User talk:VilePig

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Hello VilePig, I see you continue to remove the "(Airborne)" from full title of the 7th Transportation Battalion on 82nd Sustainment Brigade page. Regardless of airborne status, past or present, the Department of the Army has assigned the unit the official title of "7th Transportation Battalion (Airborne)."
I am not implying it makes sense. For example, The Army continues to assign the high-drag, low-speed 101st Airborne Division the title of "airborne". So perhaps because of the 7th Trans' lineage, or maybe because of the parachute Riggers assigned to them, the Army continues to identify them with the parenthetical "airborne" designation.
Army46Q (talk) 21:00, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Army46Q: Wish I had good news to pass on to you, but I've checked with The Institute of Heraldry about the 7th being designated as Airborne and the reply reads: "There is nothing in our files indicating the Battalion is designated airborne." Their info comes straight from DA. You may wish to verify at your end the claims being made that the 7th is designated as Airborne. Recommend you go to DA level, not someone local, and no doubt you'll receive the same answer I did.
The 7th does indeed have two QM rigger companies assigned, but the presence of subordinate Airborne units doesn't convey Airborne status to the parent unit. This is like stating an aviation brigade is Airborne because it has a pathfinder platoon assigned.
Numerous brigades at Fort Bragg have seen their jump status terminated in the last few years but reportedly still wear maroon berets and Airborne tabs, while others wear berets and tabs but have never been Airborne. (This would include the 108th ADA Bde, which only has one Airborne element, a single ADA battery formerly assigned to the 82d Abn Div. The rest of the brigade is purely leg.) Having been in Airborne and leg units myself, I would probably be happy if I were in a leg unit and my battalion or brigade commander found some convoluted way to proclaim the unit to be Airborne, and everyone could wear Airborne uniform items. After all, who wants to be in a leg unit at Fort Bragg, the "Home of the Airborne"? But I would also know that it was all a false front.
The 101st is a rare case. When it was taken off jump status in 1968 in Vietnam and converted to an airmobile division, the Army briefly designated it the 101st Airmobile Division and the 101st Air Cavalry Division before settling on the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) (later changed to "Air Assault" in 1974). No doubt the presence of many former division members at high levels of the Army at that time helped to ensure that "Airborne" remained in the title in recognition of the division's history. The 7th Trans Bn, however, has no such comparable history and has no actual designation of "Airborne," honorary or otherwise. This appears to be a local creation.
The 101st is Airborne in the same way the 1st Cavalry Division is a horse unit and the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) is a mountain outfit. (The 10th is "Mountain" in name only. When it was being reactivated in the mid-80s, the Army intended to designate it as the 10th Infantry Division (Light). The intervention of Sen. Bob Dole, WW II vet of the 10th, ensured the 10th retained its old title.) Also, in its original WW II meaning, "Airborne" meant parachute, glider and airlanded units. The latter included lightly-equipped aviation engineer and AAA units that could be quickly offloaded at newly-captured airfields to restore them to flying status (engineers) and protect them from enemy aircraft (AAA). Such units were inactivated after the war and, as the remaining glider units were converted to parachute, the term "Airborne" became synonymous with parachute. With that in mind, I don't begrudge the 101st still being called "Airborne" as long as it is followed with "(Air Assault)" to clarify its true status.
DA could have saved a lot of heartburn by simply inactivating the 101st after the pull-out from Vietnam and retaining the 1st Cav Div as the Army's Airmobile division rather than recreating it at Fort Hood as a heavy division. Had that happened, most likely there never would have been Air Assault wings or any fuss over what to call a former parachute division.
The pictures I've seen online of personnel wearing the 82d Sustainment Brigade patch show Airborne tabs being worn. There's only one correct way for the patch to be worn and that's how it's shown at this IOH website - no tab, since it's not designated by DA as an Airborne unit.[1] Yes, a bitter pill to swallow, but that's the way it is.
Even the riggers assigned to the brigade are not authorized the tab. This surprised me as well when I learned about it from the IOH, but small Airborne units (such as riggers, LRS, pathfinders, etc.) under non-Airborne commands are not authorized to add an Airborne tab above a non-Airborne shoulder patch. This has been done by units for many decades but there is no authorization for it in the regs, as the tab is considered part of the patch, not an add-on item. The IOH knows, however, that many units at Fort Bragg simply wear what pleases them, not what they're authorized. VilePig (talk) 17:05, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

