His Creation Became a Part of History: The Makings of a Distinguished Unit Insignia

Story by Pfc. Chalon E. Hutson

Once he received the award a smile came across his face, knowing that all his hard work had paid off. He believed it was an honor to have his creation become part of history.

Sgt. 1st Class Roberto Manzanares and his wife, Tricia, hold the shadow box holding his origional design chosen by members of the Army Reserve Careers Division for their Distintive Unit Insigna and Shoulder Sleeve Insigna and the fina approved version.

Sgt. 1st Class Manzanares and wife, Tricia, hold their piece of history.

Sgt. 1st Class Roberto Manzanares, a Senior Leader Course instructor, Army Reserve Readiness Training Center, and Panama native, received a gift representing appreciation for his design, which was selected as the new Distinguished Unit Insignia and Shoulder Sleeve Insignia for the Army Reserve Careers Division (ARCD) during the ARCD Annual Training Workshop at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Dec. 13.

The gift was presented by Brig. Gen. Jon J. Miller, Acting Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Reserve Command, Col. John R. Ligon, Commander, ARCD, and Command Sgt. Maj. Steven A. Villa, senior enlisted leader, ARCD. It shows the history and symbolism of the design.

The design includes a pair of gold wings with a red outline, which are behind a Roman cuirass and a split sword. According to Manzanares, the sword represents the Twin Towers of New York City, because the attacked on September 11, 2001 was a turning point for the Army Reserve, transforming it to an operation force widely used in the Global War on Terrorism. At the base of the sword is a star which represents Army Reserve Accessions, and is placed at ground zero to represent the foundation of the strength of the Army Reserve. The Roman cuirass represents the strength of the Army Reserve. The red outline of the gold wings represents the blood that has been shed by Soldiers in the Army Reserve in defense of America’s freedom.

There was a contest for the best design, he said. So he decided to enter his in to be a contender. After different eliminations, his was selected by popular vote of ARCD Soldiers and once approved by The Institute of Heraldry became the official insignia.

“It feels good to put myself and my name in history,” Manzanares said. “It’s something that I can pass on to my kid… It will be bound forever in history.”

Manzanares’ design now is shown on the ARCD flag, and represents the important jobs ARCD Soldier’s have in maintaining the readiness, influence and effectiveness of the Army Reserve, and the sacrifices all Soldiers have made.


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