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91st Missile Wing – Top of the Line

    This patch was awarded to participants and winners of the “Top of the Line” (TOTL) missile crew competition at Minot AFB.  The TOTL program, said to have been “honchoed” by Capt Craig Ramsey, was a quarterly competition to determine the best overall line crew and to improve 91 MW morale.  Each of the three missile squadrons competed one crew, so six crew members were awarded this patch at each event.  Although preselection took some time, the final competition was just a one-day event.  The winning crew got to wear the patch for one month.  Although the design looks relatively simple, there is much significance behind it.  “The design of the patch incorporates the event’s attachment to the [wing’s] operations and the mission while also incorporating an exciting portion of the unit’s heritage” and was probably created in 1995.  The patch displays a grid-lined demi-globe in base, a Missile Badge with Operations Designator in dexter chief, and the sinister chief contains a bald eagle flying toward dexter with wings upswept, releasing from its talons three RVs trailing reentry traces.  The scroll says “TOP OF THE LINE.”  Significance is given as follows:  “The size, shape, and coloring of the shield show the attachment to the 91st Missile [Wing].  The globe signifies the worldwide capability of our weapons.  The eagle denotes the strength and determination of those competing in the TOTL event.  The RVs depict the mission of the [91 MW]:  To be ready to immediately put bombs on target.  The basic missile operator’s badge is representative of the operations nature of this event and the competitors who participate.  The eagle portrayed in the TOTL patch is a tribute to the ancestry of the 91st….  The image of the eagle was taken from the 323d Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron patch, which was a member [323d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)] of this unit at its inception on 15 April 1942 as the 91st Bombardment Group.  The 323d adapted to the changing mission of the 91st until its inactivation in November 1957.  The 323d represents excellence in our history, just as the TOTL competitors are indicative of our future achievements.”

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