Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

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    msmith275
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    Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by msmith275 on Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:18 pm



    This one is a mystery to me.  I got it with a couple other 3rd Group patches from Afghanistan. A misspelled SOT-A scroll and an ASF QRF Scroll that goes with an ODA-362 patch. It does have what looks like three digits in the coat of arms, but I cannot make them out.  They could just as easily be bushels of wheat!  I also cannot make out the numerals or the words in the bottom scroll.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!

    Mark

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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by zvez on Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:27 pm

    don't think those are numbers I think they're ribboned rossettes.
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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by P-E on Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:28 pm

    msmith275 wrote:


    Pennsylvania State Flag Wink


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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by msmith275 on Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:49 pm

    Holy crap, they ARE bushels of wheat! Pierre, you have one badass image search program! Way better than Google I can tell you that.

    I think it says a lot about the world that it takes a Belgian to help an American identify one of our state flags.

    Nice work mon ami!

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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by P-E on Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:13 pm

    hahahaha, you're welcome Mark ! Glad it helped you Wink


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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by kriegsmodell on Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:00 am


    Well done!


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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by Zeked on Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:55 pm

    Jeez Pierre where did you find that patch/flag comparison! your knowledge of 02 stuff is incredible!
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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by airborne1968 on Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:58 pm

    I would think that given the name of the tab/scroll this is an Intelligence Reserve Detachment (I'm not familiar with this element). The scroll is likely made up (i.s. unofficial) for the SIGINT guys who conduct the LLVI missions in the Special Operations Team-Alpha. These are not SF tabbers but MI dudes who are usually part of the MI Det and sliced out to each company to work with the ODAs. However, I am unaware of any PA units tied to the 19th or 20th SF groups. Tom

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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by msmith275 on Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:54 pm

    airborne1968 wrote:I would think that given the name of the tab/scroll this is an Intelligence Reserve Detachment (I'm not familiar with this element).  The scroll is likely made up (i.s. unofficial) for the SIGINT guys who conduct the LLVI missions in the Special Operations Team-Alpha. These are not SF tabbers but MI dudes who are usually part of the MI Det and sliced out to each company to work with the ODAs. However, I am unaware of any PA units tied to the 19th or 20th SF groups. Tom

    Hi Tom! Thanks for the comments - I know the SOT-A scroll is for 3rd Group, as I have seen it before.  However, I believe it is an older patch, so at this point when people in Afghanistan find an older patch, it is likely to be an error that no one wanted when it was made in the first place. I have gotten several of those. Hence, IRD instead of 3RD.  As you correctly point out, SOT-As are assigned to MIDs in Battalion or Group Support Companies (now Group Support Battalions).  So Intelligence Reserve Detachment (IRD) just would not be an acronym in anyone's lexicon.  I am aware of several SOT-A members who are SF qualified, but the positions were initially all coded to be Airborne and Ranger ("Victor" slots) as in 98G3V for a SSG/E-6 voice interceptor.  It is near impossible to find qualified SIGINT guys who can then make it through airborne and Ranger school.  A more successful approach was to take Rangers who could qualify and send them to intel school. In practical terms you had to try and do both.

    I am also not aware of any NG SF MID elements in Pennsylvania either.  So again, I think the flag patch totally unrelated to the others (unless one of the guys' hometown was there).  20th Group's Special Operations Weather Team (SOWT) is actually in PA, but they are a USAF Weather Flight.  While they may have deployed with 20th SFGA units to OEF-A, the scroll I saw previously was definitely 3rd Group.  So again, no real evidence of any connection.  

    Probably my guy that found that one for me squinted at those three wheat bushels and thought (just like I did) "well, those look like they could be ODA numbers." and grabbed it and threw it in the bag with all the others!  

    Thanks Tom, your post made me think a bit more on this and I think we can safely rule it out as a SOF related patch unless we come across the Holy Grail photo "3rd Group SOT-A member attached to ODA-362 proudly wearing his home state of Pennsylvania's flag on his chest".  Not holding my breath for that!!!
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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by airborne1968 on Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:59 am

    Hi Mark!  When did the requirement to be ranger start?  The SOT-A and SOT-B guys that were in my MID when I was in 1/10th SFG were not ranger qualified. I believe one 1 or 2 of the MI guys in the entire DET had a ranger tab and one of those was an All Source Analyst.  That was from 1994 to 1996.

