The Army Driver’s Badge is similar to the Marksmanship Badges, which are worn by Soldiers to denote their primary weapon qualifications… However, the Army Driver’s Badge indicates that a Soldier is trained and qualified to operate a particular Army vehicle. It is worn exactly the same as the Marksmanship Badge and all other Special Skill Group 5 badges. Hanging beneath the badge are the individual plaques which indicate what vehicle that Soldier is qualified on. Here’s the breakdown:
- DRIVER-A: Amphibious Vehicle
- DRIVER-M: Motorcycles
- DRIVER-T: Tracked Vehicles
- DRIVER-W: Wheeled Vehicles
There are also plaques which indicate special skills for Operators and Mechanics. The tradition of wearing the Army Driver’s Badge started back in the 1940s and can be seen on Soldiers even today. For more information about the regulation, wear and issuance of the Army Driver’s Badge check out AR 670-1 and AR 600-8-22.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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7 thoughts on “Army Driver’s Badge Overview”
I totally understand not some soldiers having more interest in wearing other badges. I do believe that on formal attire, all badges a soldier has earned should be worn. That is just my opinion. Personally, I believe all skills learned that carry a job that not just anyone can perform, should come with a badge or patch. Again, this is just my opinion, but I believe these badges do give a pride to the soldiers who have earned them.
I think the badge is of great value in my opinion (especially in the Reserves). The requirements may be weak, but I’m mandating that drivers conduct monthly PMCS on their assigned vehicles. In addition, having their TCs certifying that they conducted before, during, and after PMCS when we have convoy operations.
Good for you, Vinh. I think the Army Driver’s Badge and Mechanic’s Badge are great. Soldiers like it and wear it with pride. Besides, I’ve never met a Soldier who turned down an award.
Here’s what I found online about it. To qualify for an Army Driver’s Badge, here’s what you need to do:
8–31. Driver and Mechanic Badge
a. The Driver and Mechanic Badge is awarded to drivers, mechanics, and special equipment operators to denote the
attainment of a high degree of skill in the operation and maintenance of motor vehicles.
b. Commanders of brigades, regiments, separate battalions, and any commander in the rank of lieutenant colonel or
higher may approve award of the Driver and Mechanic Badge.
c. Component bars are authorized only for the following types of vehicles and/or qualifications:
(1) Driver—W (for wheeled vehicles).
(2) Driver—T (for tracked vehicles).
(3) Driver—M (for motorcycles).
(4) Driver—A (for amphibious vehicles).
(5) Mechanic (for automotive or allied vehicles).
(6) Operator—S (for special mechanical equipment).
d. The eligibility requirements for drivers requires that a Soldier must—
(1) Qualify for and possess a current OF 346 (U.S. Government Motor Vehicles Operator’s Identification Card),
issued as prescribed by AR 600–55 and,
(2) Be assigned duties and responsibilities as a driver or assistant driver of government vehicles for a minimum of
12 consecutive months, or during at least 8,000 miles with no government motor vehicle accident or traffic violation
recorded on his or her DA Form 348–1–R (Equipment Operator’s Qualification Record (Except Aircraft)), or
(3) Perform satisfactorily for a minimum period of 1 year as an active qualified driver instructor or motor vehicle
e. The eligibility requirements for mechanics requires that a Soldier must:
(1) Pass aptitude tests and complete the standard mechanics’ course with a “skilled” rating or have demonstrated
possession of sufficient previous experience as an automotive or engineer equipment mechanic to justify such a rating.
(2) Be assigned to primary duty as an automotive or engineer mechanic, unit level or higher, or is an active
automotive or engineer mechanic instructor.
(3) If required to drive an Army motor vehicle in connection with automotive mechanic or automotive mechanic
instructor duties, qualify for motor vehicle operators permit as prescribed above, and perform duty which includes
driving motor vehicles for a minimum of 6 consecutive months, and have no Army motor vehicle accident or traffic
violation recorded on his or her DA Form 348 (Equipment Operator’s Qualification Record (Except Aircraft)).
f. The eligibility requirements for operators of special mechanical equipment requires that a Soldier or civilian
whose primary duty involves operation of Army materials handling or other mechanical equipment must have
completed 12 consecutive months or 500 hours of operation, whichever comes later, without accident or written
reprimand as the result of his or her operation, and his or her operating performance must have been adequate in all
Source: AR 600-8-22
During my time as Company Commander I simply typed up the Memorandum for Record and then had my Battalion Commander sign them. It was very easy to do.
What are your thoughts?
Personally, I think that the Driver’s Badge has no luster in the SBCT. I never see ANY of our Soldiers with one… Not because they don’t have them but because they just choose not to wear them. Almost every single one of our Soldiers is qualified on a plethora of vehicles so its just silly to wear the badge. Besides, being Infantry Soldiers, they would must rather wear their weapon qualification badges and such. Just my take… I think it may mean something to a POGUE?
Coming from a maintenance and logistics background, my guys always like wearing their Driver’s and Mechanic’s Badge, but as a tanker I can see why it isn’t a big deal to your guys. To each their own.
My husband isn’t a POG and he still wants his. =) Just depends on the person, I guess.