2017-02-17 / Viewpoint


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#ArmyHistory: The Air Assault Badge

In 1964, the original Air Assault Badge was awarded to the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) by its commanding general, MG Kinnard, in Fort Benning, Georgia. This version of the badge was never approved by the Army.

In 1965, the 11th AASLT Div. (Test) was merged with newly reactivated 1st Cavalry Division and shipped to Vietnam. The Air Assault Badge was worn in the 1st Cav. Div. by former members of the 11th Div. and later in the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) in Vietnam as the Airmobile Badge.

In 1974, the 101st Airborne Division developed a new Airmobile Badge for local wear based on a one-week course at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and in 1978, the badge was approved as the Air Assault Badge for Army wide wear.

The first five badges ever awarded were made on Fort Campbell using dentistry materials. Today, Soldiers go through 10 days of training to earn the coveted Air Assault Badge.

-Dennis Johnson: Back in the early ‘80s, our barracks (553rd MP Co.) were right next to the air assault training grounds at Fort Campbell. The helicopters flew all night sometimes. Great sound. Nope, I never mustered the courage to try for the wings. For those who did, bless their souls for having the nerve to do so.

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