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1:6 Military Obsessed!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I have been on the board for a while, but I am new to posting.

First off, I am NOT trying to violate PERSEC or OPSEC here, but I would like to know a little more about these alphanumeric ID tags that USSOCOM wear in theater. Especially since there are a great deal of 1:6 operators wearing them. I eventually would like to have some custom made for my operators, once I understand them and their system that is.

I cannot find any source of information on the net that explains the use of these IDs or how they relate to insignia or command.

Can someone please enlighten me?

Also, please forgive me if this has been posted before, I could not find anything in a search here.

Thanks in advance.
-S10
 

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A Stickler for Accuracy
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Those ID tags have specific meanings based on the unit using them. Even if you knew what they meant for one organization, they would indicate something different for the guys down the road. Suffice to say that they are just what you called them: ID tags. Whatever the system used, they indicate the specific person's duty position to others in his element. If someone were to divulge the specifics for his unit, that would be an OPSEC violation.

So, as it relates to bashing 1:6 figures, you can come up with your own system for your team and it will be correct.

I hope that this helps.
 

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1:6 Military Obsessed!
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Steve O,

Helps greatly!

I am ex-military so I completely understand the rammifications of violating any security; I also have nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws both in SPECOPS and regular units and would never want to put them in harm's way.

Thanks so much.
-S10
 

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1:6 Military Obsessed!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Steve O,

I should have asked this also, but I did not see it pertain to the topic at hand. However, perhaps to save the admins extra editing and server space, I should also address this...

Do all of the non-military patches and tags have any meaning or are they just operator preference for morale and attitude?

I am referring to EASY buttons, sports teams, SMILIES, Hadji Don't Surf, etc.

I am seeing a great many patches come with these 1:6 operators and all I can say is...HUH?

I have also seen a lot of these for sale on Ebay as well as on actual operators in photos.

Sorry to be a pain, but can you also explain this?

Thanks again.
-S10
 

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Average Guy
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2,324 Posts
Some of the patches are morale patches but unit specific. I've had patches made for a number of places I've been and it was a morale thing for all of us to wear them about. The other patches like the Easy Buttons and a million others are usually just individual morale patches. Military guys, policemen, figher fighters and the like have a lot of patch geeks in their numbers. And its world wide, you will see guys trading patches whenever they work with other troops overseas. Some units allow guys to wear morale patches within reason without trouble. Some have specific rules and some don't allow them at all, it just depends.
 

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1:6 Military Obsessed!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks again,

So in other words, it is kinda like Steve O mentioned, that it would not really matter what patches I put on my operators. No wait, you did mention there are specific patches for different operator units.

Someone should make a guide; especially for 1:1 patch collectors. Hopefully that won't violate security in the process. I mean I would like to know what patches are associated with AFSOC, MARSOC, Rangers, SEALs, Special Forces and any tier1 units, to make the 1:6 guys as realistic as possible.

I can see a lot of custom requests in my future. LOL!

-S10
 

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The way I read Steve O comment is that the same patch could be used by two different unit and they'd have different meaning, so for any bash you can put what you prefer (at least that's how I understood it)
 

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Average Guy
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Any of your guys could wear any of the morale patches. There are some that are more closely associated with certain branches or units. The SEALs have been really fond of the Calico Jack for example. The Gadsden flag has been popular with the Navy and Marines, but most anyone wears it anymore since its become more mainstream again.

Some unit morale patches in the past have caused brass headaches. For example the MACVSOG patch was seen as an opsec violation in Vietnam, but military people are patch happy people and morale patches are good for morale. The ones we had made for the different deployments and detachments I've been on weren't anything special, nor command endorssed, they were more of a group by type thing. Either to take pride in what we were or what we did.

So you should be fine for the most part. There are some morale patches that are closely IDed with certain teams or units though. An example would be a CAG operator wearing the Lion patch that DEVGRU wear.
 

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Brother Matthew and SteveO had some great info. FYI, I've heard alpha numeric patches also called "callsigns".

As a very general guide I'd say from the interaction I've had with operators (mostly Army) maybe 30% wear "morale" patches. Rangers BN's tend to frown on them big time so its less common with that organization. The most common users of morale patches that I've seen have actually been conventional units.

