28 August 2013

Is 'Cavalry Bull' Morale Patch 'More Hat, Less Cattle'?

While waxing historical earlier this week regarding the 113th Cavalry Regiment, I came across this photo of a decidedly unauthorized variant of the distinctive 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division patch. I am sworn to secrecy as to which trooper first flashed me this design, and to whether that encounter occurred in Iowa or Afghanistan.

With its horns hidden behind a U.S. Army cavalry Stetson, you might say that this "Cav Bull" version is "more hat, less cattle."

The Iowa Army National Guard's 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment (1-113th Cav.) is headquartered in Souix City, Iowa, and maintains the historical lineage of the whole regiment. The 1-113th Cav. is now part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division (2-34th BCT).

I worked up a PowerPoint-style slide using the "morale" patch, the term for any unauthorized patch that is manufactured for humorous purposes. In some U.S. Air Force units, morale patches are worn openly on designated days.

In my experience with Iowa's "Red Bull" units, funny patches are more likely worn concealed on the interior of a pocket flap. Other patches I've seen include:

  • "Infidel"
  • "Secret Squirrel"
  • "My fun meter is pegged"

Want to see more morale patches? Mil-spec Monkey offers selection for sale here. Tactical Tailor offers a selection for sale here.

When I used "Red Horse Cav" as the caption on this slide, people thought it was a horse. The 113th Cav. callsign is traditionally "Red Horse," but I opted to caption the slide with "Red Bull Cav." There are other cavalry units in the greater 34th Inf. Div., after all—perhaps they, too, can put it to use.

The phrase "If you ain't Cav ... you ain't s---" is often heard throughout the U.S. Army. Sometimes, particularly in tavern settings, it's even heard as a call and response.

But almost never in polite company.


  1. I heard a rumor that Some Kick ASS supply NCO ordered 1 for each guy in his unit and gave them out at Christmas dinner on the FOB. But I think that is just a rumor.

  2. When we went to the ACUs' I wore the "INFIDEL" tab. Not even the Sergeant Major ever questioned it.

  3. I found this while looking for the 113th Cavalry Patch, it amuses me to no end to see this picture. Those patches brought a lot of smiles when they were handed out, if anyone wants them you can still get them at http://www.milehighengraving.com/patch.htm .


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