- Parachutist Badge (United States)
Basic Parachutist Badge
Awarded by United States Military Type Badge Awarded for Airborne training course Status Currently awarded Statistics Last awarded Currently awarded Army Precedence Next (higher) (Group 3 badges)
Astronaut, EOD, Aviator, Flight Surgeon
Equivalent (Group 4 badges)
Pathfinder, Air Assault, Military Freefall Parachutist
Next (lower) (Group 5 badges)
Diving, Driver and Mechanic, Rigger
The Parachutist Badge, also commonly referred to as "Jump Wings" or "Snow Cone", is a military badge of the United States Armed Forces awarded to members of the United States Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy. The United States Coast Guard is the only service which does not issue its own Parachutist Badge, but its members are authorized to receive the Parachutist Badges of other services in accordance with their prescribed requirements.
- 1 Army
- 2 Navy and Marine Corps
- 3 Air Force
- 4 HALO/HAHO
- 5 See also
- 6 References
The Army Parachutist Badge is awarded to all military personnel of any service who complete the US Army Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. It signifies that the soldier is a trained Army Parachutist, and is qualified to participate in airborne operations.
The original Army Parachutist Badge was designed in 1941 by Captain (later Lieutenant General) William P. Yarborough and approved by the Department of the Army in March of that year. The Parachutist Badge replaced the "Parachutist Patch" which had previously worn as a large patch on the side of a Paratrooper's garrison cap. LTG Yarborough also designed the Senior and Master Parachutist Badges and the addition of stars to portray the number of combat jumps. The flash that is worn behind the badge is also a contribution of William P. Yarborough 
Skill levels, combat status
The Army Parachutist Badge is issued in three levels: Basic, Senior, and Master Parachutist.
(Basic) Parachutist Badge
To be eligible for award of the basic Parachutist Badge, an individual must have completed the Airborne School of the Infantry School in Fort Benning, GA.
Senior Parachutist Badge
To be eligible for the Senior Parachutist Badge, an individual must have been rated excellent in character and efficiency and have met the following requirements:
- Participated in a minimum of 30 jumps including fifteen jumps with combat equipment to consist of normal TOE equipment including individual weapon carried in combat whether the jump was in actual or simulated combat. In cases of simulated combat the equipment will include water, rations (actual or dummy), ammunition (actual or dummy), and other essential items necessary to sustain an individual in combat. Two night jumps must also be made during the hours of darkness (regardless of time of day with respect to sunset) one of which will be as jumpmaster of a stick. In addition, two mass tactical jumps which culminate in an airborne assault problem with either a unit equivalent to a battalion or larger; a separate company battery; or an organic staff of regimental size or larger. The soldier must fill a position commensurate with his or her rank or grade during the problem.
- Either graduated from the Jumpmaster Course of the Airborne Department of the Infantry School or the Jumpmaster School of a separate airborne battalion or larger airborne unit, or infantry divisions and separate infantry brigades containing organic airborne elements, including the United States Army Alaska (USARAK) Jumpmaster Course or served as jumpmaster on one or more combat jumps or as a jumpmaster on 15 noncombat jumps.
- Have served on jump status with an airborne unit or other organizations authorized parachutists for a total of at least 24 months.
Master Parachutist Badge
To be eligible for the Master Parachutist Badge, an individual must have been rated excellent in character and efficiency and have met the following requirements:
- Participated in a minimum of 65 jumps including twenty-five jumps with combat equipment to consist of normal TOE equipment, including individual weapon carried by the individual in combat whether the jump was in actual or simulated combat. In cases of simulated combat the equipment will include water rations (actual or dummy), ammunition (actual or dummy), and other essential items necessary to sustain an individual in combat. Four night jumps must also be made during the hours of darkness, one as jumpmaster of a stick. Five mass tactical jumps must be made which culminate in an airborne assault problem with a unit equivalent to a battalion or larger; a separate company/battery; or an organic staff of regimental size or larger. The individual must fill a position commensurate with their rank or grade during the problem.
- Either graduated from the Jumpmaster Course of the Airborne Department of the Infantry School or the Jumpmaster School of a separate airborne battalion or larger airborne unit, or infantry divisions and separate infantry brigades containing organic airborne elements, including the U.S. Army Alaska Jumpmaster Course, or served as jumpmaster on one or more combat jumps or as jumpmaster on 33 noncombat jumps.
