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Cake_14N
10-08-2013, 11:31
I searched and read this thread on Wearing the Tab: LINK (http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15298&highlight=flash+qualified) but I am still a bit confised.

My simple understanding is that the Special Forces Tab was created in 1983 and if a soldier completed Special Forces Qualification Traing prior to that time he was awarded the "Flash".

So, if somebody tells you he is "flash qualified" does that mean he graduated SFOC prior to 1983 and earned the privledge and honor of wearing the Green Beret? Or does it mean that he did not hold an 18-series MOS but supported those that do?

I ask this because my current professor for one of my Master's Degree classes has the statement in his bio that he was a "Flash Qualified Officer" on 23 March 1971. I can provide more information in a PM as I do not want to post PII in the open without permission from him.

Thank you for the help and for clearing up this bit of confusion on my part.

Cake

RichL025
10-08-2013, 11:42
Yes, that means he was "SF qualified" - as we would call it today.

VVVV
10-08-2013, 12:53
Yes, that means he was "SF qualified" - as we would call it today.


Yes, it does...however I never heard anyone, officer, or enlisted refer to themelves as "flash qualified". Before 18 series MOSs came to be, us old farts earned (SQIs) either the "3" prefix (officers); the "S" suffix (enlisted). Later, officers earned the "5G" suffix to designate SF qualification.

A group flash was not an individual "award".

The Reaper
10-08-2013, 12:55
"Full" flash, as opposed to a "candy striper."

TR

Cake_14N
10-08-2013, 13:01
"Full" flash, as opposed to a "candy striper."

TR

TR,

remember I am a moron, Oxy-moron to be exact ( Military Intelligence) so..

is a "candy striper" somebody attached to a SF group for support authorized to wear certain uniform items only while thusly attached?

Cake

Cake_14N
10-08-2013, 13:07
This is exactly what is posted in his bio:


" I am a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel, and served as a combat engineer with duty assignments in Germany, Vietnam, Korea and the USA. My MOS was: 21A5B5G and SMOS: 54A. I am proud to have been an enlisted Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, and then a “flash qualified” Special Forces Officer (SFOC graduate: 23 Mar 1971)."

I just want to fully understand what he means.

I better just go straight to the source and just ask him to explain and then refer him here to re-connect with friends.

Pete
10-08-2013, 13:08
TR,

remember I am a moron, Oxy-moron to be exact ( Military Intelligence) so..

is a "candy striper" somebody attached to a SF group for support authorized to wear certain uniform items only while thusly attached?

Cake

The wearing of Green Berets, "Full Flash" "Candy striper", Marron Berets. et al is very time specific.

At one time like the late 70's everybody in a Group wore a Green Beret. Those who had completed the Q Couse wore the full flash, while non SF qualified folks wore a small bar of a portion of the flash - the Candy Stripe.

Shorthand lingo in a conversation would/could use the term "Flash Qualified".

Cake_14N
10-08-2013, 13:11
Thank you for the replies. I think I have a much better understanding now.

Off to do some PT. :lifter

Cake

TrapperFrank
10-08-2013, 17:03
When I joined 20th Group in 1979, you used to hear the term "flash qualified" all of the time. At that time, the rules were, legs wore the baseball cap. When one graduated airborne school, they were allowed to wear the beret with only the unit crest. After they had completed phase I of the Q course, they wore a partial "flash" referred to as a "candy stripe". To further complicate this issue, at one time there were reserve/national guard versions of phases I & II that were taught. One had to work sub courses and attend a two week annual training that was either a compacted version of phase I or MOS specific (weapons or demo) for phase II. Once a reservist or guardsman had completed phases I & II and completed a mission with an ODA, he was awarded his "full flash". This was way too complicated for me and since I was not doing anything anyway, just said me to the AD course.;)

RichL025
10-08-2013, 17:25
At one time like the late 70's everybody in a Group wore a Green Beret. .

The first time I ever saw a soldier wearing a green beret, they were short, overweight, wearing "shoes of comfort" and very, very pregnant :p

I was in an infantry battalion moving through the airfield at Ft Lewis, and my entire battalion was hootin' and hollerin' at her...

A few years after that is when they started making them wear maroon...

VVVV
10-08-2013, 17:34
When I joined 20th Group in 1979, you used to hear the term "flash qualified" all of the time. At that time, the rules were, legs wore the baseball cap. When one graduated airborne school, they were allowed to wear the beret with only the unit crest. After they had completed phase I of the Q course, they wore a partial "flash" referred to as a "candy stripe". To further complicate this issue, at one time there were reserve/national guard versions of phases I & II that were taught. One had to work sub courses and attend a two week annual training that was either a compacted version of phase I or MOS specific (weapons or demo) for phase II. Once a reservist or guardsman had completed phases I & II and completed a mission with an ODA, he was awarded his "full flash". This was way too complicated for me and since I was not doing anything anyway, just said me to the AD course.;)

That sounds like a description of "paper flash".

Pete
10-08-2013, 18:08
That sounds like a description of "paper flash".

Some officers never went through the Q Course but because of their position were awarded a "paper flash".

We had a great company commander that came from an aviation unit in 1975. He was assigned as the company commander and because of the position awarded a "paper flash". Another one around 1977.

