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Monday, September 04, 2006

2-3 Receives Combat Patch

Written by Sgt. Dennis Gravelle, 138th MPAD
Posted on 08.30.2006 at 10:43am

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment are awarded and authorized to wear the 3rd Infantry Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division combat patch. The Soldiers were awarded the combat patch at a ceremony held at Forward Operating Base Marez, Mosul, Iraq, Aug. 28. Photo by Sgt. Dennis Gravelle, 138th MPAD
ID: 28960
Photographer: Sgt. Dennis Gravelle, 138th MPAD
138th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

MOSUL, Iraq (August 28, 2006) –During a combat patch ceremony held at Forward Operating Base Marez, Mosul, Iraq, Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment received the 3rd Infantry Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Inf. Division combat patch.

The value of the patch is recognized as a means of building morale, camaraderie, and solidarity. Soldiers received the patch for their participation in combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“Since WWI, the Indian Head patch of the 2nd Inf. Div. has marked an American warrior,” said Col. Steven Townsend, commander, 3rd SBCT, 2nd Inf. Div. “Since WWII, the Indian head patch on the right sleeve marked a combat veteran.”

The evolution of the insignia began in March 1918, during WWI when vehicle markings were requested for division vehicles to identify themselves from French traffic in the Verdun sector of the front. An Indian head, painted red, and a war bonnet, painted blue, were stenciled on all 2nd division vehicles.

Maj. Gen John Lejeune, USMC, commander of the unit until 1918 proposed an Indian head embodied on a white star.

The Indian head would then be copied from that of the head of a five dollar coin. Lejeune justified the insignia by stating that the design had been used in the division for some time and had already been painted on all the transportation in the division. In November 1918, the division was given approval to wear the Indian head patch.

Most of the insignia used by the U.S. Army is based on historic facts or on some attribute of the organization concerned. All symbols, whether animals, birds or inanimate objects must face the honorable side or appear in full face. This is a carry over from the Middle Ages, when a Knight defended with his sword in his right hand.

After WWII, wearing of a unit patch on the right shoulder was approved to denote service in combat with that unit.

“Today, and forever more you are combat veterans of the 2nd Inf. Div,” said Townsend. “Be proud of that.”

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