What are the patches on Army uniforms?

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The left shoulder patch is the brigade or division the Soldier is assigned to. The Army is the only DoD branch that requires all service members to wear their unit insignia.

Above the unit patch is a duty tab. This displays the special skills a Soldier has perfected. Examples include the coveted Ranger tab, Sapper tab, or the SF tab.

Also worn above the unit patch is the unit designation tab. These identify a unit’s special skill, like an Airborne unit or an Honor Guard unit.

On the right shoulder, a Soldier wears a patch representing the unit they served in during combat ops. If a Soldier has served multiple deployment tours, they can choose which unit patch they want to wear.

What Else?

All DoD service members are required to wear appropriate headgear for their uniforms when they’re outside. Depending on their uniform, Army Soldiers wear a Patrol Cap, a beret, or a service cap. Patrol Caps include the Soldier’s name on the back and their rank on the front. PCs can’t be worn indoors but must be worn at all times when outside. Berets can be worn with Class A, Class B, and Class C uniforms. Officers wear their rank centered on the flash, while enlisted Soldiers wear their units on the flash.

Here’s what the Army’s uniform has looked like throughout the years.