Desert Storm: Patches — one of the benefits of war

That probably sounds really strange, because war’s such a scary thing.  But there were also a few things along the way that we were told about that were kind of cool.  Or at least, they seemed cool since we didn’t have them.

One was that we would wear a combat patch as a permanent part of our uniform.  It was a way of identifying that we had done soemthing important.

So you get some pictures of patches:

FORSCOM:  This is the patch we wore at Fort Lewis, as a part of being part of the command our battalion fell under.  FORSCOM is an acronym that stands for U.S. Army Forces Command.  Initially, when we went over to Saudi Arabia, we remained under our battalion

The company the link goes to is a name I recognized: When I went to purchase additional patches at Clothing Sales (military store for buying uniforms), this was the company selling a lot of the products.

7th Transportation Group: After we arrived, the forces were restructured and we came under 7th Transportation Group.  This is the combat patch that began a permanent part of my uniform and was worn on the right shoulder.

We also wore the American flag patch on the right sleeve.  We thought it looked strange, like a mistake, because it was backwards.  But we were told it was to show the flag streaming behind us when we were going into battle.  According to the linked site, it’s now a permanent part of the uniform, but it wasn’t at the time.

I did the color ones here because they show a lot of the detail — those are the ones that went on the dress uniforms.  The ones we wore on the battle dress uniforms were known as the “subdued” patch, which meant it was olive green and black.

Once we returned, we wore the FORSCOM patch on the left shoulder and the combat patch on the right (I had to look this up because I don’t remember any more!).  It looked cool to the soldiers who hadn’t been to war, just like it had looked cool to us before we went over, but it’s kind of like reading an action-adventure book.  Fun to read, but you wouldn’t want to actually do it.