won’t be worried by your concerns, far less discuss them. The conversation is in fact likely to be about as non PC as it is possible to be, centred on women and horses***. Any even normal evening that does not result in the junior officer present having to call the LA Zoo to settle a wager as to whether Cheetahs are dogs or cats (time zone) is wasted. The argument about feline non-retractable claws was not however settled. And one Wednesday, a wager to get a ten thousand Deutsch Mark stripper to perform for free was actually won.

    *** It might be different with the Kevins, but they are so desperately keen to fit in with normal society that they give themselves ridiculous constraints. Sad, but who wants to spend an evening with them to find out?

  6. @RT

    I do remember a heated argument on a very non sexy topic in a shore side wardroom ended by me calling the sat phone of my last ship (still programmed into my mobile) and getting the WEO out of his pit (under false pretences) to answer the question. I won the bet but lost overall as had to buy him a quite expensive dinner to apologise: not to mention the call charges :)

  7. Luckily for me, mister RT, that the Sergeants mess is a more interesting a place, regardless which club you’re in. Having been in a Calvary sgts mess, I can agree that horse talk is the norm, both iron and the breathing/shitting kind.

    I can just imagine some poor rupert, or JNCO, was given that task of redacting. Woe betide that their regiment be known for cheap cap badges!

    Reminds me of the story of a certain regiments’ search for a certain birds’ feathers for their caps… due to said bird beng protected, they found a Polish supplier. Unfortunately, the cold war was in full swing and the soviets weren’t too happy “providing moral support” to the BAOR :D

  8. Well it’s all very interesting but completely pointless. Since all pongos insist on wearing camouflage all the time, especially in office buildings in central and northwest London, you might as well shit-can the lot, save some money and just look the same. When they learn to wear a proper uniform again, then I might be interested.

    Working in Northwood does not count as ‘operational’.

  9. TAS,

    Not all Pongoes. I never wore combats unless the conditions required them. Lightweights or covies for the tank park, otherwise SD trews and Regimental jumper.

    I did once get into a bit of bother with an American private security company guarding the L3 facility in Greenville Texas. I was there to see ASTOR, they could not compute that I carried a leather whip as part of my uniform and wanted to remove it. They also did not reckon on me calling the head of the facility with my mobile, and him getting jolly angry with them.

  10. Of course the list above is incomplete, there are many other insignia worn on uniforms, ie qualifications such as Marksman and Sniper, REME have several, Signallers, you can work your way around the army, and of course Sergeant Major Instructor-in-Gunnery (SMIG, who become Master Gunners on promotion to WO1).

  11. Wasn’t the introduction of wearing combats as normal working dress so that the green works dress could be done away with and save money?

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