Friday, November 5, 2010

Salad Bar, Explained

Alrighty here goes, I'm going to attempt to explain all the junk on Gunnar's uniform. I'm warning you now, on a scale of 1-10 my photo editing skills hover in the 2 - 2.5 range so I'm going to add a nice diagram to the following pics.  Hopefully at least some of this will make some sense to you (because it sure doesn't to me).

A - French Fourragere, all soldiers in the 82nd Airborne Division wear these
B - Branch Affiliation, these are the cross rifles of the Infantry
C - Combat Infantryman's Badge, awarded to Infantrymen that are actively engaged in combat with an enemy  
D - Army Commendation Medal, (Gunnar's has an oak leaf cluster, which means he's been awarded 2), Gunnar got these for his performances in a firefight in Afghanistan
E - Army Achievement Medal, (Also with the oak leaf cluster), performance based just for doing his job and doing it well...twice, apparently
F - Good Conduct Medal, for never getting in trouble 
G - Reserve Component Achievement Medal, from the good old days when Gunnar was in the National Guard, and not sucking at it
H - National Defense Ribbon, awarded to everyone in the Army during a time of conflict
I - Afghanistan Campaign Ribbon, for soldiers deployed to Afghanistan, the bronze star signifies 1 year over there
J - GWOT or Global War on Terrorism, awarded to everyone currently serving in the military during the War on Terror
K - NCO Professional Development Ribbon, NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) school which is called WLC or Warrior Leadership Course
L - Army Service Ribbon, soldiers get this when they complete Basic Training.  They have lots of non-PC names for this one, since it's a rainbow and all 
M - Overseas Ribbon, stationed overseas
N - Afghanistan ISAF, that's the International Security Assistance Force or NATO's equivalent of a thank you card
O - Airborne wings, this is Gunnar's jump status, meaning he can jump out of a plane any time they want/need him 
P - Air Assault Badge, he got this one back in '93 for repelling out of a helicopter
Q - Expert Marksmanship Badge, specifically with a carbine device.  That means he's a damn good shot with an M4    

Alrighty - on to the right lapel...

A - Unit Crest, It's actually the same as "D" on his uniform.  It's the second of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment.  Their crest is a dragon/lion's a close's lots of funny to me.  "Fury From the Sky" is their motto.  They sound very angry.
 Back to the diagram...
B - Blue Cord, awarded to soldiers when they complete their Infantry school training
C - US Insignia, with baby blue disk.  Only Infantry gets a disc (of any color) beneath the US pin
D - See A
E - Presidential Unit Citation, Awarded to the 508th by FDR for invading France
F - Combat Patch, given to 82nd Airborne soldiers serving in combat zone
G - Rank, Gunnar is a Specialist, currently (though he is preparing for a promotion soon)

Other stuff that didn't make it to the diagram:  Valorous Unit Citation, awarded for 508 performance in Afghanistan.

And there you have it.  A tour of a soldier's uniform.  Whew, I'm going to have a glass of wine now.     


  1. Thank you for that! First of all, I don't know how I missed this fact, but I can't believe he's a paratrooper (is that correct terminology?). Second of all, Fury From The Sky would be a fantastic band name. Does Gunnar play any instruments? If not, he should really work on that. :) Third of all, holy crap, his decorations (again, terminology?) are freaking impressive!

  2. Decorations is correct, and so is paratrooper. He has a lot of jumps under his belt. I think Fury From the Sky is hilarious! My guess is that it originated during WWII times when that sort of thing was cool. (Maybe it's still cool?) We were talking about these mottos and I think the best one is "Devils in baggy pants", for the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Funny stuff huh?

  3. All I want to say is: THANK YOU GUNNAR! Stay safe.

  4. Thank you for saying that! I will certainly pass it along.

  5. The 504th are the Devils in Baggy Pants, not the 505th.

    The 505's motto is H-Minus because in the American airborne landings in Normandy, the 505th actually jumped before its scheduled "h-hour".
    The 504th's is a nickname from the Germans for their ferociousness in battle. It was taken from the following entry found in the diary of a German officer killed at Anzio:
    "American parachutists...devils in baggy pants...are less than 100 meters from my outpost line. I can't sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know when or how they will strike next. Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere..."
    That is way too much history to poke fun at right there. Not to mention its pretty damn cool.

    Back to the 508: The lion on the coat of arms is the same as the French leopard used in the arms of Normandy, and commemorates the organization's landings and campaign in that province.
    And why would "Fury from the Sky" be funny? Think about it... these guys can/did rain death and destruction on our enemies. From the SKY!

    While your blog is going to be cool to follow, please don't disparage the unit. I was here for the change over from 3-504 to 1-508 (and still am! *sigh*) and insulting, even by joking, one or any of the units is an insult to every paratrooper past and present. Make fun of true comedy (Operation Clean Sweep?? lol) but not the history our guys are honoring every day by wearing their flash.

    Thanks, a fellow Fury wife

  6. @Anonymous:

    How DARE you make fun of Operation Clean Sweep and other similarly hilariously named missions!? I can't fathom how you can disrespect the integrity and fortitude of our brave soldiers involved in Operation Cajun Mousetrap III, Operation Stocking Stuffer, Operation Viking Snatch, and Operation Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.

    PS - Get the fuck over yourself. One can find humor in silly names while simultaneously appreciating, or even applauding, the efforts of the individuals associated with aforementioned silly name.

    PPS - You douche canoe.

  7. What really gets me is how did he manage to get the CIB while with the 82nd and not get a Bronze Star?? Someone is his chain of command must have they're head some where.

    1. CIBs have been earned by countless paratroopers who never received a BSM. It's not even slightly unusual.

    2. That's what I thought too. CIBs are given out pretty readily. I do agree that some people in his COC definitely have their heads in odd places though.

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