U.S. ARMY QUARTERMASTER CORPS SHOULDER STRAPS

Although all commissioned and warrant officers wear shoulder straps with grade insignia on the Army Service Uniform, the background for Generals is a blue-black velvet; only commissioned officer in grades O-1 to O-6 and Warrant officers W-1 to W-5 have shoulder straps featuring their branch color as the background. Quartermaster Corps shoulder straps are manufactured with a Buff (cable 65015) background with a gold-colored border.
 
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Glance over the nine current (2017) Military Occupational Specialties found in the Quartermaster Corps, and one seems to stand out from all the rest: 92R, Parachute Rigger. Understanding just how the Quartermaster Corps became responsible not only for providing parachutes for the Army but also preparing them for use requires a knowledge of the evolution of both the Army and the mission of the Quartermaster Corps.

The practice of aerial resupply was first employed on a large scale in the Pacific Theater during World War II, where friendly forces were frequently operating without supply lines and in areas where no cargo planes could land. Probably the most famous example of ongoing aerial resupply during World War II involved the 5307th Composite Unit, nicknamed Merrill’s Marauders, which operated in Burma constantly behind enemy lines and depended almost exclusively on airdrops for food, medicine, and ammunition for a period of over five months.

Other, smaller-scale aerial resupply efforts included an airdrop of food and clothing to isolated American units near the German redoubt at Monte Cassino in late 1943 and the aerial delivery of nearly 900 tons of supplies to the 101st Airborne Division surrounded at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

By the end of the war, the Army was convinced of the viability of aerial sustainment, but the transformation of the Army Air Force (AAF) into the United States Air Force presented the Army with a stumbling block. Throughout World War II, acquisition of parachutes and all related equipment was the job of the AAF; the Soldiers serving in Airborne units packed their own chutes, while the Quartermaster Corps had gained valuable experience at packing supplies for aerial drops, especially in Burma. Thus the question: should the Air Force handle aerial resupply functions, including parachute rigging for personnel and supplies? If not, which branch of the Army should handle it? Should Infantry continue to pack their own chutes?

The verdict was delivered by an Army board that included Airborne luminaries such as General Matthew Ridgeway and Lieutenant General James Gavin, both of whom had commanded the 82nd Airborne Division. Both Gavin and Ridgeway, as well as the majority of the board, concluded that since the success of parachute operations depended on the accurate delivery of men and materiel, then it was appropriate for the Quartermaster Corps to assume the duties.

The first Parachute Packing, Maintenance, and Aerial Delivery Course began on May 21, 1951 at Fort Lee, Virginia. Today, more than sixty years later, the Quartermaster School trains enlisted personnel in the 92R MOS, as well as Warrant Officers (Airdrop Systems Technicians).

Important : The Bullion shoulder straps are custom hand embroidered per order and would take about 10 business days to be ready. As such, past 24 hours of placing the order, the bullion shoulder straps are no longer cancelable.
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