SOUTHWEST ASIA – Soldiers from the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment of the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade received their combat patches during a ceremony in Southwest Asia, Aug. 13.
The combat patch, officially known as the former wartime service shoulder sleeve insignia, is worn by service members who have served in a combat zone during a period of active enemy engagement.
The first combat patch was approved for wear in the U.S. Army in 1918, and it has remained an icon of brotherhood ever since.
The soldiers of 69th ADA were presented with their patches by the 69th ADA Brigade Commander, Col. James H. Jenkins III, and the Brigade Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt. Maj. Finis A. Dodson.
“From this point forward, every time you see a soldier with the 69th ADA Brigade patch on their right sleeve, you’ll have an immediate connection with them that will only be shared by a limited few,” Jenkins said to the soldiers of 69th ADA before they walked across the stage to receive their patches.
Each soldier went up on stage one by one and shook hands with the Commander and Command Sergeant Major as they got the distinctive 69th ADA patch slapped onto their right arm.
In addition to the soldiers of 69th ADA getting their combat patches, a few members of 69th ADA’s joint service partners were presented with a combat patch to signify the unit’s gratification toward the union with the other military forces on base.
The 69th ADA patch consists of two five-pointed stars with a black disk centered in each, and a comet tail follows each of the stars, creating a circular pattern. The comets embody the swiftness of the air defenders, while the black disks symbolize cannon balls. The circular configuration of the patch refers to the unit’s continuous mission and resembles the number 69.
For many of the soldiers of 69th ADA, the day they received their combat patch will be a day that they will never forget. It will remain a representation of the passion and devotion that all Soldiers possess for their country, and it will remind them of a time when they served and defended their nation.
"There is no frontline in this long war. There is no safe perimeter. There is no rear area that is unthreatened. We defend along a new frontline that follows us wherever we go. The frontline we defend is represented by our families, by our values, by our freedoms, by our rights as Americans,” Jenkins said. “America, Americans, and American soldiers and service members are the frontlines.”
This work, ADA Soldiers receive combat patch, by SGT Maria Kappell, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.