Pararescue Art/Heritage

Cactus84

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Jun 13, 2018
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A couple of PJs that did some EMS work with us brought up some interesting tidbits about PJ traditions but they admitted they didn't have the full story on some of the details. I've always been interested in art, especially the art that has symbolic meaning so I hope this forum can fill in some of the blanks for me.

Green Feet: I know this goes back to the Jolly Green helicopters during Vietnam and that the whole Rescue community holds claim to it but what is with the 4 toes vs the 5 toes debate? Some things I've read online say that 4 toes are the original but almost every other patch/coin/art I've seen is different. Some have 4, 5, or even 6 toes, others have a lightning bolt or a lightning bolt with a dagger. I'd love to learn more about the meaning behind the variations.

Cheshire Cat: A lot of PJ things seem to have the Alice in Wonderland Cheshire cat but none of the guys I've spoken to know the origin. Can anyone here clarify?

Pararescue Angel: One guy said the angel in the PJ pin is supposed to be Michael the Archangel but other things list it as an Angel of Mercy or draw it as a female?

I know a lot of these things likely have different interpretations (like any symbol or art) but I'd love to learn more about it. Thanks.
 

Cactus84

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Jun 13, 2018
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Feet/Lightning Bolt was the original Special Tactics emblem, the dagger was added when SOWT became part of the community.
Great info! If there's any more to the story I'd love to hear it. Is the dagger meant to specifically match the one on the SOWT/old Combat Weather Team flash or was it meant to be a Fairbairn-Sykes dagger and be an umbrella term for AFSOF?
 
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