Tactical Recognition Flashes

IS Ski Geek

War Hero
Ok seen the signal about the above said flashes.
However it doesn't actually mention anywhere why we are wearing them and before anyone says its for tactical recognition very good. However is it some kind of historical thing or an idea for each unit to stop wearing its own badges and just have a signals wide one.
Anyone any ideas!!!!!

Serious answers please :wink:
As i think i mentioned in another board, get rid. I cant be arrsed with badges any more, its tailoring hell and they make you pay for them. Its bloody rude.

A single Corps would make more sense to me, simply because it would identify what you do. As it is now, everyone has badges but its impossible to know them all, so they dont serve any purpose. I'm sure some of its historical but a single badge to identify a soldiers role would make more sense.
My you guys down the food chain do get told pretty late. I got told about this weeks ago and already have my TRF. You all will get 5 issued. I would reprint the Corps RSMs letter here but I would be doing RSMs and SSMs across the Corps out of a job.

Needless to say there has been no indication about why or history or anything like that although I also would be interested to know what the history is. I do know (or am assuming more correctly) that the Corps wanted to do something for dress for the millenium...ok its not 2003 and we still don't have blue jumpers...but we do have TRF ..you work it out.
I would reprint the Corps RSMs letter here but I would be doing RSMs and SSMs across the Corps out of a job.
You mean they have jobs? 8O Bugger, time to rethink my whole carear plan :wink:

Sereiously tho, any chance of posting up a piccy? Would like to see what its like.

It merely tells you that the dress comittee has approved the wearing of the TRF on number 6 and 8 dress (thats desert and temperate combats). It then goes on to tell you that you will be issued with five for free, who is and is not entitled to wear it, how you go about getting them sewn on and to have them sewn on 12 cm below the seam on the right arm with the blue part pointing forward. It also quite indecisively says the QGS are to continue to wear the Bde of Gurkhas TRF as well as the R SIGNALS TRF and that they have yet to decide which one goes above which....which of course is helpful if you are QGS. That pretty much sums up the letter.

As far as the TRF is concerned it is simply a 1 cm by 5 cm rectangle half of which is white and half of which is blue (a bit like the 216 DZ flash except smaller).
Having come from the Infantry where I only displayed ONE flash, it took a bit getting used to all the different badges we now wear. My wife thought I was in the Boy Scouts and wondered when I was doing my 'Swimming' badge!!!!!!!!!!

I doubt there are many people around who actually know all the different types and what they represent. If someone out there does know, may I remind those individuals that there are pubs and occassionally these should be visited from time to time.
and just to confuse my gang have been told to remove our old flashes and replace them with a Union Flag alone.

As our American cousins would say, Go Figure.
TRF - great idea!

Now everyone knows who are the R Signals are. Surely the Jimmy capbadge is clear enough!

What next? How about a badge for each diferent trade. An embroided picture of a 353 for Rad Ops or a Relay for AS Ops? Then we could get a badge for whichever det you are on - if you work in Div Main you can get a picture of a BFT.

Any more bright ideas?
I think the word "tactical" is the key here ceptor me old son.

The idea is that when we are all in our kevlar hats, others know who to bug for a phone call home :wink:


boney_m said:
The idea is that when we are all in our kevlar hats, others know who to bug for a phone call home :wink:
I think you're right. On Ex SAIF SAREEA II in Oman in 2001, 1 (UK) ADSR personnel in the OSCAR and PAPA HQs all wore little blue and white flashes on their shoulders so that HQ staff could identify and harass them, I mean ask them questions... The guys really appreciated it, as I'm sure you can imagine.

I throught it was one of the CO's random ideas, but shortly afterwards I was reading a book about Royal Signals in WWII, and it mentioned that Royal Signals wore a similiar blue and white flash during the war, so I think there is a precedent. (Source: World War Two - Signal Communications, by Col TB Gravely, War Office, London, 1950.)
Well I'm fed up with no one being able to tell what Corps I'm in! It's really hard wth only a scaley stable belt, a dark blue beret, a xx Sigs flash and a jimmy cap badge.

