Military Combat Patch

The Army has patches it uses to symbolize what control or system a soldier is serving along with, both abroad in combat deployments and back again in garrison in their permanent task station. These  Custom Patches symbolize both presently attached units a soldier acts on the left sleeve, and also the prior unit attached to while serving in a combat zone for a specified time period. Obviously, not everyone dons a combat patch on their right hand and is proud shows of prior service for the soldier.

The Military combat patch, formally called the “shoulder sleeve insignia-previous wartime service” (SSI – FWTS), identifies soldiers’ participation in combat functions.

The Army has certain rules on when and how to put on the patch, which it has modified to reveal the point that soldiers are now used at smaller disposition levels. After 1945, only troops who were helping with large disposition deployed units, such as separate brigades, sections, corps, Military commands, or higher, were qualified to put on the combat patch. The lesser support businesses/battalions and other lower-ranking sections did have their own combat patches.

“Soldiers deploy differently now, at smaller disposition levels like businesses, battalions, combat brigade squads and as individual augmentees in support of larger disposition units, ” said Sgt. Maj. Katrina Easley, branch chief for uniform policy at Army G-1. “At those levels, they were not approved to wear their unit patch as a combat patch. “

How to Wear the Army Combat Patch

As soon as soldiers report to their very first units, they should put on their command’s combat patch on their left sleeves. When used to a specified combat zone, soldiers also may put on the company-level or larger patch on their right sleeves to reveal the units in which they serve. The right sleeve is used to symbolize what unit you were stationed into combat zones with; thereby, it is known as the Combat Patch. The left sleeve unit patch means what unit you are presently serving with. The new guidance declares that when echelons below company level use, soldiers in those units may now wear the combat patch of the lowest-echelon command they deploy with, so long as it’s at company level or higher.

More Requirements for the Combat Patch

In order to be entitled to the combat patch, soldiers should be serving in a theater or an area of operation that has been chosen a hostile environment. Alternatively, Congress should pass a Report of War. The units “must have deeply took part in or backed ground combat operations towards aggressive forces by which they were exposed to the danger of enemy action or fire, either directly or indirectly,” based on the rules. The military operation also should have survived for 30 days or longer, however exceptions can be made to this law. Army staffs that served in a specified area as a civilian or as an associate of some other service but were not a member of the Military during one of the chosen periods are not authorized to put on the combat patch. Lastly, soldiers who have gained multiple combat patches may pick which patch to put on. Soldiers may also choose not to wear a combat patch.

Colour Patches and Subdued Patches

These combat patches are sources of pride for the Army War Expert. But if you are sent to a new command, often you will put on that command patch when stateside to have a uniform look, like that of your new troops. The Class a Outfits will require full-color information of your patches gained on your sleeves. While visiting the field, the same patches is going to be used but they will be subdued colors (green, black, brown) without any bright colors to easily give out your position.


WASHINGTON – The Military has changed its policy on the use of battle patches due to the way in which Soldiers and also their units now deploy.

Since 1945 the purpose behind the use of the combat patch, referred to as the “shoulder sleeve insignia-former wartime service,” was initially to recognize Soldiers’ involvement in battle operations. However, this solely applied to Soldiers who had been serving along with such big echelon deployed units as different brigades, divisions, corps, and Army commands or perhaps higher.

“Troops deploy in a different way today, at smaller sized echelon levels for example companies, battalions, combat brigade squads and as specific augmentees supporting larger echelon units,” explained Sgt. Maj. Katrina Easley, branch chief with regard to uniform policy in Army G-1.” At all those levels they were not permitted to put on their unit patch in the form of combat patch.”

As soon as Soldiers report to their primary units, they put on their command’s patch upon their left sleeves. Whenever on assignment to a specified fight zone, Soldiers may as well don the company-level or perhaps higher patch that they serve with on the right sleeves.

Previously, misunderstandings resulted over which fight patch ought to be worn by Troops who were cross-levelled, designated, attached or acting as augmentees to stationed units. This too affected Soldiers with temporary duty instructions in a fight zone.

The new instruction states that if echelons under company level deploy, Soldiers within those units may now put on the battle patch of the lowest-echelon command that they deploy with, provided that it is in company level or maybe more.

