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US Army Badges & Patches

You ever been curious about a badge that you’ve seen on a soldier’s uniform? Stick around because in this video I’m going to explain them for you. What’s up, friends? I am US Army veteran Christopher Khaos. In this episode, I’m going to be breaking down some of the badges that you may commonly see on US Army soldiers’ uniforms. You may see soldiers walking around, maybe you see them on movies or on TV shows or whatever the case might be, and you see a badge. Maybe it’s on the left hand side above the US Army name plate, maybe it’s down their pocket, whatever the case might be, and you may wonder, What does this badge mean? You may also be in a situation where you have a family member that is in the military or was in the military and you’ve seen some badges on their uniforms and you don’t know what they mean. That’s what I’m going to explain in this video. I’m not going to cover every badge, though, because there are quite a few. Some of them are pretty rare, like there’s an astronaut one and then a few other ones that are pretty rare.

Mainly, I’m just going to focus on ones that are pretty common in the US Army, you may see out in the world of a soldier walking around or on TV or whatever the case might be. Let’s dive right into it. Starting off with the very first one, that is the Expert Infantryman badge or the EIB. Now, this badge is only available to Infantrymen and members of the special forces. In order to achieve this badge, you have to go through a qualification course or a skills course. And during this course, the soldier is tested on a lot of Infantry Men type of skills at multiple events, things like first aid, communications, weapon familiarization, and qualification. And then several other events that also include a 12 mile road march and also a PT test. Now, normally on a PT test, a soldier is required to at least get 60 % in each event. But for the EIB, they have to qualify with 80 % in every event. That means in the push up, sit up, and two mile run, they have to score 80 % in their age bracket. Now, if a soldier was to fail an event, they get one hour to go take a rest and then attempt the event again.

But if a soldier is not able to pass that event after two attempts, then they do fail the EIB course. And a soldier does have to pass every single eventin order to get the EIB. And the course is conducted over a five day period. Now, this badge is worn on both the dress uniform and the day to day uniform. Usually with badges, if it’s the day to day uniform, the camouflage uniform, it’s a subdued emblem. It would be black. Also, usually it’s sewn on, but there are some cases where it’s just a pin on. And then the badge, once it’s on the dress uniform, is usually a colored one, and that one and that one is pinned on. For a soldier’s day to day uniform or the camouflage uniform, it would be worn just above the US Army name plate on the left hand side of the soldier’s uniform. And for the dress uniform or the ASUs, it would be worn on the left hand side above the ribbons or above the metals. Next, we move to the Combat Infantryman badge or the CIB. Now, similar to the EIB, you have to be an Infantryman or a member of the special forces.

This badge is specifically received for action in combat. Now, in order to qualify for the badge, a soldier must be involved in one of the qualifying combat periods. In order to qualify for that badge, they had to have been actively engaged by the enemy. Now, if a soldier was involved in multiple campaigns where they were engaged by the enemy, they would be able to add additional markers to that CIB. That would include something like a star that goes up to the top, and then maybe two stars if they received three awards. But right now, it’d be pretty rare just to even see a soldier nowadays currently in the army with one star, as that would have to mean that they were engaged by the enemy during Desert Storm and also engaged by the enemy during either Operation Iraq Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. So while it is possible, but a soldier has most likely been in for over 20 years. This badge is also worn above the US Army name plate on the camouflage uniform and above the ribbons on the dress uniform. Next, we move to the Combat Action badge. Now, this badge was created because they had something to identify an infantryman if they were involved in an engagement with the enemy.

But there wasn’t anything to distinguish a soldier who was an infantryman but still had engagement with the enemy. So they created the Combat Action badge for the cab. Now, this badge is awarded to individuals who are not in the Infantry, not in the Special Forces, and not in the medical field because the medical field actually has their own, which is the Combat Medical badge. And a soldier had to have been actively engaged by the enemy during one of the qualifying periods. Now, whereas the Combat Infantryman badge has a rank requirement where colonels and below are the ones authorized to wear it. The Combat Action badge does not have the requirement, so any rank is able to wear the badge as long as they were actively engaged by the enemy. This badge is also worn in the same location just above the US Army name plate on the camouflage uniform and above the medals on the dress uniform. Next, we have the Parachute’s badge or also known as the Jump Wings. Soldiers are authorized to wear this if they have attended the basic airborne course at Fort Benning, Georgia. The course consists of three different phases.

