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quixote100104
02-26-2009, 03:48 PM
Greetings :-),

I've heard that in the US military, a combat veteran has the right to wear the patch of any unit they had served with in combat on the opposite shoulder from their current unit's patch.

The specific question that led me to this is under what circumstances a character might be able to wear that cool XVIII Airborne Corps patch (the dragon) in that position. Would this be the case if someone from a Corps level unit served in combat as an attachment to one of the subordanite units, or would one wear that unit's patch?

I'm also curious about the general practice. I've only seen it on Army uniforms with division patches, but that was mostly in movies. Is it universal in the US military or just the Army? Do you have the choice of what patch to wear (like a brigade patch, for example) or is it restricted to the division patch? Has the practice been altered at all by the doctrinal change to focusing on brigade combat teams?

Thanks :-),

Noah Body
02-27-2009, 06:17 PM
http://usmilitary.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.usapa.army.mil/pdffiles/r670%5F1.pdf

This should cover most of the bases, though it seems a tad vague on addressing the meat of your query.

If I were you, I would go out and obtain the following smart books:

The Army Officer's Guide (http://www.amazon.com/Army-Officers-Guide-Robert-Dalessandro/dp/0811735281/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235744323&sr=1-1)

NCO Guide (http://www.amazon.com/NCO-Guide-Robert-S-Rush/dp/0811732738/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235744372&sr=1-1)

50 Foot Ant
02-27-2009, 07:38 PM
Greetings :-),

I've heard that in the US military, a combat veteran has the right to wear the patch of any unit they had served with in combat on the opposite shoulder from their current unit's patch.
On the right shoulder. Current unit patch goes on the left.


The specific question that led me to this is under what circumstances a character might be able to wear that cool XVIII Airborne Corps patch (the dragon) in that position.
Two ways:
They were attached to that unit while that unit saw combat, or they were from that unit, TDY (on loan) to a unit that saw combat.

Would this be the case if someone from a Corps level unit served in combat as an attachment to one of the subordanite units, or would one wear that unit's patch?
Yes. Well, it used to be that you could wear the unit patches, but it was pretty hazy.

OK, me for example: I was part of 3rd CosCom V Corps, on loan to VII Corps, and saw combat with the 2nd Armor Division and the 1st Infantry Division. (separate times)

What patches was I allowed to wear? According to the rules: All of them. I usually just wore my "ChemCorps" patch.


I'm also curious about the general practice. I've only seen it on Army uniforms with division patches, but that was mostly in movies. Is it universal in the US military or just the Army?
I can only speak for the Army.

Do you have the choice of what patch to wear (like a brigade patch, for example) or is it restricted to the division patch?
You could wear the division, or the lowest patched unit. It really came down to nobody really cared, as long as you wore a patch in the division in the chain of attachment.

Has the practice been altered at all by the doctrinal change to focusing on brigade combat teams?
According to my brother, that's the reason so many brigades are designing patches right now.

It'll go: Corps/CosCom>Regiment>Brigade


Thanks :-),
Probably didn't help much.

Fingers
03-01-2009, 12:16 AM
I was in Company B, 25th signal battalion, 35th Signal Group, XVIII Airborne Corps. It was a long time ago, but if memory serves me, we wore 18 airborne corps badge on our left shoulder, and the combat vets wore the badge of the last combat unit they served with on their right shoulder. On the left sleeve they had one hash mark for every three years in service and on the right sleeve each hash mark represents six months in combat. That was from 1973 to 1977. YMMV.


yer pal Brian

Linda Adams
03-02-2009, 01:40 AM
When I was in Desert Storm, our unit was reassigned from our home battalion and group to 68th Trans Batallion and 7th Trans Group. Our combat patch was 7th Trans Group's patch. That was what we were told we were authorized. It was, indeed, worn on the left sleeve, and the patch was actually hard to get.

We also had a Vietnam vet in the unit who wore the Big Red One. He could have worn either the Vietnam patch or the Desert Storm patch and choose to stay with his Vietnam patch.

The best source for information is AR 670-1 (http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r670_1.pdf), which has grown since I was in the Army. I'm betting though there's a political aspect to it, like the awards. Some of the unofficial critera may be how good it looks on someone's promotion record.

Cav Guy
03-02-2009, 08:53 PM
Only the Army uses unit patches in this way, so you'd only see it with Army personnel (although in certain specific cases the Air Force does allow it if you're serving with an Army unit...but you can't currently wear those patches when you return to an Air Force assignment). Marines have division patches, but they very rarely wear them (and I've never seen one on a fatigue uniform). Air Force wears their patches on breast pockets, not shoulders, although with the new ABU they haven't decided what to do with most of the patches yet.

BWT79
03-04-2009, 08:02 PM
Marines don't wear unit patches, if a Marine has seen combat the only way to tell is from his dress uniform, he'll be wearing a combat action ribbon.

In the utility uniform the only thing a Marine wears is rank on his collar, US Marines tape over the pocket, name tape over the other pocket and the Eagle Globe and Anchor emblem on the left breast pocket body. Name tape is over the right pocket, US Marines over the left pocket.