Seascout-Net Mail Archive for June of 1999: Geedunk: Medals, patches, knots, ribbons, liberty cuff patches
Geedunk: Medals, patches, knots, ribbons, liberty cuff patches
Tue, 8 Jun 1999 12:01:05 EDT
To the net:
As long as we are on the subject of "geedunk" (Navy slang for small sweets
that come out of vending machines) I thought I would pass along a response I
have just given to another member of the net with regard to "liberty cuff
patches," i.e., what we use locally to commemorate rendezvous, regattas, and
Liberty Cuff patches are fully embroidered seven color 2" x 5 3/8" patches.
They are similar to the traditional unofficial and unauthorized Navy patches
sailors had made up for themselves on special occasions. Worn inverted on
the reverse of the cuff and turned up when beyond the view of the Shore
Patrol (often with designs composed of such great nonsense as sharks,
mermaids, dragons, rebel flags -- our latest portrays the clipper Sea Witch
between two golden dragons) these patches commemorated 'round the world
cruises, crossing the Equator, cruising the Domain of the Golden Dragon, the
Arctic or Antarctic Circles, etc., or just demonstrated a bad attitude.
These patches were better than tattoos, since they were easier to remove. We
have issued eleven liberty cuff patches thus far.
In the movie "Sand Pebbles" Steve McQueen's liberty cuff patches are visible
when he, in his dress blues and on liberty, turns up his cuffs and takes
Candice Bergen out in a rowboat for a row.
We say that the patch can be worn on the reverse of the uniform cuffs, worn
in the "temporary patch" position (I have yet to see this), or on the back of
a peajacket, or simply saved and framed as a memento. Since officer uniforms
don't have cuffs, I wear mine sewn inside the cuffs of my wash khaki shirt.
I note they accent my massive Popeye like forearms nicely. Of course,
several parts of the preceding sentence are open to debate.
Less is more has always been the Navy style, as opposed to the Army style
which is wear everything you've got in the drawer. In this case the patches
are not really worn "on" the uniform, they are worn "in" the uniform. In my
midshipman days I saw uniforms that were fully embroidered with dragons and
the like "inside," but that is another story.
First, do you really want ribbons?
Second, do you really want ribbons for mere events occupying the same amount
of space and placed in the same position as Quartermaster and Eagle Awards?
Program is very important, but it should not be given the same visual honors
as personal achievement. Attending and achieving are two very different
things. I know many who simply attend things...and do no more.
<A HREF="http://seascout.net/ship101/">Sea Scout Ship 101 Viking</A>
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