My Father was a Korean War Veteran. I have his DD214 and am trying to put together a shadow box for my brother. I need to know what unit he was in and his rank. On his DD214 it says his rank is SGT(T). His most significant duty assignment -
CO 4 BTG 9603 TSU. Decorations - Korean Service Medal w/2 bronze service stars, UN Service Medal and Combat Infantryman's Badge.
Can anyone help me?
As the NOK of a deceased veteran you can order a copy of his service record using the below website.
When filling out the 'online request' you will come to a "Comment" section. In that section enter that you "Request a copy of his 'entire' service record".
Failing to do that will only get you a copy of his DD-214.
You will need a printer to use the online system as there is a "signature" page that must be signed and mailed to the records center before they will fill your request. The address to mail will be on the forms.
eVetRecs:Request Copies of Military Personnel Records
However, if your dads records were some of the ones damaged or destroyed in the 1973 fire, they may not be able to provide much more info than you have. But send for the info anyway.
The 1973 Fire
If damaged or destroyed they will attempt to use Alternate Record Sources to provide as much info as they can.
"SGT" was the standard abbreviation for "sergeant" which was the NCO rank between corporal and sergeant first class during the Korean War era. The insignia of sergeant was three chevrons over one arc:
The (T) indicates that this was your father's "temporary" rank. Link HERE for an explanation of "temporary" versus "permanent" rank during those times.
Here is a likely decoding of "CO 4 BTG 9603 TSU": 4th Company, Basic Training Group, 9603rd Training Support Unit, which probably was located at one of the West Coast training installations (such as Camp Roberts or Camp San Luis Obispo in California). What does his DD-214 indicate as his place of discharge? What was his MOS? When was he in Korea? The more we know, the more we can say.
His place of separation was Camp San Luis Obispo, Calif. I am not sure what MOS means. His effective date of separation was 25Feb1953. He was inducted 23MAY1951.
Thank you for all of your help!
Ah, Camp San Luis Obispo checks out. As your father was a combat experienced Infantry sergeant at the time of his discharge, he probably had final duty as a cadre member in a basic training company at Camp San Luis Obispo.
"MOS" = Military Occupational Specialty, typically listed as a number and a duty title on the DD-214. As your father earned the Combat Infantryman Badge in Korea, he probably was discharged with an Infantry MOS. Might have been MOS 1745 - light weapons infantry leader or MOS 1812 - heavy weapons infantry leader.
Even though these awards are not mentioned on his DD-214, he also qualified for the National Defense Service Medal (link here ) and the Korean War Service Medal (link here ), both of which were first authorized after he was discharged. Your father's unit in Korea might have earned a unit citation, which would have been an award that he was entitled to wear on his uniform, but without knowing his unit, there is no way to ascertain this information. If you know his unit in Korea, we can look it up...
His MOS was 1745. It is listed under specialty number on his DD214. Under "Related Civilian Occupation and DGT number" it says Rifleman 9-22.30.
There is some other information under remarks that I think refer to a demotion for being AWOL he got because he was a Master Sergeant when he was in Korea. There are numbers associated with it if you think that would help in locating his unit.
Thanks for all of your help! Unfortunately my dad is not here to ask all these questions. He talked a lot about the war but, never about his medals and accommodations that I am trying to display as a tribute to him. I knew he was a MS and fought in a special unit. I also know it was a awful thing for him to have to go through. I only caught a glimpse of it when I watched the movie "Saving Private Ryan".
Again thank you!
Thanks for confirming his MOS.
Does that AWOL remark say something like this "__ days lost under sec 6a App 2b MCM 1951"? If so, this does not identify his unit in Korea. It means that sometime during his enlistment he was absent without leave for the specified number of days under the provisions of Section 6 (a) Appendix 2b, Manual for Courts Martial, 1951. These "lost days" were added to his term of enlistment and he had to make up the missing time at the end of his enlistment, in addition to any other punishment imposed (such as being reduced in rank). "AWOL" has a bad sound but AWOL was no big deal back then....it happened all the time.
More interesting is the information that your father evidently was a Master Sergeant when he went AWOL. Now, that is unusual. Moreover, you reported earlier that he was inducted in May 1952 and discharged in February 1953. That is 21 months. It would have been very unusual for an inductee to achieve the rank of Master Sergeant in 21 months. Impossible? Possibly not; but very unusual. Are you sure he was inducted (versus enlisted) in February 1952 and did he have prior military service before this period?
(a) What was his service number? (if you do not want to disclose his full service number, just give the two letters and the first two numbers shown in box #2 of his DD-214).
(b) What was his total active service (shown as years, months, and days in a box about half way down his DD-214).
That is exactly what it says. I didn't think the AWOL was a big deal. Hell, he watched a lot of his friends get killed, he was killing, you know?
