Leadership: April 11, 2002


The Army has authorized "right shoulder combat patches" for troops deployed to Afghanistan, and those in some surrounding countries. Most of the troops involved are from the 10th Mountain Division, the 101st Airborne Division, the Special Operations Command. Soldiers normally wear their unit patch (divisions or some other units) on the left shoulder, showing their current assignment. But a soldier who has served in combat can wear the patch of the unit he served with on his right shoulder for the rest of his career. This marks combat veterans, but the patches are also authorized for support personnel in a combat theater. The rule is that to be authorized such a patch, a soldier must be "exposed to the threat of hostile action or fire, directly or indirectly".--Stephen V Cole




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