Desert Shield / Desert Storm Commemorative knife
About a month ago I was talking to a former shipmate about our deployment during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He suggested that I hand engrave a knife with our Company name and Desert Storm theme. I had thought of this many time before but it just never came up on my “To Do” list as a priority. With his encouragement and enthusiasm I set to work designing a knife to represent our Medical Company.
We were a United States Marine Corps medical unit in the First Medical Battalion, First Force Service Support Group under the First Marine Expeditionary Force out of MCB Camp Pendleton CA. It’s a long story of how we all formed up in August 1990 after Saddam Hussain invaded Kuwait and it is best told over a beer or two so I’ll leave that for another day.
I have drawn four versions and just can’t seem to get it just right. Too much or too little seem to be the issue.
I used a Spyderco Byrd, Meadowlark model for this draft. I wanted to use the smaller Spyderco Dragonfly, but it is too small.
The Palm tree and swords represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and is the same image as on our Medal. The Caduceus to represent the Hospital Corpsmen and Medical Officers.
However it was missing the USMC link and the NAVY/USMC team is a vital part so I tried to fit that into the design.
In the second photo you can see that the Eagle, Globe and Anchor (EGA) has been added, I changed the lettering information, and font size. Also added a scroll frame around the lettering.
To fit all that in I had to reduce the size of the images and lettering.
This draft feels WAY too busy.
Current Draft: I took some input from friends and came up with this version.
The KSA is moved to the back along with the date served in country. The Lettering has changed to show our surgical capability with the (SSC) and the 1st Med Bn connection is shown. Moving the Caduceus to the left allowed me to make both the Caduceus and EGA larger.
With the Corpsman’s name on the front makes it more personalized.
I decided I should practice (as I always do) the design before I do a full blown knife. Looking around my shop I found a Spyderco Dragonfly that I engraved about 10 years ago with the wrong initials in the design! Could not sell it so I kept it. It now opens boxes and does all the knife chores in the shop. Perfect for a practice piece.
I know I said the Dragonfly was too small but I tried it anyway. EGA and Caduceus look good for a quick rough cut. The Lettering I wanted to us is just too time consuming to use. The “CAPTAIN” was cut with a 37 flat grave, then recut with a 50 round for the thin lines of the font. I just do not like it. The remaining letters were cut with a 52 round and a 50 round graver. Not the look I was going for. Such small letters needs a simpler font. Glad I found that out on the practice knife. Going to try a 45 flat graver to bright cut the letters. Will not be very “military” looking but will be eye catching.
Back to the drawing board. Must change the font, draw in the border before I lay out the rest of the components and add shading to both the EGA and Caduceus.