Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Chiến sĩ xuất sắc (Soldier Excellence Award) Patch
Recipients of the Chiến sĩ xuất sắc (Soldier Excellence Award)
posing with President Nguyen Van Thieu, Saigon, June 19, 1973.
The military of the Republic of Vietnam created and issued a plethora of insignia. These varied by material, manufacturing methods, as well as design. A complete record of every insignia that came into being will likely never be known. New pieces and design variations previously not well documented continually appear. In this post, RVNHS would like to highlight one of these “lesser known” insignia.
Two recipients at the awards ceremony, Saigon, June 19, 1973.
The Chiến sĩ xuất sắc (Soldier Excellence Award) patch was created as part of a ceremony on the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Day, June 19th, in 1973. The ceremony was held in Saigon, and the award was issued to soldiers serving all regions of Vietnam from all branches of the armed forces. The soldiers were both officers and enlisted personnel who had been singled out in recognition of excellency by their respective commands. In total, oral history says roughly six hundred were given the award.
First Lieutenant Nguyen Van Cu (left) at the awards ceremony, Saigon, June 19, 1973
Most of the recipients gathered in Saigon. Many of the soldiers came from field positions, and consequently had well-worn uniforms and non-regulation hair lengths. They were sent to a barber and then to a quartermaster to be fitted for new uniforms. Two new uniforms were to be given to each soldier. When they received the new uniforms prior to the ceremony, a special patch appeared on the right pocket.
President Nguyen Van Thieu issuing the award to a recipient, Saigon, June 19, 1973.
Marine Colonel Ngo Van Dinh wearing the award patch, 1973.
(RVNHS would like to thank Tony Le for his help with translating material for this posting)
Recipients in line to be awarded, Saigon, June 19, 1973.
A recipient receives the award, Saigon, June 19, 1973.