SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – Members of the U.S. Transportation Command’s Joint Transportation Reserve Unit unfurled their first unit flag April 13 during a brief ceremony in the command’s Seay Auditorium.
“We’ve been in business for 22 years and never had a unit flag,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. David S. Post, JTRU commander.
According to Post, until now, the unit used a USTRANSCOM flag which had the JTRU banner beneath the USTRANSCOM shield.
“So, when I got here in December of 09, I thought we should at least have an identity,” Post said. “So, I asked the Army element and Sgt. (James) Horton, who is an artist, to come up with some idea to adequately represent us.”
Once Horton came up with a design for the new crest, Post and members of his staff submitted the design through the Army’s Institute of Heraldry, which is responsible for the coordination and approval of coats of arms and other insignia for the military services. Four months later, the crest was approved.
Post learned from an acquaintance at Defense Logistics Agency a little known fact that he could use for the new flag’s production. Among other responsibilities, DLA provides the presidential flags.
“Before the flags are embroidered,” Post said, “those who make them sign the blank flag which is then produced over the signatures, hiding them under the embroidery.
“So I thought wouldn’t it be great if the unit members could sign the blank and send it off to be embroidered,” Post continued. “So it will have all the current members, as of March 2013, along with General Gainey and General Fraser’s and chief of staff’s signatures. And that will be the official flag.”
The flag will be on display in Post’s office and will be used for official functions.
“I would say it’s a pretty significant move forward,” Post said, “because it’s important that we have our own identity.”
Symbolism of the design: Light blue is the color traditionally associated with the Department of Defense. The light blue disk illustrates a globe and the unit’s worldwide missions. The shield denotes defense of national security. Black suggests steadfastness. The winged horse signifies endurance, speed and freedom. The winged seahorse upon the shield symbolizes the JTRU’s augmentation to the U.S. Transportation Command multi-modal (land, sea and air) operations, both in peace and in war. The horizontally divided upper background with the middle bar emphasizes the military branches represented – blue for the Air Force service, dark green for the Army components and dark blue for the Navy elements. Purple symbolizes the joint collaboration with other federal and military organizations, in addition to the support provided by the JTRU to USTRANSCOM.
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