    I thought the same thing about the IRD, perhaps it should have been a "3" RD?  

    Always nice to see different insignia from different time periods of OEF/OIF.  Tom
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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by kriegsmodell on Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:14 am

    msmith275 wrote:
    airborne1968 wrote:I would think that given the name of the tab/scroll this is an Intelligence Reserve Detachment (I'm not familiar with this element).  The scroll is likely made up (i.s. unofficial) for the SIGINT guys who conduct the LLVI missions in the Special Operations Team-Alpha. These are not SF tabbers but MI dudes who are usually part of the MI Det and sliced out to each company to work with the ODAs. However, I am unaware of any PA units tied to the 19th or 20th SF groups. Tom

    Hi Tom! Thanks for the comments - I know the SOT-A scroll is for 3rd Group, as I have seen it before.  However, I believe it is an older patch, so at this point when people in Afghanistan find an older patch, it is likely to be an error that no one wanted when it was made in the first place.


    The first generation or original AStan made 3rd SFG(A) SOT-A scrolls date from 2002 or 2003.  Early small run, hand machine guided in DCU tans on velcro.


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    "I looked up at the bunker in front of me and saw a khaki-uniformed NVA with a pith helmet, chest web gear, green Bata boots and an AK, Type 56, and no other identifying insignia. Then I shot him." -- Sergeant Tony "Fast Eddie" Anderson, RT Kansas, TF1AE, 1971

    "My God, where do we find these men?" - President George H. W. Bush commenting on 1st SFOD-Delta after the Operation Acid Gambit rescue of Kurt Muse.

    "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me." - Inscription on the dog tag resting on the flag-draped homeward bound casket of an American Special Opearations warrior killed in action in Afghanistan, July 2005. - Dick Couch - Chosen Soldier

    "Choosing to die resisting rather than live submitting they fled only from dishonor and to meet danger face to face." - Lieutenant General John F. Mulholland Jr, USASOC Fallen Soldiers' Memorial Ceremony, 25 May 2012.

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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by msmith275 on Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:59 pm

    airborne1968 wrote:Hi Mark!  When did the requirement to be ranger start?  The SOT-A and SOT-B guys that were in my MID when I was in 1/10th SFG were not ranger qualified. I believe one 1 or 2 of the MI guys in the entire DET had a ranger tab and one of those was an All Source Analyst.  That was from 1994 to 1996.

    I thought the same thing about the IRD, perhaps it should have been a "3" RD?  

    Always nice to see different insignia from different time periods of OEF/OIF.  Tom

    Hi Tom!

    I was just going to PM you with this, just because I did not want to hijack this thread off into some obscure TO&E discussion, but on reflection it does seem relevant.  There are a lot of SF MID insignia with the "Airborne Ranger" words or scroll design out there.  This is a good opportunity to explain why those themes are present on MI "Geek" insignia.  

    Prior to 1988, I'm not sure on the SOT-A requirements. They were all consolidated at the Group level.  When I was in 3/7 in the early 80's, we only had a small S-2 Section.  After 3/7, I got into the Guard and remained on active duty with 5/19 for another 15 years.  In 1988, the NG SF Bn's got the TO&E for the MI Detachments.  I'm not sure when AC battalions got them but I believe it was just prior to that.  Maybe even the same time.  

    That original TO&E coded all the SOT-A slots as "Victor".  At that time, we still had 98H Morse Interceptors.  The team leader was an SFC 98H4V and the other two two team members were SSG 98G3V and SGT 98G2V.  Bad enough to have this structure on active duty, but you can imagine how bad for the Guard.  No upward progression from the E-6 98G (voice) to the E-7 98H (morse), etc. All kinds of force management problems.  I know for sure it was the same TO&E in 2/1 and 3/1 at Ft Lewis and in 2/10 and 3/10 at Fort Carson in the mid-90's.  I don't have any first hand knowledge of 1/1 or 1/10 on this subject.

    Only the SOT-As were "V" slots, not the SOT-B.  The SOT-B did have a 98H (morse), but mostly had 98C SIGINT Analysts.  This structure of the MID SIGINT assets remained into the early 2000's.

    It does not surprise me at all that in any active or Guard SF Bn MID, that you would not have seen any SOT-As Ranger qualified.  You're really going to get some kid off the street and get them a TS/SCI clearance, send them to Korean language school for a year, then to SIGINT school, then airborne and Ranger?  Doomed to failure.  Or, get someone who is already qualified in an LLVI role, after being in a mechanized unit for a whole enlistment, then send them off to Ranger school?  It was a one in a hundred shot.  