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia-Former Wartime Service (SSI-FWTS)

  1. General

Permission to put on a shoulder sleeve insignia showing past wartime service is applicable only to soldiers who are designated to United States Army units that meet all of the following conditions. Soldiers who had been past members of some other Services that took part in operations which would otherwise qualify below are not permitted to put on the SSI-FWTS. This wear is restricted to individuals who had been members of United States Army units throughout the operations.

(1) The Secretary of the Army or higher should state as being a hostile environment the actual theatre or location of operation that the unit is designated, or Congress must pass a Declaration of War.

(2) The units will need to have actively taken part in, or helped ground combat operations in opposition to hostile forces whereby they were subjected to the danger of enemy activity or fire, either directly or maybe indirectly.

(3) The actual military operation normally should have lasted for a time period of thirty (30) days or more. An exception may be made whenever U. S. Army causes are engaged with an aggressive force for a shorter time period, when they meet all the other requirements, along with a recommendation from the general or even flag officer in command is sent to the Chief of Staff, Army.

(4) The Chief of Staff, Army, will have to approve the authorization regarding wearing of the shoulder sleeve insignia with regard to past wartime service.

  1. Authorization

Authorization is applicable just to members of the Army who had been designated overseas with United States Army organizations throughout the following periods.

(1) World War II: between 7th December 1941 and 2nd September 1946, both dates inclusive.

(2) Korea: between 27th June 1950 as well as 27th July 1954, each dates inclusive. Also from 1st April 1968 to 31st August 1973, for all those personnel who had been awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Infantrymen badge, Combat Medical badge, or even who qualified no less than one month’s aggressive fire pay for service in an aggressive fire area in Korea.

(3) The Vietnam theatre, such as Thailand, Laos as well as Cambodia: from 1st July 1958 to 28th March 1973, the two dates inclusive.

(4) The Dominican Republic: 29th April 1965 to 21th September 1966, both date ranges inclusive. People are permitted to put on one of 3 organizational SSI: XVIII Airborne Corps, 82d Airborne Division, or even 5th Logistical Command. People formerly attached, designated, or within the operational command of these units will put on their own insignia. A 4th organizational SSI (OEA-Spanish equal to Organization of American States) is certified for individuals who had not been in one among the three units in the above list.

(5) Grenada, to add the Green and Carriacou Islands: between 24th October 1983 and 21st November 1983, each dates inclusive. Personnel are permitted to wear among the following organizational SSI: XVIII Airborne Corps; 82d Air-borne Division; First Special Operations Command (ABN); First Corps Support Command; Twentieth Engineer Brigade; Thirty fifth Signal Brigade; Sixteenth Military Police Brigade; Forty fourth Medical Brigade; first Battalion (Ranger), 75th Placer Regiment; Second Battalion (Ranger), 75th Ranger Regiment; as well as 101 Airborne Division (AASLT). People attached to, or within the operational command of these units will put on their particular organizational SSI. Men and women attached to, or within the operational command of any unit whose main organization is not certified SSI, will put on the SSI of the unit that it is attached or the unit which had operational control.

(6) Lebanon: from 6th August 1983 to 24th April 1984, for soldiers designated to the Field Artillery School Target Acquisition Battery or the 214th Field Artillery Brigade, who had been attached with the UNITED STATES Marine Corps forces around Beirut, Lebanon, for the motive of counter fire assistance.

(7) Korea: 23rd November 1984, for troops who directly took part in the firefight involving North Korean guards in the Joint Security Area (JSA), Panmunjom, Korea.

(8) Persian Gulf: from 27th July 1987 to 1st August 1990 for troops assigned or attached to, or even under the operational command of a unit whose assignment was direct assistance to Operation Earnest Will. Troops must have been qualified to receive the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and impending risk pay.

