In January of 1936 the Luftwaffe first began to train paratroopers for what would become an elite German airborne fighting force. The German Army (Heer) followed in late 1936 by launching its own parachute company. The Luftwaffe version of the Paratrooper Badge was officially instituted in late 1936. In September of 1937 the first Army paratrooper badges (Fallschirmschützenabzeichen des Heeres) were awarded to 170 members of the Fallschirm Infanterie Kompanie (Parachute Infantry Company). In addition to the more recognizable metal version of this award, the German Army also instituted a cloth version (patch) on feldgrau cloth backing.