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Sleeve and backpack patches in the Military

The military has a rich history full of fascinating traditions and symbolism. One of those traditions is wearing clothing patches or backpack patches. But you gotta do it right, there is a specific Army Regulation guidelines explaining when and how to wear military patches.

Reversed flag

One of these traditions is to wear shoulder sleeve insignia flag reversed. Not many people in our society know the meaning.

Army Regulation 670-1 states, that a flag on the uniform should be worn with the stars pointing forward.

The reason for wearing a patch that way, it is to resemble a flag being carried forward into battle.

Unit Patch vs Combat Patch

Military patches serve another important role within the military. Military units are able to read which unit you are attached to or where you have been previously deployed by looking at your patches.

If you want to know which unit the soldier is attached to look at the left sleeve, the left sleeve patch is called a Unit Patch.

For the previous unit attachments and combat zone deployments check the right sleeve, the right sleeve patch is called a Combat Patch.

Soldier’s deployment in combat operations is reflected by the combat patches on the shoulders.

Soldiers reporting for duty must wear their combat patches on the left sleeve. Once deployed, right sleeve patches are worn reflecting the unit in which they serve. You can see all Badges of the United States Army worn by the military personnel.

Only active or previously active personnel may wear patches as outlined by the Military Regulations:

The units must have actively participated in or supported ground combat operations against hostile forces in which they were exposed to the threat of enemy action or fire, either directly or indirectly.

Backpack patches

Customising military backpacks with patches is another long-standing tradition within the military.

Backpack with patches can take many forms and come in a variety of sizes. They can illustrate what branch of the military you serve. Or they can show your patriotism towards your county, state or country.

Whether you are a member of the United States Air Force, Army, Marines or Navy. Even if you are a doomsday prepper, adventurer or survival enthusiast, there are patches you will be able to adorn your backpack or uniform with.