Military Special Forces Patches History

Page 3 of 3
Information extracted from the book
"US ARMY PATCHES"
by Barry Jason Stein

Used by permission

Special forces personnel began serving in the Republic of Vietnam in 1957. 
During the early days of the Vietnam military build up, President John Fitzgerald Kennedysent special forces units to South Vietnam in a special advisory capacity.  In September 1962, United States Special Forces, Vietnam (Provisional) was formed from members of the First Group, stationed on Okinawa, and the Fifth and Seventh Groups from Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  The soldiers, operating in small units, created many patch designs, which were locally manufactured and, in many cases, handmade.  The first insignia, of course, was the beret flash, which combined the yellow from the first group, black from the Fifth, and red from the Seventh and incorporated them with a bend with bendlets that represented the flag of the Republic of Vietnam.  This flash, designed by Colonel George Morton, eventually became the insignia of the Fifth Special Forces Group.  Popular among the recon teams known as "Mike Force," which is the universal corruption of "Mobile Strike Force," was the use of state names, some of which appear here.  As state names were used up, names of snakes (for example, the Adder, Anaconda, and Cobra) became popular.  The motto "We Kill For Peace" was almost universally used by these units.  The collector will find that many of the MACV-SOG insignia can be found in hand-sewn and machine-sewn versions and in many variants.  This is due to the fact that many of the insignia were remade "in country" for new arrivals or new recon team members.  It is interesting to note that the Green Berets in many cases wore their patches inside the green beret.  It was placed there in keeping with the covert nature of their missions.  Besides recon teams, MACV-SOG also deployed exploitation teams or "hatchet teams" which were of platoon size and consisted of Americans and indigenous troops.  The most famous area of operations was along the Ho Chi Minh trail

      
Worn from:  1966 - 1969.
RT Colorado
CCC

Worn from:  1966 - 1969.


Worn from:  1966 - 1969. The Vietnamese letters read, "Montagnard."
RT Connecticut
CCN

Worn from:  1966 - 1969.

The Vietnamese letters read, "Montagnard."


Worn from:  1966 - 1969. According to some sources Recon Team Hawaii was the first recon team to wear a pocket patch.
RT Hawaii
CCN

Worn from:  1966 - 1969.

According to some sources Recon Team Hawaii was the first recon team to wear a pocket patch.


Worn from:  1969 - 1970. The design of this insignia cleverly has the snake curling around the skull in such a way as to resemble a beret.
RT Hunter
CCN

Worn from:  1969 - 1970.

The design of this insignia cleverly has the snake curling around the skull in such a way as to resemble a beret.


Worn from:  1966 - 1969. The design makes use of the sunflower, which is associated with Kansas.
RT Kansas
CCN

Worn from:  1966 - 1969.

The design makes use of the sunflower, which is associated with Kansas.


Worn from:  1966 -1969. This insignia makes use of the knight used in the game of chess, which historically is associated with war.  Horses are also associated with the state of Kentucky.
RT Kentucky
CCC

Worn from:  1966 -1969.

This insignia makes use of the knight used in the game of chess, which historically is associated with war.  Horses are also associated with the state of Kentucky.


Worn from:  1966 - 1969. The design of this patch incorporates a nuclear mushroom cloud, indicating that the team is specialized in the use of tactical nuclear weapons.
RT Minnesota

Worn from:  1966 - 1969.

The design of this patch incorporates a nuclear mushroom cloud, indicating that the team is specialized in the use of tactical nuclear weapons.


Worn from:  1966 - 1969. The Chinese characters mean, "recon."
RT NewJersey
CCN

Worn from:  1966 - 1969.

The Chinese characters mean, "recon."


Worn from:  1966 - 1969. The poker hand depicted here, aces and eights, is known commonly in gambling circles as the dead man's hand.  Wild Bill Hickok was killed holding this hand.
RT New Mexico
CCC

Worn from:  1966 - 1969.

The poker hand depicted here, aces and eights, is known commonly in gambling circles as the dead man's hand.  Wild Bill Hickok was killed holding this hand.


Worn from:  1966 - 1969. A fairly popular symbol used on Vietnamese insignia was that of the grim reaper, shown here.  Command and Control Central special operations included unconventional warfare throughout the triborder regions of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.  Its subordinate elements included about thirty Spike Recon Teams, hatchet forces, and search - location- and - annihilation - mission SLAM companies.  
RT New York
CCC

Worn from:  1966 - 1969.

A fairly popular symbol used on Vietnamese insignia was that of the grim reaper, shown here.  Command and Control Central special operations included unconventional warfare throughout the triborder regions of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.  Its subordinate elements included about thirty Spike Recon Teams, hatchet forces, and search - location- and - annihilation - mission SLAM companies.  


Worn from:  1966 - 1969. The red Chinese characters translate as "Kill VC."  Above the scroll on the bottom of the patch are the Chinese characters that translate as "Lightning Tiger."  On the bottom of the patch, the Chinese inscription reads "recon."
RT West Virginia
CCC

Worn from:  1966 - 1969.

The red Chinese characters translate as "Kill VC."  Above the scroll on the bottom of the patch are the Chinese characters that translate as "Lightning Tiger."  On the bottom of the patch, the Chinese inscription reads "recon."


Worn from:  1965 - 1966. The headquarters of Command and Control South was at Ban Me Thuot.  Command and Control South was the smallest of the MACV-SOG field commands conduction cross-border missions into Cambodia as well as engaging in classified, special, and unconventional warfare missions inside Viet Cong-dominated South Vietnam and throughout Cambodia.
1st Co CCS
Exploitation Force

Worn from:  1965 - 1966.

The headquarters of Command and Control South was at Ban Me Thuot.  Command and Control South was the smallest of the MACV-SOG field commands conduction cross-border missions into Cambodia as well as engaging in classified, special, and unconventional warfare missions inside Viet Cong-dominated South Vietnam and throughout Cambodia.

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