Monday, October 18, 2021

History of the Ga. ARNG’s Boar’s Head Shoulder Sleeve Insignia


By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard

Left:  A 1970 concept sketch for the boar's head insignia. Right:  Fort Gordon, April 12, 1970 - Pfc. Asa Leverett of Battery A, 1st Battalion,
214th Field Artillery wears the Third Army patch which would be replaced by the boar's head patch the following year. 

The boar’s head shoulder-sleeve insignia was approved for wear by non-divisional troops of the Georgia Army National Guard October 18, 1971. Prior to that date, Soldiers not assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 30th Infantry Division wore the patch of the 3rd Army with the exception of cadets of the Georgia Military Institute who had their own shoulder sleeve insignia.

Arthur J. Ridley of GMI Class 1 wears the distinctive SSI
of GMI in Forsyth in  1961.

In 1970, the Georgia National Guard initiated the request for its own distinctive shoulder sleeve insignia based on the boar’s head distinctive unit insignia that was established for the National Guard of the State of Georgia March 20, 1922. By May 28, 1970 the patch design had been approved by the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry. The authorization letter described the symbolism of the insignia:

“The boar’s head on the wreath is an adaptation of the crest authorized for the color bearing units of the Georgia Army National Guard. The wild boar symbolizes courage and ferocity. The boar’s head, from the arms of James Oglethorpe, founder of the Colony of Georgia is also an emblem of hospitality. The colors red, white and blue are the official colors of Georgia.”[1]

The initial design of the boar’s head authorized by the Institute of Heraldry was revised upon request of Brig. Gen. Charlie Camp, Assistant Adjutant General-Army for the Ga. ARNG.[2] The changes concerned alteration of the design of the boar tusks. The Institute of Heraldry incorporated the final design requests in August 1970.[3]

The publication of Ga. NG Regulation 670-5 Oct. 15, 1971 established the effective wear date of the boar’s head insignia and prescribed the means by which units were to procure the patch. 

The 48th Brigade and the Boar’s Head Patch

The Macon, Ga. based 48th Brigade was established in the Georgia National Guard by National Guard Bureau Reorganizational Authority 153-73 effective December 1, 1973 from units previously assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 30th Infantry Division. While the 48th Brigade’s patch design was approved in 1974 it had not entered production by the time of the brigade’s first annual training. Thus, when the 48th Brigade traveled to Fort Stewart for annual training in July 1974 its 3,500 Volunteers wore the boar’s head shoulder sleeve insignia.[4]


Second Lt. John E. Paulk, Spc. 5 Patrick Ashley and Spc. 5 Joe Young of the Thomaston-based Company B, 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment
plot an indirect fire mission during annual training at Fort Stewart in July 1974. Photo by 124th Public Information Detachment.

On December 30, 1983, the boar’s head insignia was authorized for Headquarters, State Area Command personnel. Today more than 2,200 personnel of the Ga. ARNG wear the boar’s head insignia.


A color guard of the Tifton based 110th Combat Service Support Battalion wearing the boar’s head patch April 19, 2021.
Photo by Sgt. 1st Class R.J. Lannom Jr.

[1] United States Army Institute of Heraldry. “Memorandum for Record: Shoulder Sleeve Insignia for the HHD, Georgia Army National Guard.” May 28, 1970.

[2] Georgia Army National Guard. “Memorandum for Record: Shoulder Sleeve Insignia for the HHD, Georgia Army National Guard.” June 29, 1970.

[3] United States Army Institute of Heraldry. “Memorandum for Record: Shoulder Sleeve Insignia for the HHD, Georgia Army National Guard.” August 5, 1970.

[4] William Carraway. “The Creation of the 48th Brigade and its Shoulder Sleeve Insignia.” Georgia National Guard History. December 1, 2019.

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