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[post mortem] Earthforce Pilot's Badges



[post mortem] Earthforce Pilot\'s Badges

Just like everything else in Earthforce, Pilot's Badges, also known as Pilot Wings, originate from present-day United States Armed Forces in general, and United States Air Force (USAF) in particular. And just like in modern USAF, a Pilot's Badge in Babylon 5 Universe is an insignia used to designate those who have received training and qualification in military pilotage.


Pilot's Badge was first conceived to recognize the training that military pilots receive, as well as provide a means to outwardly differentiate between military pilots and the soldiers of the regular ground forces.


Unlike today's military, Pilot's Badge in Earthforce is actually a embroidered badge located on the right sleeve of the uniform.

Babylon 5 Universe lacks metal form of the Pilot's Badge, which is mandatory worn nowadays 1/2 inch above the left breast pocket or same relative position, depending on the type of the USAF uniform with exception for Battle Dress Uniform (BDU), where Pilot's Badge is also an embroidered badge mandatory worn 1/2 inch above US AIR FORCE tape.


Present-day Pilot's Badges of USAF are issued in three degrees for officers: Basic, Senior, and Command. These degrees are denoted by a star and wreath above the badge and are determined by years of service and total flight hours obtained.


In Earthforce, however, there are four degrees of Pilot's Badges denoted by a star and red/white or white/white archs above and below the badge. The canon naming of these degrees remains unknown as well as the principle of thier determination. For this article I use the following degrees designations (descending):
<ul type="square"> [*]Command Pilot (golden wings with a star above, red arch above and white arch below); [*]Expert Pilot (golden wings with a star above and white arches above and below); [*]Senior Pilot (golden wings with a star above); [*]Basic Pilot (golden wings). [/list]

The second place we often see Pilot's Badge insignia in Babylon 5 Universe is Earthforce pilot's flight suit.

Pilot Wings are incorporated within rectangular Earth Alliance Fighter Identification patch (similar to present-day Pilot's Name Tag), which is an embroidered patch located above the left breast pocket or same relative position featuring wings and pilot's name.


There are, however, some differences if compared to uniform-worn Earthforce Pilot's Badge:
<ul type="square"> [*]five-pointed star (on Senior to Command Pilot's Badges) spans all the way to the borders of rectangular patch; [*]arch element below the golden wings (on Expert and Command Pilot's Badges) is missing; [*]arch element above the golden wings (on Command Pilot's Badge) comprises both red and white colors. [/list]

According to my current observations, Pilot's Badge degrees are not based on the wearer's rank directly, though higher ranking officers tend to hold higher Pilot's Badge degree, which is supported by Mr. Straczynski's statement that, "as in the contermporary Air Force, promotion up the ranks [in Earthforce] is tied directly to combat experience and combat flying".


Basic Pilots:
- (unknown rank) Bill Mitchell

Senior Pilots:
- Chief Warrant Officer Michael Garibaldi
- Lieutenant Carlos Ramirez
- Lieutenant Warren Keffer

Expert Pilots:
- Commander Ray Gallus
- Commander Susan Ivanova

Command Pilots:
- Commander Jeffrey Sinclair
- Captain Matthew Gideon
- Captain Jack Maynard
- Captain John Sheridan


( original post )
Re: [post mortem] Earthforce Pilot\'s Badges

Welcome to the board, Sergei.
Yes, very good observations indeed.

I've never seen it personally, but I read that one of the squadron patches seen on the flightsuits says "UGLY BUT WELL HUNG", referring to the way the Starfuries asthetic appearance and the way they are hung in the launch bay, of course. :LOL:
Re: [post mortem] Earthforce Pilot\'s Badges

Welcome to the board, Sergei.
Thank you!

I read that one of the squadron patches seen on the flightsuits says "UGLY BUT WELL HUNG"
It was Sinclair's squadron patch during the Battle of the Line seen clearly on [ Sinclair's flight suit ] left sleeve in episode "And The Sky Full Of Stars". Bill Mitchell also had it.