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1AD Patch and Deployment Patch Research Project

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I hope your weekend is going well so far. I need to write a research paper on the history of the First Armored Division's patch and U.S. Army deployment patches. I wanted to know if anyone has any good references or articles written on the 1AD and deployment patches. Also if you have any rare variations of the patch, feel free to post them too. Also if anyone has any history on patch variations specifically on the 1AD that would be helpful too. I look forward to seeing your response! - Nick K



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Here's a good start for variations of the 1st Armd Div Triangles over the years, though not sure on what a deployment patch or patches are.




As to the history of the 1st Armd Div patch, and by extension all the Armd Div and separate Armd Bn's patches, they were an updated design of the original WWI Tank Corps Triangle.Tank Corps patch had the branch colors of the Field Artillery (Red), Cavalry (Yellow) and Infantry (Blue), because the Tank Corps represented components and or missions of each of those three branches Just before WWII, the design now included the Lighting Bolt and Treads with road wheels and sprocket etc, and number where applicable.




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"Combat Patches" is the popular name for what the Army officially calls Shoulder Sleeve Insignia - Former Wartime Service. No combat is needed to qualify.

I'm gathering this is what member means by deployment patches.

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here are a few more variations.


GEMSCO added bullion


TM desert




TM faded ACU


TM Afghanistan OCP variation


Theater made examples from OIF /OEF are virtually endless.






ASMIC 1729





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Here's an late 60s version in action at Ft Hood Texas in 1969. Triangle appears to be a Merrowed Edge Army Green 44 with a separate Flat Edge Yellow bordered OLD IRONSIDES Tab, At this time and little before, Tabs for the three Armored Divisions that wore tabs, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd also seen the tabs for their division made with Army Green 44 Flat Edge borders and later still with Army Green Merrowed Edged borders. Also appearing since the early 60s were one piece divisional triangles with Flat Edge Army Green borders with either a Yellow bordered tab or an Army Green 44 border and later Merrowed Edge Army Green boarders, this last version became standard.



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*Combat patch* in Army jargon refers to an SSI worn on the right shoulder only. SSI can be worn on either sleeve.


"Combat Patches" is the popular name for what the Army officially calls Shoulder Sleeve Insignia - Former Wartime Service. No combat is needed to qualify.

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Sort of. The SSI-FWTS is worn on the right shoulder to show a soldier's service in a designated area during a designated period of time. During WW2 when they originated, any overseas service qualified a soldier for wear of an SSI-FWTS. A soldier's current unit SSI is worn on the left shoulder. SSI-FWTS are popularly, but inaccurately known as "combat patches." Combat has never been a qualifying factor.

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SUBJECT: Shoulder Sleeve Insignia Former Wartime Service (SSI-FWTS)



1. PURPOSE. To provide information on history of Shoulder Sleeve Insignia - Former

Wartime Service (SSI-FWTS).




Custom of wearing SSI-FWTS originated in World War II.


High-point GIs rotating home as casuals to Zone of Interior (CONUS) routinely

were assigned to different returning divisions.


Rotatees, proud of their old "outfit", were reluctant to exchange its SSI for that of

new unit. This was most true of National Guardsmen, also proud of their state.


In 1945, the Army permitted returning personnel to shift their old SSI to the right shoulder, while wearing that of assigned unit on the left. (WD Cir 111, 7 Apr 45)


This was NOT recognition of "combat" but wartime overseas service (it applied equally to front line and rear echelon troops, and active combat overseas areas as well as relatively inactive, i.e. France vs. Panama).


Still assigned personnel would not move their SSI to right shoulder nor wear same SSI on both shoulders. (IAW C7, AR 600-40, 31 Oct 45).


Originally confined to World War II service, the policy was later extended to personnel with overseas service during World War I. (WD Cir 102, 22 Apr 47)


Later, the Army again extended policy to cover subsequent wars, such as Korea (DA 37333, 9 Jan 51) and Vietnam (DA 728961, 19 Aug 65), but not all overseas areas were recognized as eligible for the SSI-FWTS.


During Vietnam, policy to wear same SSI on both shoulders led to unauthorized local practice of altering approved design to create pair. (SR 600-60-1, 26 Oct 51)


Current practice is to "award" right-arm SSI as a sign of "combat" experience, even to currently-assigned personnel; this was not intent of original policy.

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