Leadership: June 15, 2000


The Army is moving to award units sent to Kosovo for peacekeeping the right to wear their current unit patch on their right shoulder for the rest of their careers. Soldiers wear the patch of their current unit on their left shoulder, and those who have served in combat can wear the patch of the unit they served (in combat) with on the right. Soldiers regard the presence of a "right shoulder patch" on their uniforms as a badge of honor, since this denotes that they have been tested under fire. Critics have charged that the Kosovo mission is not really combat, and certainly is not sustained ground combat as in World War II or Vietnam, but those who are pushing for the patch note that Kosovo duty puts the soldiers into a hostile environment where they are liable to be attacked at any moment, and that there were 47 attacks on peacekeepers during their first three months in Kosovo.--Stephen V Cole




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