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mercierarmory
12-03-2006, 05:59 PM
I was trying to find what the original CW regulations stated about the wear of the M1840 NCO sword. Was it worn by all NCO's? It was my assumption that it was probably not worn in the field as much as other blades, but I could be wrong. Was it more of a formal weapon?

Basically, the commander of my National Guard unit wants to instill some tradition in our soldiers by allowing the NCO and officer sword to be worn at all formal occasions. He has put me in charge of writing the regulations and the history of it (basically because I brought the idea to his attention) and I want to see what the regulations of the time state.

Thanks for your help!

Mike

Sgt_Pepper
12-03-2006, 10:32 PM
1861 Uniform Regulations for the U.S. Army: "1520. The sword and sword-belt will be worn upon all occasions of duty, without exception." http://howardlanham.tripod.com/unireg.htm

Forquer
12-03-2006, 10:37 PM
I was trying to find what the original CW regulations stated about the wear of the M1840 NCO sword. Was it worn by all NCO's? It was my assumption that it was probably not worn in the field as much as other blades, but I could be wrong. Was it more of a formal weapon?

Basically, the commander of my National Guard unit wants to instill some tradition in our soldiers by allowing the NCO and officer sword to be worn at all formal occasions. He has put me in charge of writing the regulations and the history of it (basically because I brought the idea to his attention) and I want to see what the regulations of the time state.

Thanks for your help!

Mike

Mike -

More important, what do the current regs state? 20-odd years ago there was a manual for the saber. Has it gone the way of FM 22-5?

mercierarmory
12-03-2006, 11:08 PM
The current drill and ceremonies manual states that "all platoon sergeants and first sergeants will wear the sword while participating in ceremonies with troops under arms or as directed" however it is the "as directed" part I hoped our battalion commander would buy off on and allow all NCOs to wear the sword during formal events. Luckily he is all for it and wants me to write up the draft memorandum as well as give him some background.

To give you an idea where I am coming from, and why I would like to wear it, this past Saturday we had our annual class A inspection where I decided to wear an original 1864 Ames NCO sword. It was an honor to wear such a piece and kinda spooky to think that the last time it was worn with an Army uniform was possibly 140 years ago. One of the a-hole lieutentants in another company decided to go out of his way to embarass me and find the reg that says I cant wear it. Well, instead of telling him what I truely thought of him I thought I would go one step further and write the commander about my thoughts on the history of the sword and that all officers and NCO's should be allowed to wear them during formal occasions.

He approached me later that day and said he was all for it (take that you **** Lieutentant) and wanted some more information, and that is where I approached the CW forum.

Trooper Graham
12-03-2006, 11:22 PM
a-hole lieutentants in another company decided to go out of his way to embarass me and find the reg that says I cant wear it. Well, instead of telling him what I truely thought of him I thought I would go one step further and write the commander about my thoughts on the history of the sword and that all officers and NCO's should be allowed to wear them during formal occasions.

He approached me later that day and said he was all for it (take that you **** Lieutentant) and wanted some more information, and that is where I approached the CW forum.

Occifers are a pain even in the real army. Sounds like that one does his impression real well.

tompritchett
12-03-2006, 11:46 PM
Occifers are a pain even in the real army. Sounds like that one does his impression real well.

What is the most dangerous thing in the Army?

A brand new Lt with a map.

What is even more dangerous?

A brand new Lt with a map and compass.

Trooper Graham
12-03-2006, 11:55 PM
What is the most dangerous thing in the Army?

A brand new Lt with a map.

What is even more dangerous?

A brand new Lt with a map and compass.

The worse that I experienced was West Point captains bucking for majors. From company grade to field grad was a big step and they didn't care who they stepped on getting there.

hussard7
12-04-2006, 07:33 AM
All: You just have to love those Ring Knockers!

Wayne E. Gregory
MSGT USMC Ret
1967-1991

tompritchett
12-04-2006, 09:13 AM
The worse that I experienced was West Point captains bucking for majors. From company grade to field grad was a big step and they didn't care who they stepped on getting there.

I was a NG officer and once had a Brigade commander who had been relieved of command when he had been the commander of my battalion because of the actions of the senior NCO's of the Bn. However, much like what happened in the some units of the Civil War (I had to get some reference to the CW in here :)), his political connections were such (e.g., he was a member of the Board of Directors for the Armor Association) that he was able fully recover from what normally would have been a fatal blow to the career of any other officer. Needless to say, by the time I moved into the Bn, most of the senior NCO leadership had been decimated by his retaliations. His favorite motto - "I don't get mad, I get even", and he did in this unit.

Trooper Graham
12-04-2006, 09:32 AM
His favorite motto - "I don't get mad, I get even", and he did in this unit.

