Army licensed the 1st ID insignia to Sears’ clothing line


It’s the first time ever for this. And some soldiers and vets don’t like it. FromStars and Stripes:

The patch of one of the Army’s most storied divisions is coming to Sears —
and not everyone is pleased about it.

The distinctive “Big Red One” insignia and colors of the 1st Infantry
Division are part of an Army-inspired clothing line being rolled out this year
for the department store.

The Army licensed the 1st ID insignia to All American Apparel in June 2007,
according to Army spokesman Paul Boyce. Under the licensing agreement, the Army
will receive royalties on any profits beginning in 2009.

The Army wasn’t paid up front for the 1st ID insignia use, Boyce said, and
royalties will go to programs for troops and military families.

Not all soldiers or 1st ID veterans agreed on the appropriateness of having
such a symbolic unit patch on a line of commercial clothing.


Joe Argenzio lied about his age and joined the Army as a 16-year-old during
World War II. He soon found himself with the 1st ID just in time for D-Day. On
June 6, 1944, he was among the first Allied troops to hit the French coast.

The division, its history and its patch all mean “an awful lot,” he said.

Argenzio’s father served with the 1st ID in World War I, and as a boy he
lived near Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, N.Y., where a division regiment was

“I don’t like it to be commercialized,” he said. “My father would turn over
in his grave.”

Some active-duty soldiers also disagree with the patch’s commercial use.

But it can help with recruitment:

“Strong brand identification through retail sales of products potentially can
enhance the Army’s recruiting efforts and the public’s general goodwill toward
the Army and its activities,” Boyce said in an e-mail.

And not long ago this seemed, I don’t know, ironic?


12 thoughts on “Army licensed the 1st ID insignia to Sears’ clothing line

  1. Folks, this is life imitating art: the “War, Inc” movie by the fab John Cusack that was an indie release (didn’t get huge viewing – no mainstream markets and I missed it) and will be out in a couple of weeks on DVD. It’s a dark comedy about war for profit. I can’t wait to see it.
    Shame on the Army for trying to make war a part of children’s everyday life even more than it already is. And shame on Sears. Ugh!!! 🙁

  2. Hey, boys and girls, can you say, “Fascist aesthetic?”
    Very good! I knew you could!

  3. I’m trying to remember the copyright and licensing laws. But as the US Army is part of the US Govt, I wonder if there are limits to what they can do to limit copying of their logos.

  4. I for one was proud to see teh patch I wore in Vietnam on clothing in Sears. My three Grandsons and I have matching jackets and we wear them together with pride.
    It was Sear’s intention to honor the country’s oldest division. The Big Red One should be glad that we were choosen.
    To all of you who are offended: Lighten up! Acept this gift with graditure.
    1st ID: 1957-58 & 1965-66

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