Some have used the term to designate a person in the reserves who took correspondence courses and then completed the Q Couse by going to Robin Sage but that is not the same as being awarded the designation by assigned position.

Dusty
10-08-2013, 18:13
Don't forget "shake 'n bake"...

TrapperFrank
10-09-2013, 00:01
For what it is worth, the "Paper Flash" versus the "Real Flash" was a bone of contention within the reserve components for years. I am glad that I made the decision to go through the active duty course.

ODA 226
10-10-2013, 14:07
We called the paper flash the "Frame of Shame".

CSB
10-10-2013, 16:45
The preferred method to qualify a Special Forces soldier has always been selection, school training, testing, and graduation from the "Q[ualification]" course operated at Fort Bragg, by the John F. Kennedy Center. But in the 1970's the Center simply did not have enough quotas to accept all soldiers from the six National Guard and US Army Reserve Special Forces Groups, while maintaining a full course load for active components.

There was a period of time (before Special Forces was a branch of the United States Army, and instead was considered an "Additional Skill Identifier") when a USA Reserve or National Guard soldier could:

1 - Be or become airborne (parachutist) qualified, and;

2 - Enlist or be assigned into a Special Forces unit, and;

3 - For some of the MOS's (Military Occupational Specialty*) of a special forces unit, learn some of the classes requisite to Special Forces Qualification by correspondence course, and;

4 - Serve in the T.O. & E. slot (also known as duty position or billet) of the duty position and participate in at least one graded exercise of at least two weeks duration during which the soldier would be evaluated in the actual position sought, and;

5 - With the recommendation and concurrence of the chain of command, be awarded the Special Forces Additional Skill Identifier (in other words, earn the "Full Flash" status of a Special Forces Qualified Soldier).

The entire process amounted to a form of "on the job" training, and was only available for what we called the "soft skill" MOS's: Light Weapons, Heavy Weapons and Combat Engineer. The "hard skill" MOS's: Medic, Communications, Operations and Intelligence, still required that the soldier seek a quota and attend the active duty school.

It would never be referred to as a "paper Tab" since there was no Tab at the time. When we referred to it at all, we called it "OJT" for "On the Job" training, as in: "Lt Bloodworth, this drill I want you to take all the OJT's to the classroom and give them a block of instruction on the Diana Cryptosystem one-time pads and the trigraph."

The quality of the soldier depended of course on the quality of the instruction the soldier received "on the job" and the standards imposed by the unit. If well done, the soldier was the equal of a soldier who had been through JFK Center. Yet he might be dubbed having earned a "paper flash" by the "true schoolhouse graduates."
By the way, the two week field exercise leading to qualification was under the direct supervison of an Active Component Special Forces Group, in the case of the 11th USAR Group, that was the 10th Special Forces Group, from Ft. Devens, MA. I dare anyone to call them soft on standards.

======

The expression "Full Flash" meant the soldier was Special Forces qualified, was awarded the Additional Skill Identifier, and could literally wear the "full flash" sewn on his beret. He might have earned his qualfication at the Q course, or he might be a "paper flash" but he was fully qualified (and would later be awarded the Special Forces Tab.)
By way of contrast, an airborne qualified "candidate" for Special Forces would sew on the "recognition bar" (official name); "striker bar" (slang, based on the resemblance to the striker bar on the side of a box of matches); or "candy stripe" (a demeaning term for 'non-qualified' with a feminine twist, ala the "Candy Striper" young nurse assistants).
Here's one of my "Candy Stripers", and one of my "Full Flash" soldiers, circa 1979. 11th Special Forces Group, USAR, Winston-Salem, NC.

HardRoad
10-14-2013, 14:03
It would never be referred to as a "paper Tab" since there was no Tab at the time. When we referred to it at all, we called it "OJT"


Later, in the 1980's, after the creation of the 18 series MOS and the SF Tab, it was common to hear the term "Paper Tab" used to refer to SF soldiers who had gone through the reserve qualification process. I think the reserve qualification path went away as an option soon after they instituted the selection requirement, so it would have been FY89 or thereabouts, and over time, the number of paper tabs in the Guard dropped off to almost nothing, so it became a real oddity when you heard one of the old guys hadn't been through the Q.

If I recall correctly, the award of the 18 series MOS and the SF Tab was automatic for guys with the S ASI who had gone through the Q course, but SWC required the" paper flash" guys to submit a request, and basically revalidate the paperwork. They eventually came out with a NLT date to get the request in - I remember a lot of guys camped out in front of copy machine back then extracting the relevant portions of their 201 for the application packet.

MR2
10-14-2013, 20:20
Half my teammates in the 5/19 were either SF in 'Nam or Reserve component qualified (Correspondence course and consolidated Phase training). It took them three years after Jump school to become SF qualified. They were damn good SF soldiers and even better in the UW aspects. They had a real life and career outside of the Army.

I was proud to watch those then young pups go to war as Team Sergeants, Sergeant Majors, Company and Battalion Commanders.

Stras
11-24-2013, 11:46
======Here's one of my "Candy Stripers", and one of my "Full Flash" soldiers, circa 1979. 11th Special Forces Group, USAR, Winston-Salem, NC.

That Candy Striper.... looks like a SF Doc we had in 1-10 in 2002-2005 timeframe.. He wouldn't be of Irish descent, would he?