I paid a visit to the U.S. Army Center of Military History at Fort McNair, Washington, DC, and reviewed the file on the 7th Trans Bn. There's no indication of any Airborne status or designation, honorary or otherwise, at any point in the unit's history, going back to its original activation during WW II. The most recent document was a set of orders dated 9 July 2009 from HQ FORSCOM at Fort McPherson, GA, and on the orders the full designation reads: "HEADQUARTERS AND HEADQUARTERS DETACHMENT, 7TH TRANSPORTATION BATTALION (MOTOR TRANSPORT), FC, (WCKLAA), FORT BRAGG, NORTH CAROLINA 28310." Documents from the Vietnam era used "(TRUCK)" instead of "(MOTOR TRANSPORT)."
"(Airborne)" sounds much more impressive than "(Motor Transport)" but the latter is the correct designation. While the rigger companies assigned to the battalion are, of course, Airborne units, their assignment does not convey Airborne status upon the battalion, which remains Motor Transport.
It would be interesting to discover how the incorrect perception of regarding the Airborne designation was not only started, but apparently encouraged by local commanders, who must have known better.VilePig (talk) 19:46, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

You wrote that you were told "DA authorizes the parenthetical airborne designation when a unit contains active jumpers (647th QM Riggers)." "Airborne by association" is an interesting concept but I don't think it exists in reality. Looking at it another way, being assigned to the 7th Trans Bn doesn't mean the 647th will add "(Motor Transport)" after its designation. Was the person who told you this able to cite any AR, a HQDA-issued memorandum, etc.? Be sure to see it in writing before believing. Also, make sure it's from a legitimate source. Units can't make up what they want to wear. If that were possible, some would have uniforms covered with eagle claws, lightning bolts, skulls and crossbones, etc., and would probably look more like pirates than soldiers.
Regarding The Institute of Heraldry, an explanation of its history and activities can be found at this link.[2] It has no enforcement capability (i.e., teeth). That may be up to the Uniform Board, but I've never had any dealings with it so I can't say for certain. In any case, the standards laid out are clear and commanders and senior NCOs are supposed to enforce them. Instead, it appears they are some of the worst offenders.
There was a time when they laid down the law on such matters - some might say rather ruthlessly. No one even thought of wearing a maroon beret unless he was in a unit on jump status. Now that appears to be history, dropped in favor of a "big tent" philosophy that broadens the wear of Airborne uniform items to non-jumping units for whatever reason. Feel-good? Unit cohesion? A desire not to leave anyone feeling left out? This hasn't been made clear yet.
You mentioned Fort Benning, me, human smoking... It was never my style to treat people that way. Like Sgt Joe Friday in the "Dragnet" TV series said several decades ago, "Just the facts, ma'am." I only go for the facts, and no smoking is necessary.
You asked about shoulder patches on helmet covers. This appears to have started with the 101st, which created special sew-on patches for the invasion of Iraq that imitated regimental markings painted on helmets for the Normandy invasion in June 1944. Other units soon followed suit by sewing shoulder patches on helmet covers. I asked TIOH about this some time ago and, of course, it's all completely unauthorized. Units simply did it because it looked so cool.
When 3-172nd INF was a separate battalion, they did indeed wear a Mountain tab over a 1st Army patch. TIOH said: "The 3d Battalion, 172d Infantry is not authorized to wear a "Mountain Tab." You are correct in that the mountain tab is the same as the airborne tab and is considered an integral part of the SSI. The only unit authorized to wear the mountain tab is the 10th Mountain Division. The 3d Battalion, 172d Infantry submitted an exception to policy request to the G-1 and that request was disapproved on 3 January 2007." Later the battalion was made part of the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and they wanted to wear the tab over the 86th patch. TIOH said the only way for that to happen was for the entire brigade to be designated as Mountain. The ARNG made it happen and TIOH later wrote: "HQDA, Director of Force Management approved the Mountain designation for the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team" and on 1 November 2007, TIOH amended the authorization letter for their patch to be worn with the Mountain tab. I haven't taken a closer look at the 86th yet and I'm not entirely certain if any other units of the brigade actually changed their organizational structures or if it was largely a name change to allow one battalion to be within the regs for wearing the tab.
If you ever need TIOH's ruling on a particular subject, feel free to drop a line to Bonnie Henning at
She will tell you the way it is. Not necessarily what you may want to hear, but it'll be reality.
And when someone comes up with a dubious claim about what uniform items can be worn, ask yourself, "What does AR 670-1 say about this?"VilePig (talk) 16:59, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Since I asked the question, here's the answer. Skip to page 19 of AR 670-1 (I have the 3 Feb 2005 version) and readers will find the following:

