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August 12, 2004

Just how desperate is DoD?

I have a patch collection. It's full of, among other things, shoulder patches from WWII from the "Ghost" and "Phantom" divisions. The Ghost divsions were those of Patton's "Ghost Army," part of the pre-invasion deception plan. The Phantom units were those scheduled to be activated that never were. Why patches? Someone reasoned that the Germans knew that all of our divisions had shoulder patches. If they determined new divisions in the order of battle, but did'nt find any patches... they might catch on. So, on the off chance that the Germans were watching for things like that, the US Army Institute of Heraldry developed designs, orders were placed, patches produced. That's a subject for a different post. This long intro is to show just how desperate DoD is for bodies to meet the OPTEMPO. There's a new shoulder patch in the works. For units comprised of recalled retirees.

A Castle Argghhh! Exclusive! - (Actually, it appears to be these guy's work.)

*This came in email today - anybody knows the source, let me know so I can acknowledge their efforts!

UPDATE: Marine Master Sergeant (R) Townsley leaves this in the comments:

Sir, The Old Farts patch was the creation of Bob Morris and Wayne Sorios Sirois...Both served with USMC 1st Recon Bn...If you compair the two patches (Recon & Old Farts) you will see that are the same... It was a patch for all us old farts who served with 1st Recon...somehow it was picked up that the net...and the rest is history... Jon R Townsley MSgt USMC Ret. 1st Recon Bn 1966-67

I knew the patch had a Marine origin, now perhaps we have, "The Rest of the Story..."

Update II: The 1st Recon origins of the patch are generating interest... seeing as how I'm getting trackbacks from discussion groups that are Recon- and Corps-based.

And then there is the occasional email like this, from Air Force Lieutenant N. A.:

I'm not retired, but being prior enlisted, I'm still one of the oldest 1st Lts in the Air Force, so I'm STILL going to adopt that patch as my own.

Update III.