1⁄35Modern USArmy Vehicle Identification
With Added Notes By:
Major Rob “SABOT” Gronovius (US Army)
Throughout the years, military vehicles changed and so did
their color schemes. The one thing that remained the same is unit identification
numbers and markings. The following information will be based on the two active
duty units I was assigned to from 1989 to 1995 and the unit I am currently
assigned to in the Texas Army National Guard. With this information and research
on other units, you can make your own ID numbers and don’t have to use the kit
decals. I would also like to thank Rob (SABOT) for reviewing this article for me
and adding a couple of entries based on his insights. I welcome any other info
from the rest of those that are currently serving or who have served in units.
Will first start with an explanation of the different types of markings and then I will go into some examples.
First, lets talk about the very basic, “bumper numbers.” Every vehicle has a bumper number. These numbers designate what division, brigade, battalion, and company they are from and its vehicle number. We’ll start with the front. On the right-front side of the vehicle, you have numbers and symbols that designate what division, brigade, regiment, and/or battalion the vehicle is from. On the left-front side of the vehicle, you have the company designation and vehicle number. On the rear of the vehicle, you have the same thing, but on opposite sides. The same goes with trailers and generators, but each unit tries to match the trailer/generator number with the bumper number of the vehicle towing it. For example, a vehicle number is B-93; therefore its trailer/generator number would be BT-93. I’ll explain later what the “B”, “T”, and “93” mean.
Rob's Note: Every unit I’ve been in, the
trailer was “B-93T”, but this would be dependent on local SOP.
We also like to put who actually operates, commands, and/or guns the vehicle somewhere on the vehicle. On wheeled vehicles, the driver’s side windscreen has the driver’s rank and last name. On the right windscreen are the CO’s (commanding officer), 1stSGT, Sergeant Major, section chief, or squad leaders rank and last name. Some track vehicles like to place the track commander (TC), driver (DRV), and gunners (GNR) name and rank as well.
Track vehicles, such as M1A1 Abrams and Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, like to use chevrons and small squares or dots to identify what company and platoon the vehicle is from. Different directions of the chevron and how many squares or dots are in inside the chevron identify the vehicle.
I will be using my unit ID’s to show how each number and symbol was placed and explain what each one means.
Rob's Note: Don’t forget to mention the 2” black star centered at the front and rear of the vehicle.