History of the 1* ( One Ass to Risk )
by Gary Paul Johnston
Back in 1986, while I was a police officer with the Shaker Heights Police Department, although my SWAT unit was always fortunate during actual raids, we seemed to average at least one minor injury per practice session. Other teams had similar problems, especially during SWAT competitions, so I decided to create something to remind everyone to be more careful. The idea for the 1* logo came from a joke I heard as a kid. It went like this:
On the day before the Little Bighorn Expedition began, Col. George Armstrong Custer summoned his main Indian Scout to his Office.
Tomorrow, said Custer, looking up at the Scout from his typewriter, we are leaving to go round up Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and the rest of the hostile Sioux and Cheyenne who have left their Reservations, and force them to go back. I want you to lead us to them.
What's that? asked the Scout, looking down at the order Custer was typing, and pointing to the strange star shaped symbol on the paper.
That? replied Custer. Why that's an asterisk.
A WHAT? asked the Scout in a surprised tone.
AN ASTERISK, said Custer. (ASS-TO-RISK)
Uh, replied Scout, nodding his head as he left.
Early the next morning, Custer found a note typed on his typewriter that read as follows:
Dear Col. Custer,
Me very proud you want me to be your main Scout to find hostile Indians and make them go back to Reservation, but me think about it and me decide not to go, because me have only 1*…
Designed in the form of the U.S. Army's Big Red 1 insignia, the 1* logo not only looks sharp and reminds one to be careful, but also provides another important element to Tactical Teams and other Professionals who find themselves living on the edge.
The 1* insignia was approved field wear for the 82nd Airborne during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, the U.S.S Vicksburg, and has been adopted by many other elements of the US Military, as well as hundreds of Law Enforcement Agencies and Fire Departments around the world.