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The Parachutist Badge or Parachutist Brevet is a military badge awarded by the Armed Forces of most countries in the world to soldiers who receive the proper parachute training and accomplish the required number of jumps. It is difficult to assess which country was the first to introduce such award. During World War II most belligerent countries used such badges or awards.

Contents

France

The French military awards seven Parachutists Brevets :

  • Military Parachutist Trainee (French: Brevet de préparation militaire parachutiste (PMP)) - awarded for four daytime jumps.
  • Military Parachutist (French: Brevet parachutiste militaire (BPM)) - awarded for six jumps, both daytime and nighttime.
  • Military Parachutist Instructor (French: Brevet d'instruction parachutiste militaire (BIPM))
  • Military Parachutist Monitor (Officer) (French: Brevet de moniteur parachutiste)
  • Military HALO Jump Parachutist (French: Brevet de chuteur opérationnel (SOCR)
  • Military HALO Jump Parachutist Instructor (French: Brevet d'instructeur au saut en ouverture commandée retardée (INSOCR))
  • Military Tandem Parachutist (French: Brevet de pilote tandem)

Germany

See: Parachutist Badge (Germany)

Poland

The Polish Odznaka Spadochronowa was based on the previous award called the Odznaka Pilota Wojskowego, or Military Pilot Badge. It was first introduced by notable Polish sculptor Władysław Gruberski in 1919 and was accepted shortly afterwards as the sign of all the pilots of the Polish Air Forces. The badge featured an eagle with wide spread wings, holding a laurel wreath in his bill.

In 1941, after the creation of the UK-trained 1st Independent Parachute Brigade, a similar symbol was adopted as the sign of all Polish paras. It featured a diving silver eagle. The symbol was also adopted by the cichociemni and nowadays is used by all branches of the Polish Army. Also, the Polish special unit GROM adopted a modified version of the symbol as its emblem. It is commonly (though informally) referred to as gapa (diving Eagle).

Singapore

The Silver Wings is awarded upon successful completion of the Basic Airborne Course conducted by the Parachute Training Wing, School of Commandos. First awarded to the pioneering graduating batch of 27 NSFs from Second Company, 1st Commando Battalion (1 Cdo Bn) of the Singapore Commandos Formation, it comprises a pair of outspread wings on both wigs of a deployed parachute, with the words "SINGAPURA" below the canopy. With the design sanctioned by 1 Cdo Bn's Commanding Officer, Tan Kim Peng Clarence, it is differentiated by a crimson velvet backing for Commandos, while those of the Commando Parachute Jump Instructors have a golden velvet backing. Non-Commandos wear the badge without any backing.

United Kingdom

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Army

The British Army has three versions of parachute qualification badges: (1) Parachute Jump Instructor; (2) Parachute Badge with Wings, and (3) Parachute Badge without Wings.[1]

The Parachute Badge with Wings insignia is earned by completing 7 descents + 1 night descent on the Basic Parachute Course at No.1 Parachute Training School RAF and subsequent service in a Parachute LSN. Prior to this course soldiers must complete and pass a recognised arduous training course, such as:

The parachutists badges for qualified personnel of the SAS and SBS are of different designs.

Those who do not serve with a parachute unit are permitted to wear the Parachute Badge without Wings, colloquially known as the 'Lightbulb'.

RAF

Qualified RAF personnel wear a badge similar to the Army's Parachute Badge with Wings, but on an RAF blue backing, there is no RAF equivalent of the 'lightbulb' thus the wings badge is worn both by those who have passed the RAF's Pre-Parachute Selection with II Squadron RAF Regiment and those who have only done the 'jumps' course. The Parachute Jump Instructor badge is categorised as a Flying Badge.

United States

The United States Parachutist Badge (also commonly referred to as "Jump Wings") is a military badge of the United States Armed Forces which is awarded to members of the United States Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy. After making five more jumps in a jump billet, members of the Navy and Marine Corps are authorized to wear the gold wings of Naval and Marine parachutists in lieu of their initial award of Army wings. The United States Coast Guard is the only service which does not issue a Parachutist Badge and does not have personnel serving on jump status; however, Coast Guard members are entitled to receive the Parachutist Badge of another service if the proper training was received. The badge is awarded to U.S. Armed Forces personnel upon completion of Airborne School or freefall (not HALO) parachute training at the United States Air Force Academy, regardless of branch or MOS[2]. The USAFA course is open only to cadets and its training focuses on parachuting for aircrew members who must exit from an aircraft in an emergency. The training is not considered preparation for operational parachute units.[1] If awarded, Army parachutists who meet the qualifications and jump with a foreign service may also wear one set of foreign wings on their Class A uniform. According to AFI36-2903, page 139 (edition of 2 August 2006), Air Force personnel may wear foreign-awarded jump wings while stationed in the awarding country or attending an official or social function hosted by the awarding government, and if the recipient has already been awarded US jump wings. [2]

The original Army Parachutist Badge was designed in 1941 by Lieutenant General (then Major) William P. Yarborough and approved by the Department of the Army in March of that year. In addition to the Parachutist Badge, U.S. Army paratroopers wore a "paraglider" patch on the front left side (enlisted) or right side (officers) of the garrison cap. Until the late 1940s, glider units were also included within Airborne divisions, hence the parachute and glider on the cap. The garrison cap with the paraglider patch was replaced by the maroon beret. Troops of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), a former parachute unit, continued to wear the garrison cap with patch until the replacement of garrison caps by the black beret worn by all personnel not already wearing maroon (Airborne) or green (Special Forces). When the black beret was adopted Army-wide, Ranger units switched from black to tan.

Philippines

The AFP Parachutist Badge (Basic) is awarded by the Chief of Staff, AFP and Commanders of Major Services to military personnel to the AFP and friendly foreign nations under the following categories:

  1. Basic Parachute Badge
  2. Have satisfactorily completed the Basic Airborne Course prescribes by the GHQ AFP and Major Service Training Directives.
  3. Have performed five (5) parachutist jumps.
  4. Performed a joint exercise/jump (BALIKATAN/BALANCE PISTON) trading of badges with friendly foreign countries who participated in this exercises

Other countries

References

  1. ^ http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafcms/mediafiles/9647CE1A_E2F1_FD48_EE58A77DCDE87EBE.pdf AP 1358 - Uniform Dress and Appearance Regulations, Chapter 7 - Distinguishing Insignia
  2. ^ http://www.aetc.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=8947

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