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AMERICA - MILITARY BRANCH & RANK INSIGNIA

OPFOR Rank Insignia

Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines

Moderators: Miklós Lovász, kaldi, Chuck Anderson, Pavel Močoch, Erskine Calderon, Lukasz Gaszewski, ChrisWI, Zdzislaw Rudzki

OPFOR Rank Insignia

Unread postby Dorward_Bis » Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:21 am

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR, friends!

And now, concerning OPFOR rank insignia.

Having all FM 30-100 and FM 7-100 manuals, I found no trace of information concerning OPFOR rank insignia. And I wouldn't say that Internet is overloaded with such information as well.
Nevertheless, I could dig out something, and as usual each new answer bears two new questions smilies-23.

First of all, there are only two OPFOR rank insignia charts in the whole web - on Uniforminsignia and another one I found here - http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ ... -headgear/.
Image

But, observing both charts I was surprised with the absence of a shoulder slip with three narrow stripes, though there is several evidences of its existence:
Image
Image

And I wonder which rank these insignia were of.

Another question - the shoulder slips color. One source says that red color means motorized rifle units, black - armored, green - field subdued. Another source claims red meant the Soviet army, black - the Soviet Navy, and green - the Russian Federation armed forces. No fusiliers, no airborne? And what really the slips color meant?

Next moment - collar tabs color:
Image

They are claimed as follows:
Tab collar, OPFOR, BLU, TANKC1
Tab collar, OPFOR, RED, RFL CP (RIFLE)
Tab collar, OPFOR, BLK, TANKC1
Tab collar, OPFOR, OD , SBD CP (SUBDUED)

Why "blue" is "tank" and not, for example, airborne?

Questions, questions... So, colleagues, if you have any information or idea concerning all mentioned above issues, or something to be added, it would be great)
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Re: OPFOR Rank Insignia

Unread postby Erskine Calderon » Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:18 pm

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Re: OPFOR Rank Insignia

Unread postby marcpasquin » Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:10 am



the 1953 version of the insignias can be seen here. I've also compiled the information about the uniform for that period:

http://insignias.wikia.com/wiki/Aggressor_(US_Armed_Forces)
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Re: OPFOR Rank Insignia

Unread postby Dorward_Bis » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:44 am

Mates, all pre-OPFOR rank insignias are on Uniforminsignia already - I have all these Field Manuals (FM30-100 and others).

Actually, I meant OPFOR rank insignia starting from 1973 (or 1978) and up to now.
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Re: OPFOR Rank Insignia

Unread postby marcpasquin » Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:51 pm

Dorward_Bis wrote:Mates, all pre-OPFOR rank insignias are on Uniforminsignia already - I have all these Field Manuals (FM30-100 and others).

Actually, I meant OPFOR rank insignia starting from 1973 (or 1978) and up to now.


based on some pictures I've seen, it would appear to have been the soviet inspired ones until the early 90s and afterward, US ones (at least for NCOs, look at beret below and right pocket) or none for cases were exercises involved "insurgents" or paramilitaries.

Image

Image
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Re: OPFOR Rank Insignia

Unread postby Dorward_Bis » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:15 pm

Thanks, Marc))

Yes, looks like during the Cold War after as OPFOR replaced the Aggressor Army the maneuver enemy's insignia were Soviet-like for a certain period of time, but, as I guess they were not officially legalized by any document - at least Steven Bingaman mentioned that they were more like playacting, the system could be changed to fit whatever situation that the force is portraying.

