Skull insignias frowned upon by seniors

The Colour Party's uniform ain't so bad, but those blue uniform jackets yuck! But really what's with the WET LOOK Jack boots. They make the poor barstools intimidatingly... Well gay!!!
The Yanks have had a thing for patent leather for many years. The gate guards on USAF bases here in the UK used to wear them with combats back in the 80s. I agree, though, the hono(u)r guard look a bit like the Illinois Nazis of Blues Brothers fame.

But then, I think, we're back at a mindset debate.

Shortly after 9/11 I was putting together a series of pieces on security. A certain US camera supplier had put together a VERY glossy and expensive brochure detailing the products it had supplied for use around the Ground Zero site. It was all scrolls and flags and their products at the centre, 'Serving the Nation'. Christ, if it could have played the national anthem as I opened it, it would have.

To my British eyes, it was mawkish. False patriotism and, frankly, trying to cash in. I showed it to an American colleague and she said that it was the norm - that she'd seen a lot worse. It turned my stomach.

The British Army used to get by on the minimum possible. The use on combats of any badges or insignia by Them didn't happen, the reason being they they were Grey Men if captured. The Paras used to have DZ patches and beyond that there wasn't much more anywhere else beyond rank slides, etc. and cap badges if berets were worn. Again, it was about giving Soviet (and other) intelligence types as little to go on as possible.

Contrast with the huge velcro patches that were clearly seen as design essentials by the time MTP rolled around. We used to accuse the Americans of being Boy Scout-ish with their propensity for badging up. We've caught up.

I don't think it's a good thing - OPSEC still applies - but I also see it as politically driven in some respects.

I can also see the generational thing. But the point I'm making is that the 'rot', if indeed that's what it is, can also be seen to have started from the top; if you don't want people wearing badges, then lead by example.
 
The submariners were some of the few that would drink with us infantry types in the Falklands.
Good blokes.
Submariners will drink with anyone, anywhere!

Re Falklands - were there in 86, so well after the event, and moored in San Carlos. One of the lads had a brother who was a Crab and arranged a flight for a few of us to Stanley.

We flew in a Chinook to MP, which was still under construction, having stopped to get a container from, I think, Goose Green, which was being wound down. Then drove from MP to Stanley, where we were accommodated in the Flotels.

There was a huge party in the old lounge / terminal at Stanley. Lots of beer, not a lot of wimmin.

Anyway - the dit. We wanted to see the Governor's House and taxi and so set off walking along he prom, as you do, stepping over dead penguins (there had been a really bad storm a couple of days previously).

Picture the scene - say 8 submariners...... all dressed differently. Uniform shirt, civvy jeans, uniform trousers civvy jumper, anoraks - whatever.

As we passed a gateway in a hedge, comes a shouty 'YOU. HALT!'

WTF thinks us. A very young and excited Redcap charges at us - 'What unit are you lot from'?
'The submarine' says us
'What submarine?' says him
'Can't tell you - classified' says us

Bur Redcap isn't (THAT) stupid, 'cos he looks across into Stanley Harbour, and doesn't see a submarine... goes off on one.

After a few minutes of him shouting and getting a tad frustrated a Sergeant Redcap comes out to see what all the fuss is about. He too is not overly impressed by our standard (?) of dress. Tries to bollock us (Yeh, right!) then finishes off with......

'Next time yo'ure in my town, wear your Fuggin 'ats!'
 
This is important. All five eyes countries have credible accusations of war crimes against their SF units. The US in particular has multiple accusations against DEVGRU and several types of white SOF, many with a significant weight of evidence behind them.

Making sure the most (supposedly) professional units don't run around with skulls on their kit is absolutely appropriate, especially if it's felt that doing so encourages partners to be more violent.
Admiral Howard and his merry men. What started as wearing native indian associated Sqn identifier patches soon turned messy when a self styled native indian warrior culture was encouraged by an OC, or two.

The Crimes of SEAL Team 6

https://i1.wp.com/loadoutroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_6343.jpg
 
The t-shirt is just squaddie humour. Our lads would make similar comments in the same situation, because they'd recognise the mindset. Wearing it doesn't suddenly turn the troops wearing them into neo-Nazi sympathisers.

Unless, of course, we're determined to be po-faced...
 
The t-shirt is just squaddie humour. Our lads would make similar comments in the same situation, because they'd recognise the mindset. Wearing it doesn't suddenly turn the troops wearing them into neo-Nazi sympathisers.

Unless, of course, we're determined to be po-faced...
The boxhead lads are fettered by the overly politically correct, social worker attitude of Merkel's drone's. CO's looking to advance do not want to upset the political apple cart and tend to stamp on anything with even a hint of a whiff of anything untoward. But, yup, the t-shirt's are still around and a favourite amongst boxhead para's who have been on tour.
 
History, therefore true! The relationship between boats and Pirates/Jolly Rogers.

First Lord Sea Admiral Arthur Wilson called submarines “underhanded, unfair, and damned un-English”.


The personnel of the British submarine HMS Utmost showing off their Jolly Roger in February 1942. The markings on the flag indicate the boat’s achievements.


Their sailors should be “hanged as pirates”.

Wilson went on to say that the undersea boats were “weapons of a weaker power and can be no possible use to the Mistress of the Seas.”

