correctly points out...
GliderRiderMedic wrote:...once you earn your jump wings, you are always entitled to wear them. Promotion would not make a damn bit of difference about it. That said, I don't know why you would wear the jumpsuit when not jumping which is what you asked about....
...the Parachutist Wings become a permanent award as soon as one has completed the required course of instruction and performed the prescribed training jumps (five in all, unless one of those was in actual combat, in which case only that one was required -- doesn't happen that way in today's Army!). Once that is finished, then one must perform all assigned jumps for the duration of one's assignment to an Airborne unit; one can
(and almost always will
) lose those wings if he refuses
to exit the aircraft once airborne (that gets very
ugly, even today).
From 1942 to the present, a minimum of one jump per quarter is required to draw jump pay for that quarter, although most Airborne units do jump more frequently than that, even those units which are part of the reserve component (yes, the reserve and the National Guard do
have them -- I was in one of those units myself). With a prescribed number of additional jumps -- of which a certain number must involve tactical exercises/operations, be performed at night, be with full combat equipment, and with some as jumpmaster -- plus a prescribed number of total months on jump status, a soldier may be awarded the Senior Parachutist and Master Parachutist Badges. For those who have made parachute descents in actual combat
, a small bronze five-point star is authorized to be mounted on one's wings -- one for each actual combat jump.
The slang term for the combat jump star, by the way, is mustard stain
, and those
are taken very seriously
by paratroopers, whether they've made a combat jump or not (I personally have not, out of 33 total jumps, with both US and British wings awarded), so even in the "dramatic representation" re-enactor role, it's a very good idea to not
be seen wearing one unless one has actually earned
Another uniform distinction sported by US Army paratroopers is the wear of the Corcoran (pronounced kahk
-ran, as the original manufacturer was in the state of Massachusetts and the name is pronounced that way in the local dialect) jump boot with the Class A and B (service-dress and service) uniforms instead of the low-quarter Oxford shoe. These however are worn with those uniforms only
while actually assigned to an Airborne unit, even if (rare, but it happens) one is not a qualified parachutist. A paratrooper who ends up in a follow-on assignment to a "leg" (non-Airborne) unit no longer wears them. The wings remain however! The Corcoran boot continues to the present day, incidentally, though is no longer worn in the field or even with any uniform other than the Class A or Class B. The vast majority of examples one will find -- due to post-war uniform changes -- are black leather instead of the original russet brown.