Foreign battles aren’t new for the 1st Infantry Division, but this firefight is from another world, a clash between the New Army and Old over plans to commercialize the 1st Division’s historic “Big Red One” insignia in a sportswear line at Sears.
After days of questioning, the Army confirmed Monday the arrangement was first reached in June 2007 on the advice of an outside licensing agency, The Beanstalk Group in New York, but the full scope of the royalties to be earned has yet to be disclosed."
What collection of soulless swine did this?
Please tell me it was not anyone who ever wore the US Army’s uniform. Unfortunately, it may have been. In recent years I have been depressed to hear senior officers babble about business science, systems analysis, weapons design and the social sciences to the exclusion of all else.
Semiotics is a "science" that is concerned with symbols. The thinly disguised Walmart managers in the military like to talk about semiotics. The 1st Division’s shoulder patch is a symbol. It has meaning for those who have worn it. It may still have some meaning for the family survivors of those who wore it.
I used to listen to the voices of the First Division’s "grunts" as they passed in the red dust of Vietnam bearing their burden, their clothing soaked with sweat in the miserable heat. "It don’t mean nothin’," they would often mutter. "It don’t mean nothin’."
There is a recruiting commercial on television now that depicts a young man who has recently joined the Army. He is a farm boy. He is a fine looking soldier. His farmer parents are in the commercial. His father wears a cap on the front of which is sewn the First Division’s shoulder patch. It is dirty. It is faded but it is there because this division was the Army’s premier unit for many years.
The organizational men and women in the Pentagon today care little for such sentiment. They think that "divisions" are an outmoded form. Why not sell the symbols of the past? Indeed. Why not?
"It don’t mean nothin’."
PS. The pictures are of the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division before, during and after the landing on Omaha Beach. pl
PPS. Someone writes that the person at Sears to discuss this with is:
Mr. Corwin Yulinsky
Exec. VP of Customer Strategy and Insight
Sears Holdings Corporation
3333 Beverly Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60179