But, searching through internet and collecting shards of information I came to conclusion that the OPFOR insignia chart which is in my message above is not pretty correct. So I've made my own version basing on the recent information I managed to collect, and this chart I dare to post here. Of course I still have some doubts about its correctness, but we are here to discuss various topics and find compromises by iterative approach))

Image

This is my version of the OPFOR insignia which should be inspired by the Soviet ranking system.
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Re: OPFOR Rank Insignia

Unread postby marcpasquin » Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:38 pm

by the way, i have a single picture of an Aggressor sailor (date unknown) but it's impossible to make the insignias. i know the early field manuals do not go into details regarding their uniform, did the later give any details ?
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Re: OPFOR Rank Insignia

Unread postby Dorward_Bis » Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:19 am

marcpasquin wrote:by the way, i have a single picture of an Aggressor sailor (date unknown) but it's impossible to make the insignias. i know the early field manuals do not go into details regarding their uniform, did the later give any details ?


Unfortunately, except this picture you mentioned in your post I failed to find out anything concerning the Aggressor Navy both insignia and uniform. The whole series FM30-100 is devoted to Army and Air Force solely, and later - OPFOR - including FM7-100 and others have no trace of information concerning either rank insignia or uniform at all. Looks like they decided that the maneuver enemy is not worthy to be a decent naval opponent:))
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Re: OPFOR Rank Insignia

Unread postby marcpasquin » Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:55 pm

Dorward_Bis wrote:
marcpasquin wrote:by the way, i have a single picture of an Aggressor sailor (date unknown) but it's impossible to make the insignias. i know the early field manuals do not go into details regarding their uniform, did the later give any details ?


Unfortunately, except this picture you mentioned in your post I failed to find out anything concerning the Aggressor Navy both insignia and uniform. The whole series FM30-100 is devoted to Army and Air Force solely, and later - OPFOR - including FM7-100 and others have no trace of information concerning either rank insignia or uniform at all. Looks like they decided that the maneuver enemy is not worthy to be a decent naval opponent:))


Should have posted previously but this is the image in question (bottom right). Origin is unknown.

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/uploads//monthly_03_2010/post-5476-1269978629.jpg

by blowing up the picture, their insignias appear to match those you identified in the encyclopedia as having been worn between 1962-1973. Since both the aggressor air force and army (as well the real world soviet forces' branches) wear the same insignias, it is possible that the aggressor navy was supposed to do to.

If you look closely, the shoulder slides of the other soldiers appear to be of a slightly yellower/paler green then their uniform. On the sailor, the collar tabs appear to be of the same colour so that it might have been used for their branch colour (like blue for air-related units).
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Re: OPFOR Rank Insignia

Unread postby Dorward_Bis » Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:57 pm

Yes, Marc, I meant the same picture - the only one with the indication of an Aggressor seaman.

Concerning the Soviet-based Aggressor's system: in that period the Soviet Army was not indicated as a maneuver enemy so obviously as it was a bit later, after as OPFOR replaced the Aggressor. Moreover, according to the history of the Circle Trigon Party's Republic, the main purpose to have strong Aggressor's armed forces was the menace of consolidation of USA, UK and USSR (!) against the Republic of Aggressor. Sounds funny, of course, but not funnier than the fact that one of three key persons of the Republic of Aggressor was... Martin Borman (!). But all this was just a virtual history, necessary to create some background for the decent maneuver enemy. Therefore, the Aggressor Naval ranking system could either coincide with Army/Air Force, or could be different (even having same rank insignia, as you know, the Soviet Navy had some specific ranks like "starshina 2 stat'i" (petty officer 2nd class) or "kapitan III ranga" (Captain 3rd Rank).

Concerning the color difference between shoulder slips and the uniform: if to look into the very Field Manual FM30-101 of April 1961 with changes made on 27 April 1962, the color of both the shoulder loops and the uniform is same:
Image

It would be great to dig out some information about the Aggressor's Naval rank insignia, but -alas - I have no idea where to get it from:)

Regards
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Re: OPFOR Rank Insignia

Unread postby Dorward_Bis » Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:29 pm

I've made some pictures of Aggressor's generic uniforms for various periods.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

There is a "misprint" in dates for pictures # 5 and 6: must be April 1962-1973.

Some sources demonstrate another type of a uniform tunic (gymnastyorka) since 1961.
Image

I suppose, both patterns could be used by the Aggressor Armed Forces.