(6) Maroon beret. All personnel assigned to airborne units whose primary missions are airborne operations wear the maroon beret. The airborne designation for a unit is found in the unit modification table of organization and equipment
(MTOE). Other soldiers authorized to wear the maroon beret are indicated below. Personnel will wear the approved flash of the unit to which they are assigned.
(a) Active Army advisors to reserve airborne units on jump status.
(b) All personnel assigned to the airborne departments of the U.S. Army Infantry School and the U.S. Army Quartermaster School.
(c) All personnel assigned to long-range surveillance detachments designated as airborne.
(d) All personnel assigned to the airborne/airlift action office.
(e) Recruiters of the Special Operations Recruiting Company (SORC), U.S. Army Recruiting Command. Personnel will wear the USASOC flash.
(f) All personnel assigned to the airborne procurement team.
(g) All personnel assigned to 55th Signal Company Airborne Combat Camera Documentation Team.
(h) All personnel assigned to 982d Combat Signal Company airborne platoons.
(i) All personnel assigned to rigger detachments.

If the 7th Trans Bn is an Airborne unit, then its MTOE should indicate it; however, since the documents I've seen so far have read "Motor Transport" instead of "Airborne," this is unlikely. As there is no line stating "All personnel assigned to a unit in which there is a subordinate Airborne unit" (i.e., the presence of a rigger company within a non-jumping battalion) this popular notion is invalid.VilePig (talk) 15:58, 1 February 2010 (UTC)


Hello, VilePig! Welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. You may benefit from following some of the links below, which will help you get the most out of Wikipedia. If you have any questions you can ask me on my talk page, or place {{helpme}} on your talk page and ask your question there. Please remember to sign your name on talk pages by clicking Button sig.png or by typing four tildes "~~~~"; this will automatically produce your name and the date. If you are already loving Wikipedia you might want to consider being "adopted" by a more experienced editor or joining a WikiProject to collaborate with others in creating and improving articles of your interest. Click here for a directory of all the WikiProjects. Finally, please do your best to always fill in the edit summary field. Happy editing! -- btphelps (talk) (contribs) 04:51, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
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Hi. I saw your changes to Fort Campbell. It sure looks like you know what you are talking about! Unfortunately, you did not cite any sources. Verifiability is very important at Wikipedia... Could you please supply sources for the information you added that article? (Also, given your obvious knowledge, can you cite sources for anything else there? Previous contributors to the article haven't provided much in the way of sources.) Thanks for your contributions! --Orlady (talk) 19:58, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for adding your links! --Orlady (talk) 03:29, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Copy editing on 8th Cavalry Regiment (United States)‎[edit]

Good job, we always need people to carefully read through the military unit pages, some of them are real messes. I noticed in the conversation at the top that you have visited the CMH doing research for this stuff before, do you regularly do this kind of research? I am currently working there, so if you need any help, feel free to contact me. Sadads (talk) 15:04, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

I live and work in the NVA suburbs, so it's easy for me to visit the CMH during a long lunch break. VilePig

Citing sources[edit]

Hi there! I appreciate a lot of the edits you have made, but it appears that some of the references you tried to enter were not done properly, and were set as external links. Please review Wikipedia:Citing sources for a refresher. Thanks again! Ng.j (talk) 16:06, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Numbered Combat Aviation Brigades[edit]

I noticed you deleted the numbers in the unit names for several combat aviation brigades on the Army National Guard article. I know that CABs organic to divisions generally aren't numbered, but are you sure the CABs you altered aren't numbered? A cursory Google search finds numerous references to these numbered CABs on official Army websites. Ocalafla (talk) 22:33, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Vilepig, I'd gotten CABs and TABs temporarily confused in my mind. Thanks to you and Ned! Ocalafla (talk) 20:53, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

July 2013[edit]

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Numbered Combat Aviation Brigades[edit]

Are you sure you're right that divisional CABs are not numbered? I've found a whole lot of documents that seem to be in disagreement with your assertion. Can you give me some additional details for why you think division CABs are not numbered?

