Concept

Glider Badge

Summary
The Glider Badge was a special skills badge of the United States Army. According to the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry, the badge was awarded to personnel who had "been assigned or attached to a glider or airborne unit or to the Airborne Department of the Infantry School; satisfactorily completed a course of instruction, or participated in at least one combat glider mission into enemy-held territory. The badge was authorized on 2 June 1944 and discontinued on 3 May 1961 but may continue to be worn on U.S. Army uniforms. Following the close of the Second World War, the Glider Badge was authorized to any service member who had completed glider unit training at the Airborne School. In the post-World War II years, the US Army converted its remaining glider units to parachute. For example, the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment of the 82d Airborne Division was reorganized and redesignated on 15 December 1947 as the 325th Infantry Regiment (no longer glider infantry), and then reorganized and redesignated again on 15 December 1948 as the 325th Airborne Infantry. Likewise, the 319th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, also part of the 82d Airborne Division, was reorganized and redesignated on 15 December 1947 as the 319th Field Artillery Battalion, and then reorganized and redesignated on 15 December 1948 as the 319th Airborne Field Artillery Battalion. Although glider units had ceased to exist, the badge was not formally rescinded until 3 May 1961; however, it remained authorized for wear by those who earned it. Glider training was included in the United States Army's basic Airborne course until 1949, which at that time lasted five weeks. The first week of the course covered air transportability training, which included glider training. During late summer of that year, a glider crashed, killing many of those on board, and glider training came to an end. A cloth circular Airborne (Glider) Insignia, similar to the Airborne (Parachute) Insignia, was worn on the garrison cap of active glider units until the Army combined the parachute and glider insignias into one Airborne Insignia worn by all airborne and glider-born units.
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