Here is a good one "That's not a threat, that's a promise".

I was regular army and retired with respectful memories of only one MG, two LTC's, one Cpt and one Lt and only two 1SG's. Not that many for 20 yrs 26 days is it? It's over though and we have none in the 7th and there will never be any in the 3rd even in a token position. Might cause flashbacks...:evil:

Rob Weaver
12-05-2006, 07:33 AM
[QUOTE=mercierarmory] To give you an idea where I am coming from, and why I would like to wear it, this past Saturday we had our annual class A inspection where I decided to wear an original 1864 Ames NCO sword. /QUOTE]
My curiosity is piqued: How did you wear the sword? Period NCO swords have a scabbard that requires a frog such as on the baldric, or like the musician's sword. The current M1902 saber is suspended from saber chains on a Sam Browne belt. If you wore the baldric, I'd have to side with the A-hole LT; that article is no longer regulation to be worn with the Class A uniform.

Matt_Wright
12-07-2006, 12:51 AM
Sorry, I've got to agree w/ Mr. Weaver. In all the Regular Army units I've been in, the only thing that sounds unusual about this LT's conduct is that an officer had to enforce a uniform standard. Was the NCO sword prescribed by the Commander as a component for that uniform at that formation? Doubtfull. Competence is my watchword?

Respectfully,
Matt Wright

Bummer
12-07-2006, 05:32 PM
Doesn't the army have a current model of sword that IS regulation? I know that wearing 'obsolete' parts of uniform and equipment after 'wearout date' is a no-no ( I know this personally because when overseas I found, and tried to wear, several things of this nature such as a 'johnny jeep' cap and once was even seen wearing (god help me) a WWI tunic in the field (hey it was warmer!) and told by our XO to kindly remove it as it is past the 'wearout' date.
However some units can, and have, authorized obsolete US stuff as special unit items, case in point the oval US buckle and black 'stetson' worn by some armored cav units.
Your commander--if he feels up to some red tape, 'could' apply to make such a thing as a 'special unit thing' possible to wear in his unit. But I have NO idea how much of a deal that would involve. Perhaps his assignment to you is the first step.

Rob Weaver
12-13-2006, 06:22 PM
If I'm not mistaken, the current model of saber is the
M1902, and is a very pretty, if not at all functional, piece of steel. There is no difference between an "officer" or "NCO" model. My parents gave me one as a commissioning present. It's worn on a black Sam Browne belt. Most of the time, it sees service as part of military weddings. I wore mine once to a dining in. The Bn XO gently persuaded me not to wear it during the evening by pointing out that although it was, technically authorized and correctly worn, since I was the only one, I was out of the uniform appearance of the rest of the Bn. Now it hangs over my desk in my office.

Trooper Graham
12-13-2006, 06:58 PM
http://www.militarysabers.com/army-saber-manual-of-arms/index.html

von_landstuhl
12-13-2006, 08:25 PM
According to Field Manual 3-21.5, Drill and Ceremonies, Appendix F, Manual of Arms - Saber and Sword:

The saber is worn by officers while participating in ceremonies with troops under arms, or as directed. It is carried on the left side of the body attached to the belt by the scabbard chain with the guard of the saber to the rear. The sword is worn by all platoon sergeants and first sergeants while participating in ceremonies with troops under arms, or as directed. It is carried in the same manner as the officer’s saber.

F-1. NOMENCLATURE

The nomenclature for the saber is saber for all officers, model 1902. The blade is 31 inches long. The nomenclature for the sword is noncommissioned officer’s sword, model 1840.

While the M1840 is the correct sword and a commander may direct that it is optional for wear during a Class A inspection, it is only authorized for wear by platoon sergeants and first sergeants. As with all rules and regulations, commanders can make them more restrictive, but not less, so the sword is authorized for wear to those in specific positions in the Table of Organization, not to all NCOs.

Trooper Graham
12-13-2006, 08:38 PM
http://www.militarysabers.com/army-saber-manual-of-arms/index.html


That's what the link above says also. ;)

Rob Weaver
12-14-2006, 07:49 AM
This must be one of those times that the Army has a meaningless regulation, not that that has never happened before. ;) So you're telling me that the M1840 is still the regulation sword for platoon sgts and 1st sgts? Then why is there no carriage system for it? Is there a reguation scabbard with chain rings that will allow it to be worn on the belt? Sounds a lot like "hang your clothes on a hickory branch, but don't go near the water." Experience being a poor witness, I will testify that although I have seen closets full of sabers and belts for use in ceremonial functions, and seen the M1902 worn by color guards and the like, I have never seen a modern NCO sword worn, even by NCOs.

von_landstuhl
12-14-2006, 09:36 AM
So you're telling me that the M1840 is still the regulation sword for platoon sgts and 1st sgts? Then why is there no carriage system for it? Is there a reguation scabbard with chain rings that will allow it to be worn on the belt?