- Have served on jump status with an airborne unit or other organization authorized parachutists for a total of 36 months (may be non-consecutive).
The 25 combat equipment jumps necessary to qualify for the Master Parachutist Badge must be from a static line.
Soldiers who complete airborne jumps into combat zones can wear the appropriate-level Parachutist Badge (Basic, Senior, or Master) with a bronze star (service star) for each jump, up to the authorized maximum of five (a single gold star).
The Combat Parachutist Badge did not gain official (army-wide) approval until after the 1983 invasion of Grenada (Operation Urgent Fury).
Airborne background trimming
Army units with airborne status wear an oval embroidered background trimming underneath the parachutist badge, sharing the basic design of the unit's beret flash. The original flash was also a contribution of William P. Yarborough.
The United States Navy and Marine Corps issue parachutist insignia in two degrees: Basic Parachustist Insignia and Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia. Parachutist insignia is available to personnel who perform jumps as a:
- Static-Line Parachute Jumper,
- Military Free-Fall Parachute Jumper, and
- High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) Parachute Jumper (used for premeditated personnel parachute (P3) operations).
Training is accomplished by successful completion of the prescribed course of instruction while attending the:
- U.S. Army Basic Airborne Course,
- U.S. Army Basic Military Free-Fall Parachutist Course, or
- other training certified by Chief of Naval Education and Training (CNET) or approved by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO).
Basic Parachutist Insignia
The right to wear the Basic Parachute Insignia, which is a silver metal pin with an open parachute flanked on either side by wings that curve upward, is awarded to personnel who complete the prescribed training. MCO 3120.11 is the only current Naval doctrine dictating the minimum requirements for the Basic Airborne course of instruction.
When an enlisted member initially qualifies as a static-line parachutist, an entry shall be made on NAVPERS 1070/613 (commonly referred to as a "Page 13" entry) of the service record indicating the date of qualification, type(s) of aircraft in which qualified, and unit at which the training was received. Enlisted members are authorized the parachutist (PJ) designator added to their rating.
A qualified Static-Line Parachute Jumper who successfully completes the prescribed program of instruction while attending a formal, interservice training facility including a minimum of 10 military free-fall parachute jumps, at least 2 of which must have been conducted carrying full combat equipment (1 day/1 night), may qualify. Enlisted members are authorized the military free-fall parachutist (FPJ) designator added to their rating.
When an officer initially qualifies as a static-line parachutist, the additional qualification designator (AQD) of BT1 will be entered into the officer's record by their detailer (NAVPERS). Free-fall qualification will result in an AQD of BT2.
For both the Static-Line and Military Free-Fall Parachutist Jumper qualified personnel, a service record entry shall also indicate whether or not the member is HALO-qualified.
The Basic Parachutist Badge is a prerequisite for the Special Warfare Badge since parachutist training is an integral part of the Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) program. SEAL personnel generally do not wear the Basic badge once they earn their Special Warfare insignia, but will wear their Naval Jump Wings in addition to the "Budweiser." Navy EOD technicians are generally also jump qualified with a number of them also being qualified in military free-fall (HALO/HAHO). Currently, due to a recent change, newly pinned EOD techs are required to attend Airborne School upon graduation. As well, a small number of SWCC personnel earn Basic badges in conjunction with their assignment to a Special Boat Team detachment that uses the Maritime Craft Air Delivery System (MCADS). This enables them to drop small watercraft and their crews from C-130 aircraft.
The Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia (formerly the Naval Parachutist Insignia) is an embroidered or metal gold-colored insignia depicting an open parachute with outstretched wings. It is authorized for officers and enlisted personnel who were awarded the Basic Parachutist Insignia and, under competent orders, have completed a minimum of five additional static-line or P3 jumps, to include: (1) combat equipment day jump, two (2) combat equipment night jumps, and employ at least two (2) different types of military aircraft.
In 1963 Chief of Naval Operations Admiral George W. Anderson, on the recommendation by Major Bruce F. Meyers of the Marine Corps Test Unit, authorized the adoption of a new, distinctively naval badge modeled after the insignia of the Paramarines and naval aviation from World War II.
While all Marines can be awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Badge, its wear in conjunction with the Combatant or SCUBA Diver insignia identify Battalion Recon and Force Recon Marines. Recon Marines not yet qualified for the Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia continue to wear the Basic Parachutist Insignia.
