Khalis foot patrol

U.S. Army Soldiers from Delta Company, 1st Cavalry Division, 12th Infantry Regiment conduct a foot patrol in Khalis, Iraq, Feb. 21, 2007. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway)

What’s the last guy in line thinking? I’ll bet it’s not

Thank God George Bush let me go to the National Training Center out in the desert. Otherwise I’d be totally unprepared for this sort of thing…

Also, the second guy has a 1st Marine Division combat patch. I had pointed one out on a soldier earlier, and I’ve seen a few since then. How many soldiers earned those? Soldiers can wear it if they were Marines (who saw combat) and then joined the Army or (probably more common) if they were in an Army unit attached to a Marine unit and saw combat.

Finally, I’ve been seeing more and more of the “subdued” green and black US flag patches, but as far as I know the regs still state (stupidly, IMHO) that only red, white, and blue flag patches are authorized. There were always a few pictures here and there of guys with the subdued patches, either because they didn’t get the word, they didn’t have the correct ones available, or because they were intentionally ignoring the reg. But it seems to be becoming more and more common in photos from the combat zone.

Pic from the Joint Combat Camera Center


  1. Technically, soldiers are only supposed to wear Army patches for combat duty while in the Army. Us former Marines in the Army, however, like to put on the old brag patch too, so we feign ignorance of the regs and wear them anyhow. I have a set of the old BDU’s with the 1st Mar Div Patch. There were several other Marines serving in the Army in my unit with the same or 2nd Mar Div patches. It’s an easy way for us former jarheads to identify each other. The 1st Mar Div patch is a particular point of pride too, with ‘Guadalcanal’ running vertically down the ‘1.’ It’s the only combat patch Marines were allowed to wear on their uniforms during WWII (phased out by the end of the war). Read the battle history of the Division from 1941 to 1955 (6 PUC’s) and wear the patch with pride. It’s a monster of a division. The new uniforms are great because you can just rip the velcro patch off when some hard-ass officer or SgtMajor is around. I hate the colored flag on the shoulder! What’s the point of having camouflage if we put big colorful patches on it? Why not just wear Team America jumpsuits? I’ve seen the subdued patches in the PX and would wear them if I was deployed.

  2. so far as Soldiers wearing Marine patches, on their right shoulder: Soldiers whose units are directly assigned to support Marine commands are authorized to wear that unit’s patch once the Soldiers have met the requirements outlined in AR670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia. Marines don’t wear patches. so if a Marine serves in combat, as a Marine with a Marine unit, and then branch transfers to the Army, that Marine is not authorized to wear their former Marine unit patch on the right shoulder. see AR670-1. however, if that Marine (who branch transferred to the Army) who saw combat and meets the requirements for the combat action ribbon (CAR) is authorized to wear that ribbon with the Army service uniform. i’m also a former Marine who later served in the Army reserve. i had a hard enough time justifying my Marine awarded ribbons even with a DD214. no CAR here. god bless the ones who have served, and continue. semper fi.

  3. Authorize Smauthorize I never wore a ribbon that I didn’t rate but I did put on my 1st Mar Div patch.

  4. the problem i ran into, more than once, with army bubbas is that these reserve types weren’t exactly up on their uniform regs. for example, i had 2X NAMs, and my army bubbas told me to wear AAMs instead seeing how i was in the army then. the reg clearly states you wear what you were awarded, in my case navy, not army, acheivement medals. in any case, it all worked out in the end. the army has a reg for just about everything; you cannot go wrong folling the reg.

  5. I had the experience. When I joined the National Guard, they didn’t tell me anything about uniform regs. Everyone I asked about uniforms had a different story. Eventually I looked up the regs and only asked recent Army active duty guys for help. The Vietnam Vets (there are still some in the Guard) pretty much make up their own regs and nobody screws with them.