News: Aviation Brigade marks deployment milestone with patch ceremony
By Sgt. Stephanie van Geete
Task Force Falcon Public Affairs Office
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq – The personnel of Task Force Falcon gathered together Dec. 1 to place the 10th Mountain Division patch on their right shoulders, signifying 30 days in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
After a short ceremony, Col. Eric Peterson, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade commander, spoke about what it means to wear the shoulder-sleeve insignia for former wartime service, or "combat patch."
"Today through this simple ceremony, you have joined an elite few – you can now count yourselves among the less than one percent of our nation's population who has selflessly served, in harm's way, in our nation's time of need," Peterson said.
The history of the combat patch dates back to the end of World War II, when the wear of a unit patch on the right shoulder was approved to denote service in combat with that unit. The combat patch not only symbolizes serving with a specific unit during combat, but also bonds Soldiers of the unit through a visible statement of shared commitment, value and hardship.
"It's a distinct honor to wear the 10th Mountain Division patch on my right sleeve," Peterson emphasized. "It not only links us with the Division's heritage and the proud 10th Mountain veterans, it also links us with our Division Headquarters and adjacent units deployed at different locations and on different cycles."
According to Army Regulation 670-1, in accordance with guidelines directed by the Department of Army, Soldiers are authorized to wear the combat patch after serving 30 days in a combat theater.
"By regulation, you have the right to wear the 10th Mountain patch on your right shoulder just by being here," Peterson said. "But now I challenge each and every one of you to earn it through your actions – actions that honor those who have gone before us, actions that honor our entire team, actions that honor the friends and families who support us and who sacrifice greatly in our absence."
Peterson offered two suggestions toward "earning the patch."
"First, do your job to the best of your abilities," he said. "Second, don't let your buddies down. This second task comes in many forms and offers innumerable opportunities, but also a similar number of challenges.
"Look to your left and right," Peterson encouraged his troops, "and think about the troops we're supporting - the Soldiers across the vast expanse of Multi-National Division – North who are counting on us. We not let any of them down."