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Barry J Stein

US Army Patches, Flashes and Ovals by Barry Jason Stein (Softcover)

US Army Patches, Flashes and Ovals by Barry Jason Stein (Softcover)

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This is the SOFTCOVER edition.

Table of Contents: Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3

U.S. Army Patches, Flashes and Ovals brings together in a colorful source more than 3500 cloth insignia worn by U.S. soldiers from World War I to the present. Picking up from where his well-known best seller U.S. Army Patches left off, Barry Stein has gathered officially approved patches from both active and inactive units, patches approved for local wear, as well as many unauthorized patches. The book, with its sharp, vivid, photos takes a snapshot profile of each unit.

It includes:

  • wear or approval dates
  • campaigns credits and unit decorations
  • anecdotal historical unit data
  • over 3600 patches in color
  • unit location
  • an excellent index
  • bibliography
  • glossary

The story behind the writing of U.S. Army Patches, Flashes and Ovals

Article by the author, Barry Jason Stein

In 1992, while on a business trip to an American military base in Wuerzburg, Germany, as owner and sales representative of the insignia manufacturing company Ira Green Inc., I was asked by the Military Clothing Sales Store manager, an extremely dedicated employee of AAFES, if I could put together a reference catalogue showing the names and pictures of various distinctive unit insignia, or as most people call them, crests (the small enameled metal insignia that tell the history of a unit through the ancient art of heraldic symbolism. That request led to my publishing, in 1993, the book "U.S. Army Heraldic Crests", which became the standard reference book for researchers and collectors (and MCSS managers) around the world.

Several years later, I decided to do a companion piece on cloth shoulder sleeve insignia, initially as a reference book for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (PX) system and then for the benefit of insignia collectors who might also be interested in the heraldic interpretation of the designs. I then went on to other projects and those two volumes slowly disappeared from my mind and from the shelves of the many bookstores that had carried them. I understand that, being out of print, they have become quite valuable. In 1999, after thirty-eight years in the business, started by my father in 1943, I retired.

But insignia and a love of U.S. Army military history was in my blood and one day in 2003, with war clouds on the horizon as my impetus, I decided to do a revised, updated and expanded version of my "Patch book". Thumbing through the worn pages of my one and only copy of U.S. Army Patches, reading about the heraldic symbolism of the units, their campaign and decoration honors and musing over the colorful designs, I decided that something important was missing. Again, as in so many other wars fought throughout Americas history, courageous American warriors were fighting and dying in the service of their country. In my minds eye, I saw the nameless faces of those soldiers and decided that this time I would include the story of those faces behind those insignia.

At first, I thought to research only the active units but as I got deeper into the project the heroic deeds and sacrifices of the soldiers from long-gone or inactivated units cried out for recognition. The pages of the book grew in number until I began to think, my God, surely, I wanted people to read this book but now I wasnt even sure they could lift it.

Over a three year period, I spent many days at the U.S. Army Center of Military History at Fort Meyer, Virginia, at The Institute of Heraldry (TIOH), at Fort Belvoir, Virginia and at the Naples, Florida, offices of my friends Scott Hughes (American Society of Military Insignia Collectors adjutant and insignia collector Sonny Saunders who allowed me to scan their collections. Late at night, after putting my little girl Victoria to sleep, I combed through the large collection of books on insignia and military history that I had acquired over the years and I "googled" through hundreds of websites on the internet looking for facts and stories that I could weave into a cohesive format that would tell the stories of Americas Army through the insignia sewn on the uniforms of American soldiers: its command structures and purposes, its combat units, its support units, its agencies, departments, missions; its glorious victories and terrible sacrifices, as well as the genius (and in rare cases, the mind-boggling stupidity) of its leaders, both military and civilian. I found stories of incredible hardships endured and fierce loyalty of one soldier for another under conditions almost too horrible to believe much less describe. Three years later, I published my book under my new company Insignia Ventures.

In the end, I believe that the essence of this book can best be summed up by the two men who I asked to do the forewords: for the first edition, General Gordon Sullivan, and for the current edition, my hero and friend, General Leon LaPorte. General Sullivan, who I first met at an Audie Murphy award and dedication ceremony, in Atlanta, Georgia, was at the podium thundering, "we will have no more Task Force Smiths", I didnt know what that was all about then but I know now and if you read this book you will too. In the first edition, Sullivan wrote,

"It has always been surprising to me that such a simple device as a cloth service patch could hold so much significance, but I have come to believe that these symbols are the ties which bind us to our rootsthese patches are a constant source of pride, and a method used over time by the leadership of the army to provide the soldiers a way of openly displaying their place in the long line of heroes who came before."

Years later, I first met General Leon LaPorte when he was the garrison commander at Fort Irwin, the Army National Training Center in California. I had been invited to tour the Center by my old buddy, now retired FORSCOM Command Sergeant Major, Rick Cayton. General LaPorte went on to command the 1st Cavalry Division and retired recently after several years as Commander, United Nations Command, ROK/US Combined Forces Command and Commander, U.S. Forces Korea. General LaPorte wrote,

"This is a book about the Army of the United States of America, yesterday and today. Here you can learn about the men and women who wear those colorful patches-the great things they did and what they continue to do for our country. Learn a little about their heroic deeds, selfless actions and terrible sacrifices. When you read this book, you will understand why soldiers join storied units, how they become "we few, we happy few, we band of brothers" and why we honor their service."

In closing, I refer the reader to a quote from an unknown author which Ive inscribed on one of the opening pages of my book. The words symbolize the essence of my book. They read:


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  • US Army Patches, Flashes and Ovals: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cloth Unit Insignia

    Barry Jason Stein


  • Binding: Soft Cover

    Copyright: 2007

    Pages: 600

    Size: 10.75 x 12.75

    Condition: New

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