Are you Reddy for the Army?

I hadn’t seen anything like this until alert reader Richard Johnson sent in these excellent photos of Reddy on a military patch.

This is what he told me about the item:

Reddy Kilowatt, the renowned corporate mascot of the Alabama Power Company has been around for almost a century. This very rare patch was used during Vietnam by members of the 592nd Engineer Detachment, which was a unit beneath the U.S. Army Engineering Command during the war. The patch is 3.7 inches across and was used in the mid to late 1960s.

Here’s a shirt with the patch on it:

And here’s a closer look at the patch:

Credit: “Sergeant Richard Johnson, author of “Tiger Patterns” and Seeds of Victory.”

Thanks Richard!


  1. Charles Petrosky

    I was very happy to run across your website and especially interested in seeing the VietNam unit patch. I can add quite a bit of history to what is given and actually clear up some incorrect information.
    I was one of the last (if not the last) platoon leaders of the 542d (NOT 592d) Engineer Detachment (Power Line) Vietnam and I am the one who designed, drew, and had the patches made for my unit. I was given command of the unit (otherwise known as the 5-4-Deuce) in the summer of 1971. We were attached to the 815th Engineer Battalion (Construction) and the moral was very low. The 542d seemed to have no real identity of its own. After seeing dozens of very creative “unofficial” unit patches, I decided to make one for us as one small way of helping the situation. Having grown up in Western Pennsylvania, when I thought of power, Reddy Kilowatt was the symbol. It was used by the local utility, West Penn Power. So I used Reddy in front of the Engineer castle to illustrate our important power line work all over South Vietnam. Much to my surprise, my men were very proud to wear it and it became a very popular sight around the posts.
    I had about 15 of them made by a local tailor, so it is relatively rare. I still have my patch and would love to get another one.
    So the one shown is indeed genuine although it’s likely it was sewn onto the fatigue jacket at some later time. Officially these patches were not permitted on the uniform, but this violation was seldom enforced. Still, all of the patches were supplied with a plastic button-hole case that hung from the fatigue jacket pocket.
    Also, I cannot make out the name on the name tag, but I would love to see if this was one of the men from my unit.
    This is a wonderful piece of American history as are all the special unit patches I saw over there. I was amazed at the artistic abilities of the American soldier. All these showed the pride with which each unit did its job.
    I can can give you alot more information about the patch and the unit and I would be interested in any leads on any other ones that still exist.
    Finally, I was very happy to read recently that Reddy Kilowatt was once again being considered as a symbol for the local power generators. I hope he comes back.