09 Nov “RIGGER MADE”
A Parachute Rigger or simply “Rigger” as they are known in the Airborne units is a person who
is trained to pack, maintain or repair parachutes. A rigger is required to understand the fabrics,
hardware, webbing, regulations, sewing and packing related to the building, packing, repair, and
maintenance of parachutes. Riggers attend a 13 week training course at Ft. Lee where they learn
their skills, this is after Basic Training and Airborne School. After successful completion of the
course instead of the signature Maroon Beret worn by Airborne forces they wear a Red Baseball
style cap with their distinctive Rigger Wings and rank.
Riggers have access to many of the fabrics used by the military and heavy duty sewing machines used
to repair the Parachutes, Pack Trays and other equipment used in Airborne Operations.
Rigger made items are items specifically made by the Riggers for the Airborne forces.
These items were not available through the standard supply channels and Riggers were tasked to make them.
This could be on a large or small unit basis depending on the Officer or NCO requesting them and the needs of the mission or simply something made for a friend in exchange for some beer. Someone may notice a particular pouch or other piece of equipment would be better with some alterations or a special item needed for a particular mission. A common WW2 Rigger alteration was adding a M1 Carbine Magazine Pouch to the Jump case so the Paratrooper had quick and easy access to extra magazines upon landing.
It was always desirable to have a friend in the Rigger Shed when your equipment needed some repair or