Yes, this FM seems to be missing some info. It says, "It is carried on the left side of the body attached to the belt by the scabbard chain with the guard of the saber to the rear... At the preparatory command Draw, grasp the scabbard with the left hand turning the scabbard clockwise 180 degrees, tilting it forward to form an angle of 45 degrees with the ground."

Obviously, the NCO sword has no chain and if it's in the correct guard (like the one below), it's difficult to turn the scabbard 180 degrees.

I've been trying to find if there was ever a seperate Operator's Manual on the edged weapons, as there is with firearms, but have had no luck.

http://www.militarysabers.com/images/how-to-sword-90-11318.jpg

Trooper Graham
12-14-2006, 11:10 AM
I would think that if there is anyone up to date on this matter pertaining to the wear or even the authorization to wear the M-1840 it would be the 3rd Inf, The Old Guard, at Ft Myers. I'm sure there is contact info from a web search.

toptimlrd
12-14-2006, 12:58 PM
I looked in several reference books to include the old FM22-5 and it appears that the M1840 is still technically the approved blade for NCOs of Platoon or First Sergeant position. I also looked at the modern suppliers of the M1840 (Marlowe and White in particular) and they are providing it with the frog style attachment. I did see another vendor sell it with the chain type scabbard. This seems to be one of those issues that is seen so rarely that no one in the upper echelons deemed it worthy to continue updating the regs. I would continue to work with your commander and see if it can be approved at a lower level for ceremonial use and my reccomendation would be to continue using the frog system as it is the more traditional method for that weapon.

Bear in mind that some military units still use "obsolete" methods in their drill and ceremonies such as the "Old Guard" Continental Color Guard, the "Old Guard" Drum and Fife Corps, and the men stationed aboard the USS Constitution. If you can draw up some clear regs on the use and wearing, I don't think it will be a problem to get your COs approval from his past interest.

huntdaw
12-14-2006, 02:33 PM
All: You just have to love those Ring Knockers!

Wayne E. Gregory
MSGT USMC Ret
1967-1991


Sure do - my boy's one of them.

Trooper Graham
12-14-2006, 04:25 PM
Sure do - my boy's one of them.

West Point, OCS, ROTC or combat field commission?

Rob Weaver
12-14-2006, 04:52 PM
Wow - this is really a revelation to me! As a former CO, and a long-time staff officer, I'd chime in some advice, in no particular order: A) The regulations do state "when under arms, or otherwise directed." If your soldiers are not falling in under arms, it's a moot point. The second part of that directive allows a commander discretion. He or she may go along when the company is formed independent of the battalion, but don't expect much support higher than that. Bn Cdrs like uniformity. I can't imagine a time when it would be "otherwise directed." B) If you do get permission, do it right: platoon and 1st sergeants are the only ones authorized. If you're not in one of those positions, don't try it. If your organization doesn't have those positions specifically delineated in TOE, don't try it. C) Get your commander to issue a memorandum citing the appropriate paragraph and specifically directing that it be worn before wearing. Carry a copy on your person while wearing your sword. If that sounds anal, it's not have as bad as the trouble someone can make over something so arcane. D) The Old Guard seem to emphasize their Revolutionary War roots more than any other period. As such their musicians and color guards wear Rev War stuff. I've never seen the M1840 worn in a funeral detail, even in Arlington itself. I don't think they would be much help to you researching this.

Trooper Graham
12-14-2006, 05:07 PM
The Old Guard seem to emphasize their Revolutionary War roots more than any other period. As such their musicians and color guards wear Rev War stuff. I've never seen the M1840 worn in a funeral detail, even in Arlington itself. I don't think they would be much help to you researching this.


The Old Guard take on much more than just funeral details, Rev War Fife and Drum and White House Guard. Since their duties in Washington invlove Parade and Dress functions there are functions going on behind the scenes in a more personal and/or unit scenerio. I personaly have not scene them wear the 1840 but the ones you see most are not plt sgts or 1SGs. The wear of the 1840 I would consider an evening dress wear.

huntdaw
12-14-2006, 10:09 PM
West Point, OCS, ROTC or combat field commission?

West Point, Class of '05. Intelligence officer assigned to the 3rd ID. His wife is also an officer - ROTC from Cornell - transportation with the 3rd ID. I'm very proud of them both.

Trooper Graham
12-14-2006, 10:44 PM
West Point


.

I'm sure you are proud and that's why I will make no further comment. If I did it would only be my personal opinion based on twenty years experience. I just hope he has the good sense to lead with what's in his head and not with what's on his collar like so many do.

