News: HHD, 31st ADA patching ceremony
Story by Capt. Corey Robertson
SOUTHWEST ASIA - In a ceremony, which first began during the Revolutionary War, soldiers under then Gen. George Washington placed a patch on their right shoulder to signify they had served in a combat zone during a period of active enemy engagement.
A lot has changed in the Army since the Revolutionary War, but the right shoulder sleeve insignia has endured the test of time.
For the soldiers and leaders of Higher Headquarters Detachment, 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade, this November marked an important time in their deployment to Southwest Asia as they were authorized to wear their unit patch on their right sleeve identifying them as “combat veterans."
Pfc. Phoenix Shields, the brigade command sergeant major's driver, said, “It felt good, my first combat patch, it was pretty exciting. When I put on my uniform for the first time I had to double take because I wasn’t use to it being there."
Shield continued to say, “This to me means that I have actively taken part in supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and that I am now distinct from a lot of my peers within the Army.”
The ceremony marked the first time many of the soldiers within the detachment have deployed, for some this was just another deployment to add to their career.
“When this nation went to war we answered the call, times have changed since my first deployment but my commitment to this country hasn’t,” said Sgt. Maj. Jerry Jacobitz, the operations sergeant major for the brigade.
This deployment for 31st ADA Brigade is part of an ongoing enduring mission within the CENTCOM area of responsibility and provides regional stability to their host nation partners.