I have seen and been given unit patches made up and worn by the specific operator units. Pretty rare and I've never seen them in open source or reproduced by a company. Not to refute BM's post but to offer some more depth to the subject. There are patches out there that if you saw them you wouldn't know what they meant.
 

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Soldier
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To comment on the Big Army morale patches. As an infantry platoon sergeant in 10th MTN, my guys were awarded more than the usual PT session if caught wearing a morale patch, 1. because they're privates, and young military individuals that lack the maturity to know when is the right and wrong times to display such things, example being in front of your BN CSM 2. They weren't spec ops. Back in 02 and 03 you didn't see the big hoopla for patches, because before that time you didn't have the media documenting spec ops every move. As the war continued you saw media posts of bearded warriors wearing things the regular guys didn't wear, as a joe overseas you had some opportunities to see special operations working in your AO, or visiting your FOB for a meal, and we'd see their patches and thus was born the patch obsession it seems. The job I do now, we have a team patch, which signifies who we are, and usually a play on a cartoon etc. that loosely relates to our specialty. However morale patches, "rock out with your .... out", "easy buttons", etc are frowned upon, at least where I am, but I'm also lucky enough to be surrounded by some older guys who've been around for quite some time. At 27 I'm the youngest here, and even I had 3 deployments under my belt and a platoon before I got here.

My closing point being, you don't see ranger bn with morale patches, because they're disciplined, and there's no need for it, but discipline in our army is hastily departing our force, and being replaced by a weak NCO corps and an over populated Officer corps. Unit patches I get it, for plaques and for the joe's room to have some esprit de corps as it were, To each his own, I remember in basic you had your platoon shirts, and mascots and that was cool you had some pride, but you want to wear a morale patch in theatre, and have the big boy rules, then earn it and go suck it up in 1 of the many secret selections. There's alot more to it than just looking cool :goodluck Well a rant a day keeps the stress away. I appreciate the topics that continually come up on this board, it always makes for enjoyable conversations and rebuttals.

"Strength and Honor"
 

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1:6 Military Obsessed!
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just love how we pay up to $150+ for accuracy in 1:6 and how most of the figures we receive are less than 70% acurrate.

Somebody just doesn't get it.

Don't get me wrong...the weapons and gear are great, but each figure coming with the morale and callsign stuff, beards with masks, etc. and then only 30% of the 1:1s actually using and doing that kind of thing, well....someone is behind the times.

Oh well.

Thanks to you all for your great input into these two topics!
-S10
 

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Soldier10 - Agree with you but you have to understand the larger market. You don't sound like the typical collector and only servicemembers or those REALLY interested in accuracy are going to pick up on these details.

The manufacturers are in this to make money so their concern is to make their products marketable to the "majority". The majority of collectors are into the "cool" factor not what is accurate or most in use (unless its "cool" or new).

To prove my point, look at the plethora of special ops figures (consider SEALs make up less than 30% of SOCOM) when the majority of troops (over 80%) fighting out there are conventional soldiers or marines. Look at the multiple pages of backlash I got when I commented about some of the inaccuracies of the recently announced SS Ranger figure.

Don't feel bad, it took the last incident to remind me of that fact. Since then I've decided to not critique manufacturer releases and offer input to those who ask or threads like this.
 

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its time to musk up...
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Don't feel bad, it took the last incident to remind me of that fact. Since then I've decided to not critique manufacturer releases and offer input to those who ask or threads like this.
Major.rod. I for one enjoy your insider feedback on new releases , don't hold back. Although I'm not a major sticker for detail, but if I know something is wrong (or not typical) I will try my best to reproduce an accurate version of a figure, otherwise I would just collect film figures and be down with it.

Threads like this one with a wealth of knowledge keeps me coming back to this forum.

Thanks guys
 

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Bluepant - Thanks, not worth the aggravation for me. I find it infuriating when someone who's NEVER worn a pack on his back or seen combat telling me I'm wrong based on a picture or book even after I explain they are looking at an anomaly.

