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Old 10-08-2013, 10:31   #1
Cake_14N
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What does "Flash Qualified" Mean?

I searched and read this thread on Wearing the Tab: LINK 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
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:42   #2
RichL025
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Yes, that means he was "SF qualified" - as we would call it today.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:53   #3
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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".

Last edited by VVVV; 10-08-2013 at 11:58.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:55   #4
The Reaper
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"Full" flash, as opposed to a "candy striper."

TR
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:01   #5
Cake_14N
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"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
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:07   #6
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Here is the self-description"

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.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:08   #7
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Depends on the time frame

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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".
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:11   #8
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Thank you for the info

Thank you for the replies. I think I have a much better understanding now.

Off to do some PT.

Cake
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Old 10-08-2013, 16:03   #9
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Smile

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.
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Old 10-08-2013, 16:25   #10
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Quote:
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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

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...
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Old 10-08-2013, 16:34   #11
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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".
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Old 10-08-2013, 17:08   #12
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"paper flash"

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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.
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Old 10-08-2013, 17:13   #13
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Old 10-08-2013, 23:01   #14
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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.
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Old 10-10-2013, 13:07   #15
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We called the paper flash the "Frame of Shame".
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