View Full Version : U.S. Army Trivia Question

01-16-2011, 10:59 PM
Did there used to be an Army regulation or pamphlet that caused the commanding officer's jeep or vehicle to be numbered with a -6 suffix on the bumper, as in HQ-6, A-6, B-6, etc? During my time in service there was no such requirement that I'm aware of, but the tradition was still put into practice. If I recall correctly from my military history reading the -6 suffix also was sometimes used informally in radio call signs until Signal operating instructions got away from that procedure.

01-16-2011, 11:14 PM
I've never heard of a regulation, but its been that way for the last 15 years.

In the mech units I've been around, when the CDR has a fighting vehicle (tank, IFV, etc) and a HMMWV, the HMMWV is -6, and the fighting vehicle is -66.

Also since I've been in the Army, we've had freq-hopping, encrypted radios, and used Hollywood callsigns almost exclusively. Every commander I've ever been around has used the unit call sign with the -6 expander. (Dragon 6, AllAmerican 6, Devil 6, Warrior 6, Thunder 6, etc). This is true from company level on up. Inside a platoon, the PL is the company call sign, then 16 (first PLT PL), -26, -36, etc. PSGs are -5 or -7, 1SGs/CSMs are usually -9 (or sometimes -7), XOs are -5. Primary staff are usually -1, -2, -3 and -4, but then they get garbled (because CDRs, XOs, DCOs, 1SGs/CSMs use their numbers) and usually have some two digit expander.

01-16-2011, 11:57 PM
Thanks, Redleg, during my Field Artillery service in '77-'84 nobody could tell me why we did it that way, except to say that's the way it had always been done. Maybe it started in a technical bulletin from the '50s.

01-17-2011, 12:27 AM
In around '79 or '80 we were equipped with Vinson secure units for our tactical radios, which I believe were frequency-hopping. Before that our secure units consisted of devices with male rods that fitted into female recepticles, and the settings on the device had to be changed daily according to that day's settings specified in the Communications-Electronics Operating Instructions. However, call signs then included in the CEOI did not have unique suffixes that identified the specific element within the organization.

01-17-2011, 02:55 AM
One of the hazards of being an old U.S. Army fa*t is that the terminology and acronyms we are accustomed to change all the time. When we see it happen our first step after taking deep breath is to assume that the new term can't be that much different from the old one, hence SOI, Signal Operating Instructions, turns into CEOI, Communications-Electronics Operating Instructions. Generally we keep up with these changes, but let me tell you, boys, Gettysburg was hell.

01-18-2011, 02:54 AM
It was like that back in 1994 in the anti-tank companies in the 82d Airborne as well. Not sure when it started but definitely still in effect in combined arms battalions today as well.