    So unless you were really familiar with that TO&E, you would probably have never known.  Practically speaking, the "V" requirement was ignored.  If the SOT-As were MOSQ and airborne qualified, everyone up the food chain to the 4 star level was happy.  You still had the "survivability" problem, where these kids had to know their fieldcraft.  By the early 90's, we were tactically innovating on the best use of SOT-As. We found if you had two ODAs in adjoining AOs, you could place a SOT-A on the boundary between the two and have ears over the combined area. So they had to be able to infil, operate in the wild and exfil the same as any ODA.  And they had to do it with heavier rucks because of their equipment.  

    So we began recruiting Rangers who wanted to go to SIGINT and language school.  As soon as we got them interim TS clearances, they could OJT and deploy for training.  We also got MOSQ guys getting off active duty and got them airborne qualified.  With that mix, the two groups could cross train in their skill sets. It proved a very successful approach during JRTCs and JCS exercises.  Later on, SOT-As throughout SF were encouraged to go to the LRSU Leader's Course or similar program to meet that fieldcraft education need.

    Although used to some degree in the First Gulf War, in my opinion the first serious deployment that truly integrated SOT-As was Haiti in 1994.  The capability has obviously blossomed to its full potential since.

    I truly apologize for making everyone's eyes glaze over! Times this discussion by 39 other MOS specialties and you know what a First Sergeant does in SF!

    Thanks, Tom - it would be interesting to compare this with the memories of any 1/10 MID buddies you may still be in touch with.  Mark
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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by airborne1968 on Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:39 pm

    Mark, Great info! Also, a lot of the guys were submitting for "S" identifiers for having worked in group. SO, anyway, I'm only in contact with one SOT-A guy these days. We were both elected out of 1/10 SFG to become Warrant Officers and he just recently retired. He's a DUI collector. Remind me in about two weeks and I'll pull out and scan our team and section photos for the MID and post them there. they are nice 8 x 10s so maybe we can see some of the qualification tabs and badges on them. By that time none of the support MOSs worn green berets anymore. I believe that stopped in 1993 (before my time in group). Tom

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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by msmith275 on Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:24 pm

    kriegsmodell wrote:
    msmith275 wrote:
    airborne1968 wrote:I would think that given the name of the tab/scroll this is an Intelligence Reserve Detachment (I'm not familiar with this element).  The scroll is likely made up (i.s. unofficial) for the SIGINT guys who conduct the LLVI missions in the Special Operations Team-Alpha. These are not SF tabbers but MI dudes who are usually part of the MI Det and sliced out to each company to work with the ODAs. However, I am unaware of any PA units tied to the 19th or 20th SF groups. Tom

    Hi Tom! Thanks for the comments - I know the SOT-A scroll is for 3rd Group, as I have seen it before.  However, I believe it is an older patch, so at this point when people in Afghanistan find an older patch, it is likely to be an error that no one wanted when it was made in the first place.


    The first generation or original AStan made 3rd SFG(A) SOT-A scrolls date from 2002 or 2003.  Early small run, hand machine guided in DCU tans on velcro.

    This "IRD" SOT-A scroll was found in 2010 or 2011 and most definitely not made back in that early time period.  Must be a copy off of an unclear original or photo.  Lance, have you ever seen a picture of the original version?  

    Thanks! Mark

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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by msmith275 on Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:53 pm

    airborne1968 wrote:Mark, Great info! Also, a lot of the guys were submitting for "S" identifiers for having worked in group. SO, anyway, I'm only in contact with one SOT-A guy these days.  We were both elected out of 1/10 SFG to become Warrant Officers and he just recently retired. He's a DUI collector.  Remind me in about two weeks and I'll pull out and scan our team and section photos for the MID and post them there. they are nice 8 x 10s so maybe we can see some of the qualification tabs and badges on them. By that time none of the support MOSs worn green berets anymore.  I believe that stopped in 1993 (before my time in group). Tom

    Will do! Love to see those photos! Yes, the resurgence of the "S" identifier was based on the powers that be realizing how much SOF specific knowledge was really needed for almost any support job in SF in order to really be effective. On one deployment to the Philippines our cooks were responsible for the host nation labor force for the FOB and conducting KLE's with their village leadership, debriefing those engagements with the intel people (which meant that they had to understand many of the PIRs). They had to be trained and proficient QRF members. They had to set up locally procured food acquisition and distribution as part of the CA mission.  They had to know how to palletize, build bundles, have section jumpmasters....

