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Old 09-13-2003, 02:48 PM   #1
Al-muell
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Shoulderboards.

This one is not about the meaning, but the chronology. Can anyone identify from what periods this shoulderboards are (based upon the letters)?
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Old 09-15-2003, 03:40 AM   #2
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Interesting question. I have never got a straight answer about the metal letters. Some sources say they were for honour parades only let honour parade uniforms have been seen with plastic letters and why are metal ones seen more with the Border Guards.

Shawn
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Old 09-15-2003, 04:58 AM   #3
Chuck In Oregon
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OK, I'll take a stab at this one.

I'm sitting here in Tbilisi with my bodyguard Levan and we're reading this together. He was in the Soviet Army in the mid-80s, ending up as a high sergeant. He says that these epaulets are all late-Soviet period, generally unchanged from the '70s to the break-up. I trust you know that the second-from-left is a shirt epaulet. The red one is internal troops (not really CA) serving in the regular (i.e., not the gulags) penitentiary system.

As for the metal or plastic letters, as opposed to the embroidered ones? He says they were hand-made by individual soldiers and they were definitely not regulation or officially allowable ON ANY OCCASION. He also says that he made a nice set for himself. He says that if you got caught wearing them you would get non-judicial punishment, 3-4 days in a 1x1 meter cell. However, when they were approaching the end of their hitch in the service, officers would look the other way if soldiers wore them on an everyday uniform.
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Old 09-15-2003, 10:16 AM   #4
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I have a set of shoulderboards with such metal letters, which I got from a friend in Murmansk. The uniform had been worn by his uncle, who have changed the letters to metal ones when "the end was near" (end of military service). He served in the communications troops. The rest of the story is sad - by some reason his uniform was stripped of insignia (I dont know if he did it himself or if it was any of his relatives who did it after his dead), cut in pieces and used to bring up oil from the garage floor ... :(

Anyway, I got the shoulderboards (with metal letters), collar tabs and arm patch.

/Patrik
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Old 09-16-2003, 02:01 AM   #5
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Just to clarify something Chuck posted.

The red boards shown (with CA) are regular infantry (motorized rifles) not interior troops. The black one is also regular armed forces but for all "technical" branches including armour and artillery. The olive shirt ones with BB (VV) on them are for the Ministry of the Interior troop. On a service uniform those BB ones would be dark red/maroon colour.

The green PV are for the KGB border guards.

Shawn
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Old 09-22-2003, 03:18 AM   #6
Al-muell
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Thank You all.
I may agree that this border guards letters are non-regulation, as this is obviously a dembel uniform (Judging on the sleeve patch - see foto). But I have seen many more uniforms with the same metal SA letters like on this artilery uniform, but I have seen none (!) with plastic letters. Actually the only pieces with plastic leters on shoulderboards I Have seen were shirts like this Interior troops on the foto.
On the other hand, when the Soviet Army was leaving Poland they have left few heaps of shoulderboards with plastic SA letters near their former barracks.
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Old 10-09-2003, 06:57 PM   #7
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Let me just add that the BB are, as Shawn says, interior ministry troops, but they do a lot more than guard prisons. Virtually the whole force in Chechnya is BB. The troops are conscripted (and now have a high percentage of formerly incarcerated criminals) and are best avoided at all times. Their discipline is poor and their commanders are largely cowboys. Their patron saint is Sly Stallone and they even dress like his "John" movie character. Like the U.S. cavalry on the 1870s frontier, the only good Chechen is a dead one. Sorry for getting off the pagoni topic; I too have never been able to get any answer other than "personal purchase." But I think it was really only characteristic of the last ten years or so of the USSR and I think they are somewhat rare.
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:42 PM   #8
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These shoulderboards came in the pocket of a enlisted signals troops tunic I got a while ago. That tunic has a fancy dembel patch on, which was posted somewhere on the forum. The boards on that tunic, however, are regular CA boards. Im wondering if the boards below were formerly attached to the service tunic that they came in, in place of the regular boards. I never realized that they are actuall warrant officer shirt boards with metal "CA"s attached.

So to my question, do these boards go on the service tunic they came in, or do they actually go on a shirt, making it a dembel shirt?

Thanks!
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Old 10-11-2005, 01:23 AM   #9
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If they still have attachment straps and no trace of being sewn to anything - they were probably used for shirt.
A bit unusual in my opinion.
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Old 10-11-2005, 08:02 AM   #10
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The do still have the straps, ad of course the holes where the buttons go are a bit worn, indicating that they were used on a shirt at some point. I guess I'll put them on a shirt and have a dembel shirt for the collection ;) Thanks for the observations.
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