Like the Army Parachutist Insignia, the Air Force Parachutist Insignia is issued in three degrees being that of Basic, Senior and Master. The level of degree is determined by the number of jumps the wearer has successfully completed, years of service in the Air Force, and other requirements as specified by AFI 11-402, Aviation and Parachutist Service, Aeronautical Ratings and Badges.
Common recipients of Air Force parachutist badges include:
- Air Force Combat Control/ Special Tactics Officer
- Air Force Pararescue/ Combat Rescue Officer
- Air Force Special Operations Weather Technician
- Air Force Tactical Air Control Party
- Air Force SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance & Escape) Specialist
- Air Force Security Forces Contingency Response Group personnel
- Air Force Academy Cadets, selected Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadets
- Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers
- Air Force Aircrew Equipment
- Air Force Physiological Technicians
Notes: Airborne RED HORSE consists of a limited number of personnel within selected squadrons and not the entire career field. Additionally, most aircrew equipment and physiology technicians do not attend Airborne training or serve on jump status.
Air Force Basic Parachutist Insignia
The Air Force Basic Parachutist Insignia is similar in design to the Army Parachutist Badge. Air Force personnel may be awarded the decoration following completion of basic parachute training through a designated Air Force Air-Ground Training Program. Air Force personnel generally earn the basic parachutist badge either through the Army's Airborne School at Fort Benning, or through freefall parachute training at the Air Force Academy. The freefall program is offered to all Air Force Academy cadets (as well as some others) and, as a result, a large percentage of Air Force Academy graduates wear basic jump wings. The free fall course is designed for cadets to develop character, confidence, and courage. The jump wings awarded upon completion of the course are non-operational wings and are not recognized by other DoD jump units. If Air Force members are interested in pursuing a job requiring jump status they must attend the United States Army Airborne School. 
Air Force Senior Parachutist Insignia
The Air Force Senior Parachutist Insignia consists of the standard Air Force Parachutist with a star atop the parachute. Awarded for 35 static line jumps.
Air Force Master Parachutist Insignia
The Air Force Master Parachutist Insignia consists of the Senior Air Force Parachutist with a star centered within the wreath. Awarded for 65 static line jumps.
Qualified Army and Air Force personnel may go on to earn the Military Freefall Parachutist Badge in special operations training for High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) and High Altitude High Opening (HAHO) jumps. HALO/HAHO training is conducted by Company B, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) of the US Army Special Operations Command and lasts four weeks. It is awarded in two degrees: Basic and Jumpmaster.
- ^ Born, K (1998). "U.S. Army Parachute Badge". US Army Quartermaster Museum. http://www.qmfound.com/parachute_badge.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
- ^ "US Army Badges". US Army Institute of Heraldry. http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/UniformedServices/Badges/parachutists.aspx. Retrieved 8 February 2010.
- ^ Army Regulation 670-1.
- ^ U.S. Army Parachute Badge, US Army Quartermaster Museum.
- ^ Lanham, Howard G. (2001). "Insignia of Airborne Units U.S. Army". American Military Patches, Other Insignia and Decorations of World War Two. http://www.angelfire.com/md2/patches/other/airborne2.html. Retrieved 2008-11-15.
- ^ "Beret Flashes and Background Trimmings". The Institute of Heraldry. United States Department of the Army. Archived from the original on 2008-08-22. http://web.archive.org/web/20080822004122/http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/FlashTrim/FlashandTrimPage.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-15.
- ^ 
- ^ Bruce F. Meyers, Fortune Favors the Brave: A Story of First Force Recon, (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2004)
- ^ a b "AIRMANSHIP 490 - Frequently Asked Questions". Air Education and Training Command. United States Air Force. http://www.aetc.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=8947. Retrieved 2008-11-15.
- ^ a b U.S. Air Force ROTC - College Life - Summer Programs - Parachuting. Afrotc.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-20.
- ^ Airborne RED HORSE (Combat Engineers). Usmilitary.about.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-20.
- ^ http://usmilitary.about.com/od/airforceenlistedjobs/a/afjob1t1x1.htm
- ^ [http://usmilitary.about.com/od/airforceenlistedjobs/a/afjob4m0x1.htm
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