42nd CAB Newsletter, March, 2008

Operations Officer job announcement, 29th Combat Aviation Brigade, March 2013

Annual Report, Minnesota National Guard, 2012, page 8

Division West aviation brigade prepares Missouri Guard unit for deployment, Capt. Marvin J. Baker, 120th Infantry Brigade, Division West, Public Affairs, July 17, 2012


Billmckern (talk) 15:49, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

I'm absolutely positive. I've had this discussion on numerous occasions with Ned Bedessem, the Aviation POC at the US Army Center of Military History at Fort McNair in Washington, DC, who notes that units often refer to themselves with inaccurate designations, and have done so for many years. (This isn't limited to Aviation, either. Public Affairs Offices are no better.) For example, when the 11th Aviation Brigade in Germany was scaled back to a Group at the end of the Cold War, it began referring to itself as the 11th Aviation Regiment, which must have sounded more impressive, yet Group was the correct designation. The incorrect designation appeared for years in official publications because that's what the unit put out, and the issue was only resolved when the unit was inactivated.

If you'd like to hear it directly from Ned, who speaks for DA, you may contact him at:

Ned Bedessem, Force Structure and Unit History Branch, US Army Center of Military History, (202) 685-2732; DSN 325-2732

Note: The current sequester has Center employees staying home on Fridays and, since their time has been cut back, they've been directed to only respond to official inquiries for the rest of the fiscal year. With that in mind, you may do better with a phone call than an email. If you wish, I could drop by during a lunch break to see about getting something in writing from him, as I'm close enough to do so.

Something to keep in mind: If all divisional CABs had the same number as their divisions, all of these units would have a "1st CAB."

  • 1st Infantry Division
  • 1st Armored Division
  • 1st Cavalry Division ("1st Air Cavalry Brigade" is a made-up designation.)
  • The only real 1st Aviation Brigade is at Fort Rucker. This Vietnam-era combat unit was reactivated in the 1980s as a schoolhouse unit at the post. VilePig (talk) 16:40, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

STBs are not numbered[edit]

But there are STBs that are for Divisions and STBs that are for Brigades. It is not unusual or wrong to refer to a Brigade Special Troop Battalion as BSTB (in fact this is the abbreviation on the company guidons), or to include the Brigade's number in reference to the unit, such as the 45th Brigade Special Troops Battalion in order to distinguish between the two kinds of STB. RTO Trainer (talk) 18:57, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Unit guidons can be made to order and I'm aware of some that have erroneous features on them. If the Center of Military History agrees with you on STB designations (and so far I've nothing to indicate that's the case), then I'll concur. You may contact them at: US Army Center of Military History, ATTN: AAMH-FPO (Mr. Ned Bedessem), 103 Third Ave., Ft. McNair, DC 20319-5058. Ned works in the Force Structure and Unit History Branch, US Army Center of Military History and his phone numbers are (202) 685-2732 and DSN 325-2732. The Institute of Heraldry, which only uses correct unit identifications, shows this one as the "Special Troops Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team." See:

If you can convince TIOH their designation is incorrect and your version is right, then I'll go along with it.VilePig (talk)

It's not a matter of either/or. I'm simply letting you know that neither is an inappropriate way to do it. My hand won't go into a fire either way. You'll note that I did not, and will not, change the change you made. If nothing else, your way does prevent someone thinking that the unit bears it's own numerical designation. RTO Trainer (talk) 18:34, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

It would have been a good idea for the Army to actually number STBs (as well as divisional aviation brigades -- only the two in the 101st Abn Div (AASLT) are numbered) because people will inevitably think they should have a number and they'll come up with one. At this point it's "overcome by events" because DA intends to reorganize and reflag STBs as engineer battalions (DA will add another engineer company to each existing STB) and those will be numbered. This is already taking place in the Regular Army and the ARNG is soon to follow.VilePig (talk)

May 2014[edit]

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Read our policies and guidelines[edit]

Please be aware that Wikipedia has rules regarding primary source information. Calling HQDA for information regarding military units is not appropriate for Wikipedia use because unpublished (and self-published) sources are forbidden. While you may believe yourself to be an expert, we rely on you citing reliable sources. I noticed with your most recent edit that you added external references rather than references. Please be more careful in your editing. Chris Troutman (talk) 14:18, 31 July 2014 (UTC)