Actually, they were allowed to use any kind of materials to create their uniforms and rank insignia. I like such an approach - just DIY - Do It Yourself)
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Re: OPFOR Rank Insignia

Unread postby Caim_Dubh » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:10 am

So, years ago in preparation for attending the Joint Readiness Training Center, I recall going through a handbook designed for Soldiers going to the exercise. It had the relevant rank insignia from a few of the first posts in this thread, which consist of a series of lines and pentagons. I wish I had a copy of it today, but c'est la vie. The last time I saw it was 1998 or 1999. The handbook laid out the equivalent ranks for the OPFOR members. I do not know if the equivalent rank had to coincide with their actual ranks, but I doubt there was any such requirement. Anyway, the ranks went something like this:

E-1, E-2 Private/Private E-2 -- no lines
E-3 Private First Class -- one thin line
E-4 Specialist/Corporal -- two thin lines
E-5 Sergeant -- three thin lines
E-6 Staff Sergeant -- one thick line
E-7 Sergeant First Class -- two thick lines
E-8, E-9 Master Sergeant/First Sergeant/Sergeant Major/Command Sergeant Major -- three thick lines

W-1 to W-5 Warrant Officer -- two thin vertical lines with one pentagon
O-1 Lieutenant -- two thin vertical lines with two pentagons
O-2 Lieutenant -- two thin vertical lines with three pentagons
O-3 Captain -- two thin vertical lines with four pentagons
O-4 Major -- two thick vertical lines with one pentagon
O-5 Lt. Colonel -- two thick vertical lines with two pentagons
O-6 Colonel -- two thick vertical lines with three pentagons

There was also an insignia for generals, and if I remember correctly it was along the same vein with a larger pentagon. I have no idea if the rank equivalency here is correct; I was stationed at Fort Campbell when I read the book so it is certainly possible someone in the 101st compiled the information and made up or used some heavy conjecture to develop the handbook.

Maybe one of our esteemed colleagues might find a copy. Regardless, the focus on asymmetric warfare has almost eclipsed the use of OPFOR insignia...almost.
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Re: OPFOR Rank Insignia

Unread postby Dorward_Bis » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:47 am

Caim_Dubh, thanks a lot for such an invaluable information!
It appears your info comfirms my version of the OPFOR rank insignia system, which I have already presented in this topic but will dare to repeat once more right here:
Image

The only difference of this chart with your description is that the Junior Lieutenant on the chart should be renamed as a WO/CWO.

And you've mentioned rank insignias for General Officers. I suspect, their insignias should be as follows (as the Soviet Army equivalent):
Major General - 1 large pentagon
Lieutenant General - 2 large pentagons
Colonel General - 3 large pentagrams
General of the Army - 4 large pentagons.

And (if the mentioned above is correct) I wonder if they had just these pentagons on their shoulder loops or with thick vertical stripes as for field officers?

Anyway, thanks a lot again, and I would be incredibly thankful for any additionl information concerning this topic.

Regrads, Dmitry aka Dorward_Bis
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Re: OPFOR Rank Insignia

Unread postby Blakwhit » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:48 pm

So I'm not sure about the ranks about LTC. I've never actually seen anyone wearing anything higher than LTC OPFOR rank when I've been down at Ft. Polk the last few years.

I also think that they may have done away with the rank slides with different branch colors on them. The OPFOR at Ft. Polk wears an all green uniform, the ranks slides are green with black stitching. The only branch distinction seems to be on their collar. They will wear branch insignia there. Some of the branches have a soviet style insignia (infantry), others simply use US branch insignia (Quartermaster, ordnance, etc...). This picture shows the Battalion Commander and the Battalion CSM uncasing a guidon and you can see the various insignia they currently wear.

http://www.army.mil/article/133425/1st_Battalion__509th_Infantry_Regiment_Adds_Two_New_Companies/
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