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Military Patches and Pins Proclaim Allegiance

April 9, 2014 by

In each branch of the U.S. armed forces, military patches decorate soldiers’ uniforms. Every military patch has an embroidered insignia that identifies corps, division, or brigade.

These patches of honor have been proudly worn by military personnel as symbols of rank and solidarity since World War I, when displaying patches was initially encouraged to boost morale. During the Vietnam War, subtly colored patches were predominant. Patches were designed to match camouflage battlefield uniforms in the Gulf Wars.

Military lapel pins, like patches, can represent unit affiliation, rank, or post. They can also pay tribute to a specific cause or mission. The tradition of lapel pins began in the American Civil War to help identify different units. World War I marked the first use of lapel pins to distinguish exemplary service.

The U.S. Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard each have uniform regulations that include instructions for military personnel on how to wear lapel pins and patches. Patches are typically sewn or attached with Velcro to the upper shoulder, but also can be placed on the helmet. While there are no official laws in place for civilian wear of military pins and patches, official uniform regulations do include guidelines for civilians.

Military patches and pins are popular among civilians for collector’s purposes and as a way to show military support. This interest was first ignited in 1919, when National Geographic magazine published an article about military patches. Today, there’s a thriving cottage industry surrounding military uniforms and memorabilia.

Whether you are an active service member, a veteran, or a collector, you’ll enjoy browsing our unique selections. Contact MSC to customize your military patch or lapel pin.

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