This is a One-Year-Volunteer’s (OYV) single shoulder strap from Bataillon Nr 1 and Bataillon Nr 3 in Großherzogl. Mecklenburgisches Grenadier-Regiment Nr 89. The regiment was a combination of troops from Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The regiment was raised in 1782. The two Mecklenburg-Schwerin Bataillons were both garrisoned at Schwerin. The Mecklenburg-Strelitz troops were garrisoned at Newstrelitz. The regiment was attached to the IX. Armeekorps.
At any given time in a regiment, a limited number of troop members were enlisted in the OYV. These men were required to pay for their own equipment and housing, unlike those under the traditional two-year enlistment for regular troops. Because they provided their own equipment, OYV’s were afforded a certain amount of flexibility with their uniforms and headdresses. As regards the headdresses, for example, they could wear nearly officer’s-level features on their pickelhauben. On their tunics, they wore this special type of shoulder strap, which immediately identified them as OYV program participants.
The shoulder strap is quite large and measures 2 3/4″ x 5 3/4.” Its background is made of white wool. The regimental cypher is a crowned “FF.” This, of course, is for Mecklenburg-Schwerin’s Grand Duke. The arrangement is embroidered in red on the strap’s surface. Around its edge are alternating bands of red, blue, and yellow yarn. The strap has been removed from a tunic. Some soiling can be seen on the white wool’s upper surface. You can see the difference in the white where the button was once placed. At the bottom are two small holes in the material. The strap’s reverse is yellow. It was a very elite German Army Regiment.