Okay - I made a mistake on the induction date, it was 23May1951. His "Foreign and/or sea service" was 1 year 9 months. He told me he was a Master Sergeant. I asked him once how he got that so fast he said, "Process of elimination". I have a picture of him wearing his rank and he also has a big star on his left shoulder.
His service number is US 56 095 612. One other thing, I found out he went into the Navy before the Army. He enter the Navy under Richard George Wagner. Long story I will make short - Wagner was his birth name - Bellamy was his stepfather's name. I guess back then you didn't need to go through an act of congress to change your name. He gave me his DD214 that has the information I have been giving you.
Your father's service number begins with the letters "US" which confirms that he was inducted (drafted) and the first two numbers "56" indicates that he was inducted from one of the Western states (California, etc.) Any draftee who advanced in rank from Private to Master Sergeant in less than 21 months was doing something very right...probably many things. Good work.
His "big star" shoulder patch sounds like 2nd Infantry Division:
How about posting his Army picture here so we can all see it.
That is the Unit my dad was in because he has that patch on his arm, although I can't see the Indian.
I am not sure about the Master Sergeant. I guess I will find out more if I get his full Military Record that I have requested. I do know he was a Staff Sergeant because I have a picture of him wearing 3 up and one down.
Again Thank you for all of your help.
P.S. I don't know how to post a picture here.
The Army did not have "staff sergeant" as a rank during the Korean War. In some monumental flash of brilliance, the Army eliminated the three stripe buck sergeant in 1948 and made "staff sergeant" just plain "sergeant." This goofy mistake was rectified in 1959. The three stripe buck sergeant and four stripe staff sergeant titles were restored...of course, it took another 10 years to work all the old timers out of the system and it was 1969 or so before the mess was fully straightened out. Go here to see the Korean War rank structure: usarmyinsigniahomepage.110mb.com/kore_era.html
Yeah, posting pictures on military.com is a real pain now. Go to photobucket.com if you want to give it a try.
Here is my dad. He is the short one
Thanks for posting this picture of your dad, capnswitz (copied here for the benefit of others on this Forum).
No problem. Sorry the picture is not a better one.
Also, do you know where I can order the original time period badges? I did get his medals. They put his bronze stars on the Korean Service Medal. I think I mentioned that I am putting them all in a shadow box to give to my brother. Also will the citations for the medals come with the "entire service record" I requested? Another question.... If I do find out he had a higher rank than SGT is there any way I could have it reinstated?
Thank you again for all of your help!!!!
Beware: "...original time period badges..." from the Korean War are relatively scarce and some pieces are very expensive. Moreover, as with virtually every form of collectible, counterfeiting is rampant and the scammers notoriously prey on unsuspecting novices...and the Great Bazaar and Flea Market of the WWW is truly a place where sheep are shorn.
You evidently are not an experienced military insignia collector. However, assuming that you are determined to proceed with your project, your best course of action is to get some expert advice from an honest party. Google "U.S. Militaria Forum" and take a look around there (full disclosure: I am a member of USMF, using screen name Wailuna). A USMF member using screen name "Captainofthe7th" specializes in Korean War militaria. He is knowledgeable and willing to share his knowledge. Read some of his prior posts, ask him some questions, and then decide how you want to handle your shadow box.
Award citations are given for valor and meritorious decorations, such as the Bronze Star Medal or the Army Commendation Medal. Citations are not given for campaign and service medals, such as the Korean Service Medal.
Link here to see how one goes about correcting military service records. Good luck (but do not hold your breath).
I was in the 43 ID from Oct 1950 to Oct 1952. My combat service was in Bavaria. My rank was corporal E-4. Thanks for the information that you have on this web site. I was aware of the 'BUCK SERGEANT" was eliminated. What did buck sergeants become? Did the rank E-1 become Recruit, E-2 become Private 2nd Class, E-3 became Private First Class, E-4 became Corporal, E-5 became Sergeant (three ceverons and one rocker)?
A corporal. Good deal for all the ex-buck sergeants who lost a stripe in this lame-brained maneuver, eh? Here's what new mess looked like on paper:
The 43rd ID's deployment to Germany during the Korean War is an interesting story. Were you called up with the National Guard or were you an individual replacement? Do you have any pictures of you and your unit to post here (or in a new thread)? Korean War era vets need more visibility here...thanks for joining this Forum.
My father served in the 43rd Infantry Div. in Germany between 1951 and 1954. He must have been enjoying himself because he voluntary extended for one year. His rank at discharge was CPL (T). The information posted here on enlisted ranks during this period was very helpful to me because I was totally confused by WW2 era tech. ranks. What is the interesting story regarding the unit's deployment to Germany? Where may he have been posted/lived in Germany?
I am wondering how to find information for my father's service, his was in the Vietnam War, and Was at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and possibly Fort Benning, Georgia. I do not know his social or his service number, he is still alive and will not talk to me about his service, bc it is a sensitive subject. All I know is his name and approx dates and his birthday. Since he is not deceased, what records can I apply for ?
Did you check here?
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