U.S. ARMY 3RD PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS BATTALION (AIRBORNE) FLASH AND OVAL

Organizational flashes are designed for wear by Soldiers authorized to wear the maroon, tan, or green berets associated with Airborne, Ranger, and Special Forces units. The flash is placed on the beret so it is directly over the left eye when the beret is worn properly. Officers wear nonsubdued insignia of grade centered on the flash, while Enlisted Soldiers wear their Distinctive Unit Insignia (or Regimental Distinctive Insignia if the unit in which they’re serving has not been authorized a DUI).

Officially referred to as background trimming, ovals are worn underneath Parachutist or Air Assault badges on the jacket of the Army Service/Dress uniform, the shirt of the Army Service Uniform, or on the Army Maternity Tunic. When the badge is attached to the oval, they are considered a single item when determining number and placement of badges.

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The 3rd Psychological Operations Battalion (Airborne) was originally organized as the Psychological Operations (PSYOP) Dissemination Battalion and was activated in June 1990 as part of a provisional overhaul of the 4th PSYOP Group. According to then-Lieutenant Colonel James Kelliher, Battalion Commander at the time, it was formed from the print and communications sections of the Group’s line battalions.

One of the 3rd’s most successful PSYOP print effort was referred to as the “Wave” leaflet, which showed a wave capped with a Marine’s head crashing onto the Iraqi coastline and a line of ships steaming in behind it. The leaflets were distributed by placing them in water bottles and Navy Special Operations was tasked with getting them into the hands of the Iraqis. After seeing the leaflets, Iraqi intelligence specialists came to the conclusion that the Marine Corps would be launching an amphibious assault and move several divisions to the coast to defend against an attack that was never planned and never came.
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