    When a commo, supply, intel, rigger, etc, etc, left a SOF assignment and rotated back into Big Army, USASOC lost a massive amount of institutional knowledge.  So the "S" identifier was a real good thing in my opinion, both for USASOC and for morale.
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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by kriegsmodell on Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:56 pm


    msmith275 wrote: This "IRD" SOT-A scroll was found in 2010 or 2011 and most definitely not made back in that early time period.  Must be a copy off of an unclear original or photo.  Lance, have you ever seen a picture of the original version?  Thanks! Mark

    Mark et al,

    Just to be clear, I was not trying to say that the "IRD" patch dates from that time period.  I was trying to state that the original (to my knowledge) small first run AStan made version of the 3rd SFG SOT-A scroll dates from that early period.  I have one in my collection which came directly from an ODA 361 operator who obtained the insignia when they were ordered/produced during that deployment.


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    "I looked up at the bunker in front of me and saw a khaki-uniformed NVA with a pith helmet, chest web gear, green Bata boots and an AK, Type 56, and no other identifying insignia. Then I shot him." -- Sergeant Tony "Fast Eddie" Anderson, RT Kansas, TF1AE, 1971

    "My God, where do we find these men?" - President George H. W. Bush commenting on 1st SFOD-Delta after the Operation Acid Gambit rescue of Kurt Muse.

    "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me." - Inscription on the dog tag resting on the flag-draped homeward bound casket of an American Special Opearations warrior killed in action in Afghanistan, July 2005. - Dick Couch - Chosen Soldier

    "Choosing to die resisting rather than live submitting they fled only from dishonor and to meet danger face to face." - Lieutenant General John F. Mulholland Jr, USASOC Fallen Soldiers' Memorial Ceremony, 25 May 2012.

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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by msmith275 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:10 pm

    kriegsmodell wrote:
    msmith275 wrote: This "IRD" SOT-A scroll was found in 2010 or 2011 and most definitely not made back in that early time period.  Must be a copy off of an unclear original or photo.  Lance, have you ever seen a picture of the original version?  Thanks! Mark

    Mark et al,

    Just to be clear, I was not trying to say that the "IRD" patch dates from that time period.  I was trying to state that the original (to my knowledge) small first run AStan made version of the 3rd SFG SOT-A scroll dates from that early period.  I have one in my collection which came directly from an ODA 361 operator who obtained the insignia when they were ordered/produced during that deployment.

    Hi Lance, yep. I'm with you. I think the "IRD" (made in 2010'ish) bad copy of the original "3RD" (made much earlier). Mark
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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by bryanbg on Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:33 am

    Eleven years with 5th SF Group (All-Source).

    Our SIGINT guys were originally coded for Ranger ("V") slots, however in the mid-80's several of our SOT-A and SOT-B guys completed the SFQC (carried 18E - SF Commo - secondary MOS). At one time or another several of these guys went on to "other" assignments. By the mid-90's the majority of the SF-tabbed guys went to full-time SF.


    As far as employment of SOT-A's in Desert Shield/Storm, our guys did quite a lot. Our SOT-A/B (2d Bn 5th SFG) was credited with assisting in the rescue of a downed USAF pilot when one of our SOT-A intercepted the distress call.

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    Re: Is This a 3rd SFGA ODA Afghan Made Patch?

    Post by msmith275 on Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:24 pm

    bryanbg wrote:Eleven years with 5th SF Group (All-Source).

    Our SIGINT guys were originally coded for Ranger ("V") slots, however in the mid-80's several of our SOT-A and SOT-B guys completed the SFQC (carried 18E - SF Commo - secondary MOS).  At one time or another several of these guys went on to "other" assignments.  By the mid-90's the majority of the SF-tabbed guys went to full-time SF.


    As far as employment of SOT-A's in Desert Shield/Storm, our guys did quite a lot.  Our SOT-A/B (2d Bn 5th SFG) was credited with assisting in the rescue of a downed USAF pilot when one of our SOT-A intercepted the distress call.

    Excellent update! Thanks! The SOT-A story in Desert Shield/Storm needs telling! Mark

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