Guide to Military Uniform Patches

Have you ever looked at a service member in their military uniform and wondered about the meaning behind the many patches that adorn their uniform? Then this guide to ‘The Meaning Behind Every Type of Patch on a U.S. Military Uniform’ is for you! This military patch guide from WizardPins covers the twelve different locations on a military uniform meant for specific patches, along with illustrations of the different patches created for all six of the different military branches. Yes six branches, because even the newly created Space Force is included in this compendium of military patches. The guide covers the basics that can be found on every uniform like the name and branch tapes which are worn just above the left and right breast pockets, or the American flag patch that adorns both shoulders. Did you know that the flag patch on the right shoulder is reversed to maintain the look of the flag blowing in the breeze as the service member carries it forward.


Check out the many rank patches that each military branch uses to denote their ranks E-2 through E-9. Some of the most interesting patches on the guide are the shoulder sleeve insignia (SSI) that are used for unit and combat patches. Every unit has its own specific SSI design that is worn on the left shoulder. If a service member serves in a combat zone with their unit then they will wear the unit’s SSI in a designated spot on their right shoulder. What is the point of all of these different patches on a military uniform? They are used to easily identify the service member, their branch, their rank, and their unit without having to exchange any words; which comes in handy when you’re trying to be quiet while crossing enemy lines.

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