Rob Weaver
12-15-2006, 07:01 AM
The Old Guard take on much more than just funeral details, Rev War Fife and Drum and White House Guard. Since their duties in Washington invlove Parade and Dress functions there are functions going on behind the scenes in a more personal and/or unit scenerio. I personaly have not scene them wear the 1840 but the ones you see most are not plt sgts or 1SGs. The wear of the 1840 I would consider an evening dress wear.
Granted. THese are just functions that I've seen personally, and are certainly times when troops under arms would include the presence of an NCO bearing the sword we're discussing.

sbl
12-15-2006, 11:15 AM
Hello Mike,

What is the formal uniform like in your unit?

Thanks in advance and...

huntdaw
12-16-2006, 02:42 PM
I'm sure you are proud and that's why I will make no further comment. If I did it would only be my personal opinion based on twenty years experience. I just hope he has the good sense to lead with what's in his head and not with what's on his collar like so many do.


Very tactful of you. Knowing him how I do based on twenty-two years of experience being his father and being intimately familiar with how he was raised and the values and standards instilled, I would say he'll do just fine.

Trooper Graham
12-16-2006, 06:02 PM
twenty-two years of experience

he'll do just fine.

Twenty-two, West Point and a butter bar (2Lt). "He'll do just fine" if he has some good NCOs to teach him along the way and have the good sense to listen to them and also throw half of what he learned at the Point out the window. The Point is just a college like any other college. You graduate with a degree in Engineering. The difference is, you go to class in a uniform and graduate in a uniform but the real military training comes 'on the job'. A college graduate with a degree and four years of OCS comes out with the exact same...a commission and a pair of butter bars still needing military training and experience is not found in college books only the tales of other people experience...but I do wish him well. ;)

mercierarmory
08-15-2007, 03:02 PM
I know I have resurrected an old thread, but I completely forgot that I was discussing this way back in December and lost the link in my massive amount of shortcuts.

To bring back some of the discussion if you don't mind, we are a National Guard aviation unit in Nebraska that has a BN Commander that likes the idea of bringing back some tradition to the unit.

He has asked me to write the BN's policy letter on the wear of the M1840 NCO sword and the M1902 saber by officers. Although it does state in FM 3-22.5 that it can be worn under arms by Platoon Sergeants and First Sergeants, it does also state "as directed" in their as well. Where this policy I am writing comes in.

This is only meant for wear with the class-A uniform and the sword will not be worn in formation due to the fact that we would have to teach every NCO and officer the manual of arms for the sword which is asking way to much so it will only be allowed before and after formations or during social events.

In a nutshell, the swords will only be seen during the annual class-A inspection around Christmas. Military tradition is near and dear to my heart since I am a military history buff. I also am a medieval martial arts instructor teaching authentic sword techniques from a surviving manual written in 1409, so you can kinda see where the whole idea of wearing swords got started.

This is a little excerpt of the policy/instructions I have been writing:

1. Retaining the traditions and customs of the military of old is just as important as starting new ones. Today’s Army is steep in tradition. Whether it is the drill maneuvers seen on the parade field originally taught by Baron Friedrich von Steuben in 1778 or the first playing of Taps in 1862, they are all things that will remain with us for years to come.

2. The sword has, for centuries, been both a symbol of status and a valuable weapon of war in the military. From Julius Caesar’s Legionnaires victory at the Battle of Alesia in 52BC to Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt’s Rough Riders charging up Kettle Hill during the Spanish-American war, the sword has been an essential tool on the battlefield. However, as the weapons of war have transformed through the 20th and into the 21st century, the need for the sword on the battlefield has disappeared into history.

3. It has been decided that the 1-134th aviation will continue one of those traditions by authorizing the wear of the M1840 NCO sword for those in the grade of E-5 and above and the M1902 saber for officers during official unit functions that require the wearing of the class-A uniform.

4. During formations in the class-A uniform, the sword is not authorized, but during duty and gatherings before or after formation, it is approved.

5. For further guidance on the wear of the respective sword, appendix F of FM 3-22.5 can be referenced.




I hope this gives everyone an idea of where I'm coming from and I appologize in advance for resurrecting this thread that I forgot about!

SGT Mike Mercier

7thNJcoA
08-15-2007, 03:14 PM
When I was a Marine and made Cpl they sent me to Cpl's Course to learn how to become a good NCO even though Infantry Marines are natural combat leaders it was good b/c we learned dril and sword manual which I still know and it is only slightly diffrent then the 19th Century Army Manual Of the Sword

TimKindred
08-15-2007, 03:30 PM
Comrade,

Sorta like this?

http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=43942

Personally, I really like the look of marpat & naked steel... looks like a real warrior.

Respects to my Marine comrades,