Military patches have decorated uniforms around the globe since their introduction. They have been worn proudly by individuals of the armed forces and gained popularity amongst the local communities as a collector’s product.
How are the military patches used?
The patches are used to recognize and assign the ranks of those working in the armed forces. Each brigade, division, and corps have their own patches, designed and assigned to each one of them to be put on their military uniforms. These military patches are typically placed on either their helmet or upper left shoulder. The patch is normally attached to the military uniforms by means of using Velcro or sewing.
The place of military patches in battle
Before the start of World War I, the United States military had not yet approved or created the use of the patches in their military uniforms. However, during the Civil War, some of the Union soldiers started carrying rank stripes on their military sleeves and brigade, division, and corps identification on their caps.
When did military patches become official?
It was in May, 1918 that the 81st Division Wildcats of the army were allowed to officially use their first patches. The first patches were used as a means to boost the soldiers’ confidence and to bring a sense of camaraderie and brotherhood. General Pershing also ordered all the divisions to come up with their own patches and this idea spread to incorporate the brigades and corps who also wanted their own patches to distinguish themselves from others.
The most familiar military patch
Most patches have undergone a series of revisions and designs over the past years. The 1st Infantry Division embraces the merit of owning the longest surviving military patch. It is generally recognized as the Big Red One. It is the military patch design of the division which consisted of a big red number one sewn onto the pentagonal green field. The 1st Infantry Division was issued with the Big Red One patch on October, 1918. It has gained popularity and become the most recognizable military patche ever designed.
During World War II
The popularity of the patches grew during the interim period between the world wars. During the Second World War, approximately all the brigades, divisions and corps had their own patches to show their rank and affiliation for easy identification.
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