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Departmental and higher formation insignias


TacHel
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Following many requests for info by colleagues as to whether these badges were awards, I feel it important to share some more info with the membership of this forum. This thread will deal with departmental and higher formation insignias of the Ministry of Defence (MD RF). Although quite intricate, of heavy metal construction and most often adorned with ornate enamels, these high quality badges are in fact only that, badges denoting the wearer’s specific department, special unit or formation.

The picture below (from the web site of the MD RF) shows where to wear the different awards and insignia on the modern Russian military uniform. The badges which are the topic of this thread are worn centered on the left breast pocket (yellow arrow).

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Below is the insignia of the Federal Agency for the Safe Storage and Destruction of Chemical Weapons. The heavy badge at left is worn as prescribed above, the smaller insignia composed of the center shield/medallion only of the larger badges is mounted on a leather strip for wear on the shirt when the uniform tunic is not worn (summer dress). It hangs from the left breast pocket button. In this case, the smaller badge is that of Department 8 charged with classified communications and incriptions.

Edited by TacHel
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There are literally dozens, probably well over a hundred different designs. You will notice differences in the detailing, especially in the ministerial or branch eagles due to different makers and also to refinements and improvements in design and manufacturing procedures over the past 20 years.

Some badges bear the Defence Ministry's eagle, like the far right badge shown above, the others, such as the 3 others here bear the eagle of the army (grenade in lieu of laurel wreath in left talons). You will find them bearing the eagles of all MD RF branches and departments (navy, air force, airborne, etc)

Edited by TacHel
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As you can well imagine, there is a large market for these in Russia where they have quickly become sought after collectables. Although rare at the moment on the Western market, it is only a matter of time before you start seeing them.

Another small selection, 2nd badge from left bears the eagle of Strategic Rocket Troops.

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The badges bearing a sun as part of the main design usually denote a school or academy. You will also notice the shield has at times been replaced by the shape of a book. Either feature or both can be found.

Badge at left bears the eagle of the air force, center has the eagle of the army, right hand badge has the eagle of the ministry.

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Some badges have the departmental name abbreviated on the obverse. But there should be no date, this would indicate a unit level anniversary badge. They sometimes simply use these badges and add the dates of the anniversary and their unit number.

Russian heraldics being unique, do not too quickly assume you know the meaning of the center emblems. The one at right for example has nothing to do with the medical corps. The inscritpion GUT MO RF actually stands for Main Commerce Department, Ministry of Defense.

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Here's an example of what a unit anniversary badge might look like. Like previously mentioned, the design might actually perfectly match the badges above with the simple addition of the unit number and anniversary dates.

The 5 digits at left are the unit number. 45 LET at right means 45 years.

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