By Bob Meier, Electronic Warfare Proponent OfficeApril 13, 2012
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (April 12, 2012) -- The Army's newest collar insignia and colors are now available to Electronic Warfare warrant officers and Electronic Warfare noncommissioned officers.
On March 1, the Institute of Heraldry gave final approval to insignia production samples, which are now available for sale in Army and Air Force Exchange Service Clothing Sales stores. The items may also be purchased through the website of the manufacturer, Ira Green.
Approval of the warrant officer shoulder straps soon followed, and they too are now available at Clothing Sales stores. If they are temporarily not available in a Clothing Sales store, they may be purchased from the manufacturer, Vanguard, by calling 800-221-1264.
The warrant officer sleeve piping and hatband are expected to be available for purchase in Clothing Sales stores by April 30, officials said.
Additionally, the NCO insignia is expected to be available through the Army supply system between September 2012 and March 2013.
In recognizing the important role of Electronic Warfare, or EW, in current and future operations, the Army established AOC 29A (EW Officer), Military Occupational Specialty 290A (EW Technician) and Military Occupational Specialty 29E (EW Noncommissioned Officer) in January 2009. The establishment of this new field created a need for new insignia and colors for EW warrant officers and noncommissioned officers, but not for EW officers (29A) as they are in a Functional Area and will continue to wear their basic branch insignia.
After close collaboration with the Army's EW Proponent Office, the Department of the Army Staff, current 290As and 29Es, as well as other stakeholder organizations, the Army's Institute of Heraldry developed insignia and colors for these EW professionals. The commanding general of the Combined Arms Center, the Army's force modernization proponent for EW, approved them in August 2011.
The new insignia and colors can be seen on the EWPO public Web site (http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cew/) listed under "EW Insignia and Uniform Items" located in the left column underneath the "Log In" button.
The insignia and colors represent both EW's proud legacy and increasing importance. The EW colors are U.S. Army Golden Yellow and Black. Golden Yellow signifies the need to maintain control of an asset of inestimable value, the electromagnetic spectrum. Black represents the mission to blind and confuse enemies; it is also the color of the raven, alluding to the first EW personnel who served during World War II and were referred to as "Ravens."
The collar insignia consist of a shield, a key, and a lightning bolt. The shield symbolizes the need to protect the ability to operate within the EMS. The key symbolizes the importance of accessing adversary and safekeeping friendly capabilities and information. The lightning bolt represents the intent to rapidly, decisively, and precisely strike at adversaries.