I'll be happy to particpate in threads like this or answer a question you might PM me but I find manufacturer threads bring out the fanboys. The SS Ranger was only the last incident. I took heat when SS released that second FCS figure (bearded sculpt w/the sleeveless multicam vest). It was a manufacturers attempt to make some money off of the transformers movies but the "FCS" labeling was totally off base. I actually had the FCS test company working for me during an "experiment" when I was working on the FCS concept a the Infantry school battle lab.

REALLY appreciate your vote of confidence but its better this way. If I ever lost my temper I'd get a suspension and the other person would have to go into therapy.
 

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*Insight from a Conventional Soldier who wore Morale Patches*

Most conventional units frown upon them, especially those assigned special missions to interact and train (or attempt too) the indignious police/military forces of said country(s). But, that being said, the units with a more strong leadership you were less likely to see soldiers wearing morale patches to a unit with weak leadership. I've been in both, the later being my last unit (morale patches were the norm in that unit). Now there are some units that have strong leadership, but will allow 'one or two' depending on the design to form a pride in one's PLT or Company (or they use unit T-shirts/sweaters/ballcaps and allowing them to be worn for PT or in company work areas). Sometimes morale patches are good for a laugh, to brighten the mood of dealing with the suck day in and day out for 300+ days. Other times their worn by soldiers who just give a rats %&@; this can mean a number of things - not always bad but sometimes not always good. Sometimes morale patches catches a media cameraman who'll snap a photo of them and before you know it the picture is all over the web; or it ends up in the guy's profolio. In the end, morale patches are what they are, morale.

That being said, I totally agree with Punisher on the weak NCO Support Chain and over populated officer chain. It'll be interesting to see how the Army adapts to a low tempo atmosphere since most of the mid-career soldiers have been in since the very beginning of the War on Terror and are use to the constant deployments and High Op Tempo. Can they conform back to a garrison mentality where the most exciting deployment they'll get is a JRTC or NTC rotation. I've already heard grumbles from soldiers that say they'll be getting out once their current enlistments are up because 'they can't find a unit that is deploying'.
 

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Shaggy - thanks for bringing the thread back on topic.

Might need to start a thread on this NCO issue. What's this increase in officers? Platoons still have ONE Lt right? Company, one CO, XO? All the staff weenies etc should be invisible to the rifleman. I have heard rumblings that NCOs are having issues enforcing discipline and some officers micro manage but really, how much micromanaging can ONE Lt do in a platoon. I knew I had to work WITH my NCO vs. against them to be effective. Hmmmmmm, might need to beat the bushes and ask some questions.
 

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Soldier
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Not to take this thread too far off topic, but in my opinion the NCO automatic promotion the army enacted for awhile helped destroy the strength of the NCO corps by promoting those not meant to be leaders, eventually deterring the leaders who were fed up with the BS to get out of the army. With the fast paced promotions of younger soldiers, and the automatic promotions of the ones who would just "tough it out" with their mediocre performance until they eventually got promoted I believe the officer corps lost faith in their NCO's, eventually fostering weaker and weaker CSM's and 1SG who now in my eyes are mainly yes men to the officers these days.

The best time I've had in the army was being a squad leader in 10th MTN, having said that, it was too difficult trying to lead men into combat while the army was more concerned with treating our military more like a business instead of an organization that requires discipline to accomplish its goals. Rod, Shaggy you're keeping my late night shift interesting and helping time go by quick I appreciate it :)
 

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Punisher - for awhile here they were promoting CPTs at the 4 or less year mark. Less experience/maturity hurt the officer corps also. Let's hope the lower OPTEMPO in Iraq will provide the service some time to address these issues. I'm hearing favorable rumblings about getting back to basics and training beyond just taking out insurgents.

Unfortunately there are those that are focused on the last war and we've made that same mistake since the Declaration of Independence.

Glad I'm helping you get through the shift in a menial way. Chat?
 

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Soldier
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History definitely repeats itself, and the postwar army is going to have some tough times, hopefully some of the issues big army is having will be mitigated with the draw down in Iraq. Chat would be great but anything dealing with social networking is blocked, I'm half surprised I can even get on OSW.
 
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