(9) Panama: from 20th December 1989 to 31st January 1990 for troops designated to the following units, and who took part in Operation Just Cause: XVIII Airborne Corps; UNITED STATES Army Special Operations Command; US Army South; Seventh Infantry Division (Light); 82nd Airborne Division; fifth Infantry Division (M); first Special Operations Command; 193rd Infantry Brigade; First Corps Support Command; Sixteenth Military Police Brigade; Eighteenth Aviation Brigade; thirty fifth Signal Brigade; Seventh Special Forces Group; 75th Ranger Regiment; First, Second, and Third Battalions, 75th Ranger Regiment; 470th Military Intelligence Brigade; 525th Military Intelligence Brigade; Forty fourth Medical Brigade; 1109th Signal Brigade; Military Surface Deployment as well as Distribution Command; and CIDC. Troops assigned to units not in the above list will use the shoulder sleeve insignia in the unit to which they were attached, or the unit which had operational command. Soldiers designated to units not in the above list and not attached to, or within the operational command of any one of the units in the list above, will put on the SSI of the United States Army South.

(10) The Persian Gulf: from 17th January 1991 to 31st August 1993, each of those dates inclusive, for soldiers taking part in Operation Desert Storm. Troops must have been designated or perhaps attached to, or in the operational command of a unit whose assignment was direct help to Operation Desert Storm; they ought to have been given impending risk pay and been under the control and command of United States Army Element Central Command (USAE CENTCOM).

(11) El Salvador: from 1st January 1981 to 1st February 1992, each dates inclusive, for all those personnel who took part in El Salvador operations.

(12) Somalia: from 5th December 1992 to 31ST March 1995, each dates inclusive, for troops who took part in Operation Restore Hope/Continue Hope/United Shield. Exclusions are just for Joint Task Forces: Patriot Defender, Elusive Concept, and Proven Force; all those personnel are permitted to wear SSI-FWTS despite the fact that they were not within the control and command of USAE CENTCOM.

(13) Operation Enduring Freedom: from 19th September 2001 to a date to be decided, for troops assigned to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan; and from 31st July 2002 to a date to be decided, for soldiers posted to the CENTCOM region of procedures supporting Operation Enduring Freedom certified combat zone tax exemption as recognized by CENTCOM CCJ1 AOR Danger Pay Entitlements. Soldiers who had been deployed in the region of operations on training activities or supporting operations besides Operation Enduring Freedom are not approved the SSI-FWTS, except if those activities or operations became battle or help missions to help Operation Enduring Freedom.

(14) Operation Iraqi Freedom: from 19th March 2003 to a date being decided, with regard to soldiers assigned to units taking part in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Troops must have been used in the CENTCOM region of operations, or took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom while sent to Turkey, Israel, and also Aegis cruisers. Soldiers who functioned with the First Marine Division from 19th March the year 2003 to 21st April the year 2003 during battle operations supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom are permitted to wear the first Marine Division shoulder sleeve insignia as their own SSI-FWTS. Soldiers who were stationed in the location in operations on training activities or in support of operations besides Iraqi Freedom are not certified the SSI-FWTS, except those activities or operations grew to become combat or help missions to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

  1. Ways Worn

(1) Non-subdued. At the choice of the wearer, people who had been members of an Army unit for the duration of one of the many operations in the above list may put on the non-subdued UNITED STATES Army organizational SSI of a wartime unit (para 28-17b) which was authorized by HQDA within the right sleeve of the very Army green uniform jacket. The actual insignia is used centered, 1⁄2 inch under the top of the right shoulder seam (view fig 28-136).

(2) Subdued. Certified personnel may put on the subdued SSI-FWTS within the right sleeve in the temperate, hot- weather conditions, enhanced hot-weather, as well as desert BDU, and the BDU field coat, as explained above. The SSI-FWTS is not really authorized for wear upon organizational uniforms, other than as recommended in this paragraph.

(3) Other services. The Department of the Navy, the US Marine Corps (USMC), as well as the Air Force do not allow wearing of SSI. Consequently, personnel who functioned in one of the designated places during one of the many specified intervals, but who were definitely not members of the US Army, are generally not authorized to put on the SSI-FWTS on the right shoulder. The only exclusion for this policy is for US Army personnel who functioned with the USMC during World War II beginning from 15th March 1943 through 2nd September 1946.

  1. Soldiers who are certified to wear several SSI-FWTS have the choice of selecting which SSI-FWTS they can wear. Soldiers may choose not to wear SSI-FWTS. (See appendix F for additional assistance on the wear of the SSI-FWTS.)

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