April 12, 2012
Bob Meier, Electronic Warfare Proponent Office, Combined Arms Center
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. – The Army’s newest collar insignia and colors belong to Electronic Warfare (EW) warrant officers (MOS 290A) and noncommissioned officers (CMF 29).
These Soldiers are dedicated to assisting commanders in the integration of electronic warfare capabilities into unified land operations. This action brings these soldiers into compliance with Army Regulation 670-1 “Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, “and provides them a means of identifying the unique role they play in integrating EW capabilities into unit operations.
In recognizing the important role of EW in current and future operations, the Army established AOC 29A (EW Officer), MOS 290A (EW Technician) and MOS 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 (EWPO), the Department of the Army Staff, current 290As and 29Es, as well as other stakeholder organizations, the Army’s Institute of Heraldry (TIOH) developed insignia and colors for these EW professionals. The Commanding General (CG), Combined Arms Center (CAC), the Army’s Force Modernization Proponent for EW, approved them in August 2011.
On March 1, 2012, TIOH gave final approval to insignia production samples, which are now available for sale in Army and Air Force Exchange Service Clothing Sales stores. However, if these items are temporarily unavailable in your Clothing Sales store, they may be purchased from through the manufacturer’s (Ira Green) Web site.
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 your Clothing Sales store, they may be purchased from the manufacture (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, 2012.
Additionally, the NCO insignia is expected to be available through the Army supply system between September 2012 and March 2013. You can see the insignia and colors 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 in our Army. 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 (EMS). Black represents the mission to blind and confuse our 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 our 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 our adversaries.
Now that the insignia and shoulder straps are available for purchase at Clothing Sales stores, EW soldiers may order them from the stores in person. EWPO will maintain the status of the availability of sleeve piping and hatbands at the Web site address listed in the caption below.
The insignia and colors will provide EW professionals with a tangible expression of their value to our Army – past, present and future, as well as providing a link to their predecessors and successors ’.
To learn more about the EWPO, visit the EWPO public Web site at http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cew/.