Hot Topics

  Social Media

Subscribe in a reader


Weather Update
USASOC News Service's items Go to USASOC News Service's photostream

Join Our Mailing List

Home > USASOC > UNS > 131010-01


USASOAC celebrates Army Special Operations Aviation history with new insignia

by Staff Sgt. Thaddius S. Dawkins II
USASOAC Public Affairs

FORT BRAGG, N.C. – (USASOC News Service Oct. 10, 2013) - Paratroopers from the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command celebrated the command’s one-year-anniversary by donning a newly authorized shoulder sleeve insignia , distinctive unit insignia and flash during a ceremony at the command headquarters.

“Prior to the activation of the command, nothing existed in the U.S. Army Heraldry,” said Command Sgt. Maj. David L. Leamon, U.S. Army Special Operations Command command sergeant major. “The creation of the SSI, unit insignia and flash is the culmination of our new command.”

The SSI’s background is an aviation blue shield and black border which highlights the command as Special Operations, but is also still very much a part of the Army aviation branch. Placed over those colors is the Fairbairn Sykes dagger with upswept red wings forming a spearhead, which symbolizes the unit’s role as the aviation element of USASOC.

“The first patch the 160th [Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne)] wore was the 1st Special Operations Command (SOCOM) patch,” said Army Chief Warrant 5 Bob D. Witzler, USASOAC command chief warrant officer. “1st SOCOM is what preceded USASOC and we felt that was very symbolic to assume the shape of the shield of the first patch worn by the 160th and incorporated it into our permanent shoulder sleeve insignia.”

Below the Fairbairn Sykes dagger’s red and black wings on the DUI is the Latin phrase “Volare Optimos,” or “To Fly the Best.”

“The [USASOAC] motto “To Fly the Best” doesn’t refer to the fact that we are the best pilots or crews or have the best aircraft,” said Witzler. “To fly the best means that we are charged with flying the best Special Operations operators and that is our first thought towards that responsibility.”

USASOAC’s new flash is comprised of colors that represent the U.S. Special Operations Command and USASOC, symbolizing the joint ground forces USASOAC serves, over the colors of the Army Aviation Branch.

“The flash assigned to us is only the USASOAC flash,” Witzler said. “The 160th command is authorized their own flash, as they have always worn and that’s not going to change.”

“The only thing that changes for the 160th is they will wear the SSI of the Army Special Operations Aviation Command. There’s a DUI and flash for ARSOAC that will represent that higher headquarters,” he went on to explain.

With the command’s new SSI, Witzler believes that Army Special Operations Aviation (ARSOA) Soldiers will finally begin to get the recognition they deserve.

“As the command group, we get to accept a lot of credit from commands that we support and that are peers of ours,” Witzler said. “We get to accept a lot of credit on behalf of the Soldiers from ARSOAC for the work that they’re doing. I hope this will allow those Soldiers to be recognized more easily on the battlefield and other situations so that they receive more of the credit themselves.”

“We were the only ones in USASOC who you were unable to determine their unit of assignment by looking at their uniform and that changed Oct. 1.”