WWI British Submarine Commander Max Horton hoist his petard to THAT by improvising a Jolly Roger flag.

After its first kill, the submarine entered port flying the iconic pirate flag.

With each successful patrol, Horton’s submarine added a Jolly Roger until he ran out of space.

At which point, Horton had a larger Jolly Roger made, onto which bars indicating kills were sewn.

Bars on a Jolly Rodger represent ships torpedoed, although post-war flags sometimes use the silhouette of the target ship instead.

Mines indicated minelaying operations, while torches or lighthouses meant the boat had been used as a navigation marker.

In World War Two the Royal Navy resurrected the Jolly Roger tradition with gusto.

A torpedo fired by HMS Sickle hit a cliff in Monte Carlo, blowing out the windows of the casino on top.

As her Jolly Roger fluttered in the wind, those watching from the shore with binoculars could see it featured an ace of spades.

Her captain, Lt James Drummond, became known as “the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo”.

Some icons are unique to a submarine.

HMS Sibyl bears a scarlet pimpernel flower, marking the time a French spy forgot the password and instead quoted from the play The Scarlet Pimpernel.

The Jolly Roger of HMS United gained a stork and baby when news of the birth of the captain’s first child arrived.

Not sure if it is still the case now, but in the not too distant past, when on patrol (nuclear boat) we could wear 'Pirate Rig' which was basically anything you wanted, unless you were fire party and do what you wished with hair, beards etc. Even the officers wore non standard, but matching, shirts!

As soon as the lid opened at the end of patrol, we all had to pretend to be RN again!
In his memoirs Shrimp Simpson (WW2 commander of the 10th Submarine Flotilla at Malta) related how a local sisterhood of nuns assisted in the war effort there by embroidering the addons to each boat's Jolly Roger whenever/if ever they returned from patrol.

Experience gained by Conq's Belgrano-era CO in working with a host of S/M 'animals' like the Bear was to stand him in good stead outside - Retired a wee while back as the top man at Paignton Zoo...:salut:
 
The Yanks have had a thing for patent leather for many years. The gate guards on USAF bases here in the UK used to wear them with combats back in the 80s. I agree, though, the hono(u)r guard look a bit like the Illinois Nazis of Blues Brothers fame.

But then, I think, we're back at a mindset debate.

Shortly after 9/11 I was putting together a series of pieces on security. A certain US camera supplier had put together a VERY glossy and expensive brochure detailing the products it had supplied for use around the Ground Zero site. It was all scrolls and flags and their products at the centre, 'Serving the Nation'. Christ, if it could have played the national anthem as I opened it, it would have.

To my British eyes, it was mawkish. False patriotism and, frankly, trying to cash in. I showed it to an American colleague and she said that it was the norm - that she'd seen a lot worse. It turned my stomach.

The British Army used to get by on the minimum possible. The use on combats of any badges or insignia by Them didn't happen, the reason being they they were Grey Men if captured. The Paras used to have DZ patches and beyond that there wasn't much more anywhere else beyond rank slides, etc. and cap badges if berets were worn. Again, it was about giving Soviet (and other) intelligence types as little to go on as possible.

Contrast with the huge velcro patches that were clearly seen as design essentials by the time MTP rolled around. We used to accuse the Americans of being Boy Scout-ish with their propensity for badging up. We've caught up.

I don't think it's a good thing - OPSEC still applies - but I also see it as politically driven in some respects.

I can also see the generational thing. But the point I'm making is that the 'rot', if indeed that's what it is, can also be seen to have started from the top; if you don't want people wearing badges, then lead by example.
Bling is a long-standing British tradition. Regimental bling, really - every time we go into a new uniform, the ukase comes down that no badges are to be worn - see here BD in the late 30s, the green combats in the 50s, the original DPM in the 70s and now MTP - and every time, every single time, folk barely pause for a second before celebrating tradition etc.

What distinguishes the current rash of morale patches is that they're informal and personal, rather than being sanctioned and encouraged at the unit and cap badge level.

Note here also the traditional British military distaste, particularly among officers, for a uniform appearance.
 
In his memoirs Shrimp Simpson (WW2 commander of the 10th Submarine Flotilla at Malta) related how a local sisterhood of nuns assisted in the war effort there by embroidering the addons to each boat's Jolly Roger whenever/if ever they returned from patrol.

Experience gained by Conq's Belgrano-era CO in working with a host of S/M 'animals' like the Bear was to stand him in good stead outside - Retired a wee while back as the top man at Paignton Zoo...:salut:
Two excellent dits there! I saw The Bear a couple of years ago at a re-union.
 
I was a Cold War never deployed infantry stab. I can hear the gums gnashing as I type.

This thread title is perfect. Seniors as in older people don't like young soldiers (or submarines) wearing skull badges. The outrage.
But you, as a self described 'Cold War, never deployed infantry stab' do like it? Is that because despite your 'seniority' you somehow get something everyone else is missing?

You're so 'right on' - well done. Don't think it will make you any friends mind, least of all in Credenhill, Poole or anywhere else who would rightly deride your attempts to support them, whether they were wearing 'Punisher' badges or not.

Only my opinion, but it seems to have some support at least, is that it should be a given when you join up that if you wish complete Selection and to operate in the shadows then you shouldn't think it appropriate to carry a torch.
 
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