You know what it's like.....when your capbadge and colar dogs are out of sight (for whatever bizarre reason) - our Sgts and SSgts have another trusty Jimmy on each arm just in case.


yes - I'm being sarcastic......
For what it's worth there is a historical precedent to this. During the war, (and progbably for sometime after) Arm-of-Service flashes were worn on the battledress sleeve. These were a fairly narrow "ribbon" thingy worn horizontally about mid-way between the shoulder and elbow. Corps wore them in the appropriate corps colours and the Infantry in their regimental colours. Again, with everybody mincing about the battlefield in tin-hats it was a useful way of knowing who was a soldier and who was a PONTI!
jaeger is dead right. TRFs have been brought in across the whole army not just for us. The recognition thing is the main reason but also to get rid of all the unauthorised regimental badges that have appeared over recent years. Now all you should have is a Union badge, a Brigade Flash and a TRF (and para wings etc if you have them !).

At least a bit of order and far fewer to remember.

However I'm all for the Blue Wooley Pulley in barrack dress !!!!!
Was watching "It ain't half hot,mum" on UK gold today and noticed they were all wearing TRF's as well (you can just make it out on the BDR's arm), not conclusive proof of historical precedent I know, but a very funny show.

And face it we all know of a Sgt Maj like Williams and a CO like theirs.
TRF's started in in India at the same time as kahki uniforms replaced red and blue tunics. Without the familiar 'facing' colours it was difficult for troops to recognise the different units. They were originally worn as patches on the cloth band around the pith helmet and later as the above picture shows on the side of the bush hat. In the middle/far east and africa this continued until after the second world war, by which time the practice of the TRF being sewn as a flash on the upper arm of the battle dress tunic was more or less standard. This disappeared with the replacement of the battledress uniform although some infantry units have always worn coloured patches on their No. 2 Uniforms.

As an aside, the colours on the TRF'S were also worn as flashes on the elastics used to hold the issue socks up when wearing shorts in the tropics. You were in the deep and smelly if the SSM caught you with the colours the wrong way round!
The rumour I've heard is that all this TRF sh1te originates from the Corps RSM. Could it be someone thrashing around for something to do? I mean what do Corps RSM's actually DO? Apart from walk around giving every unfortunate who crosses their path a hard time, get called Sir by everyone in the Corps Mess and get paid rock star wages (for what they do!)

TRF? Crock of poo, if you ask me (which you didn't I know). Just another badge and another way of raising cash for the Corps Museum or whatever. NO way they are giving everyone 5 of them, no matter what the letter says! That would cost the Corps a fortune and we can't even paint our wagons black and green yet!

*Edited to remove names-how many times ladies and gents no names.
I've known the current Corps RSM for quite a few years, and have a great deal of respect for him. I doubt he would be so petty as to introduce a police because he is "Thrashing around for something to do".

Not quite sure as to the "job spec" for a Royal Signals Corps RSM. I would imagine they provide a valuable interface between all the inlisted ranks of the Corps and the higher command. Somebody needs to be up there directing policy, even if its something seen to be trivial such as the TRF's. From an RD's point of view, wouldnt this job be the pinacle of their career and something they all aspire to?

El Gringo, as you ask the question yourself "what do they actually do?", you might be wise to find out their worth to the Corps before passing judgement on them.

The TRF issue has been around for a number of years now - long before the current incumbent of the Corps RSM post was anywhere near the chair.

The old saying of engage the brain before you open your trap obviously needs extending in some cases - the addition of check facts somewhere in the saying can prevent you making yourself look like a complete tosser :!: :lol: :lol:
El Gringo, prepare to receive.... 8O


You unprofessional arseh01e. If you disagree with the decision fine, that's your right. But to start specifically naming someone from whom you believe the decision has originated and start questioning his validity means you are a small minded, bitter, coward.

How big and tough do you have to be to start slagging someone off while staying anonymous yourself?

El_Gringo said:
Apart from walk around giving every unfortunate who crosses their path a hard time
including you?


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