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ehines42

Iraq and Afghanistan US PATCHES

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I just aquired these and I have a few questions. We're these patches authorized? We're they actually worn or are they just fantasy pieces, or commeratives. I like to collect these but don't know much about them

Mark

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Greetings Mark,

Likely locally authorized (verbally) for wear by units' commanders. Usually, only for wear in the field (i.e. off the FOB). They are not DA approved designs from the United States Army Institute of Heraldry, so they are not officially authorized for wear by the Department of the Army (DA), yet downrange, many organizations' commands will "look the other way" if they are worn in the field. SF and other (i.e. military transition teams MiTTs) small sized organizations, typically do not get too wrapped around the axle about what is authorized and what isn't when operating off of the FOB. On the FOB, it just really depends on how much grief the unit's CDR will receive from those in higher positions when their Soldiers are "caught wearing them," sometimes none, sometimes a lot all depending on time, location, and the proclivities of the local leadership.

 

That said, large conventional Army organizations such as Brigades and Divisions typically won't "locally" authorize anything to be worn (patch-wise) on the field uniform other than the unit's DA approved SSIs (& of course DA Approved combat SSIs of previously assigned units). That said, most units' personnel will (at some point) create unit specific morale or tour patches in order to commemorate an organization's combat tour (I've seen it done as low as platoon's level). Getting morale/tour patches made in Iraq, Afghanistan, and for that matter Korea is quite affordable (best to do it there than wait & pay big bucks to do so in the States). Additionally, these morale/tour/commemorative type patches are often worn surreptitiously when off of the FOBs (yes, in the big units too), but they are a "no go" to do so. With Velcro (OK, hook pile tape) backing its no big deal to remove them when returning to the FOB after a patrol/journey is complete.

 

Wish I could be more definitive towards your specific patches (their definitely not DA Approved), but anyone who has served in Iraq or Afghanistan will experience differently what their particular food chains' particular thoughts about these types of patches being worn were during their specific tour. Their next tour or the next FOB over may experience a completely different take on them.

 

Best,

 

V/r Lance


“With a gentleman I am always a gentleman and a half, and with a fraud I try to be a fraud and a half.”

Otto von Bismarck.

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The one in the center is the standard patch of the Afghan National Army Commando Corps. They are trained by US Special Forces. I had one in the past, given to a guy who had worked with the Afghans. The other two look like morale patches to me.


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