There’s a ground phase, a tower phase, and a jump phase. By the end of the course, they will have done at least five jumps to include a night jump. And a soldier can move up from a basic parachute as badge to a senior and to a master. They just have to go through some more courses and some more training. And there’s also a special identifier if a soldier has done a combat jump, meaning they have parachute out of a plane into a combat zone. This badge will be worn in the same location as the previous badges above the US Army name plate on the camouflage uniform and above the medals on the dress uniform. Next up, we have the aerosol badge. This badge is awarded to soldiers that complete aerosol t school. Aerosol school is actually available at multiple locations. I’m not going to list them all because there are quite a few. In order for a soldier to qualify to wear the aerosol badge, you’re going to have to go through three different phases during the course. Those phases include things like combat aerosol operations, rigging and sling loading operations, as well as rappeling from a helicopter.

This badge is worn in the same location as the previous, above the US Army name tag and above the ribbons and metals on the dress uniform. Next up, we have the Driver and Mechanic badge. This is a skill badge that is awarded to drivers, mechanics, as well as special equipment operators. In order for a soldier to qualify to wear this badge, they have to meet some different requirements. For example, a driver of a wheeled vehicle would have to be assigned a driver position and then perform those duties in a 12 month period or 8,000 miles without any accidents and without any traffic violations. Now in this badge, there are different clasps or bars that would hang beneath it. Which type of clasps or bar that a soldier has just depends on what type of vehicle they were assigned or if they were a mechanic or a special equipment operator. For example, that class might have a DriverT representing tracked vehicle or Driver W for wheeled vehicle. There are a few other possibilities that a soldier could have on that driver’s badge or mechanic badge. Now, this badge is only worn on the dress uniform. This badge is worn on the left hand side of the uniform.

For example, on the male uniform, it is worn on the very top of the left breast pocket flap. And for a female soldier, it’s still worn on the left side, but they have some different measurements. They have to go off of it because that uniform doesn’t have a pocket. Next, let’s move to the marksmanship badges. These badges represent a soldier’s weapons qualification. And there are three different types of badges that can be worn by a soldier just depending on how well they do on the qualification. Starting off with the basic one, which is just a marksman, the next one up would be sharpshooter. And if a soldier qualified really well, then they can achieve an expert badge. Now, similar to how the drivers and the mechanic badge works, it also has these clasps or bars that hang beneath it, and that clasps would represent what weapon that soldier qualified with. Now, a soldier is authorized to wear up to three of these badges, so they could possibly have a marksman badge for a rifle, an expert badge for a pistol, and then maybe a driver’s badge, or maybe even that third one is for a machine gun.

And then with those three badges, they’re only allowed to have three clasps below it. However well they qualified with that weapon would go underneath the corresponding marksmanship badge. Now, unlike the previous badges, this is not a permanent badge, meaning in order for a soldier to keep it, they have to continue to qualify with that weapon. Typically, this is done every six months. So if a soldier, say, received an expert badge with a pistol, but then after six months didn’t go back to the pistol range, they would technically have to drop that badge off the uniform. Now, also, if a soldier, say, qualified with a rifle as an expert during one range, and then six months later, came back to the rifle range and was unable to qualify as a marksman, they would also need to change the badge to represent their qualification. And this badge is also only worn on the dress uniform on the left pocket of the male soldier and on the left side for the female soldier. Now, some soldiers may be authorized to wear identification badges. These badges are typically seen on the right breast pocket. I think it would represent different duties that a soldier has done in the in the military or maybe currently doing in the military.

Those are things like a recruiter badge if a soldier is or was serving as a recruiter in the US Army. Another badge you could see a soldier wearing is a drill sergeant badge. That badge would be worn by soldiers that were maybe currently a drill sergeant for basic training or AIT, or previously drill sergeants in either one of those. And another one that you could possibly see is a career counselor. That’s like a recruiter that’s just trying to get soldiers that are already in the army to reenlist or change careers if they want to. And all these identification badges require soldiers to go through schools to be a recruiter or to be a drill sergeant. And these career badges can be worn on both the camouflage uniform or the dress uniform. So there you go. That is just a handful of some of the badges that you may see on a US Army soldier’s uniform. If you’re currently maybe interested in joining the army, leave me a comment down below of what badge would you be interested in trying to earn? If you are US Army veteran or currently in the US Army, let me know what badges you currently possess.

For me, I just had the marksmanship badges and the driver’s badge. I didn’t do any high speed schools that qualified me for airborne or air assault or even involved in any type of combat that really qualified me for a combat action badge. There you go. If you found this video helpful and maybe share it, pass it along so somebody else can learn about badges in the US Army. If you did like it, make sure to hit that thumbs up button. If you want to check out more of my content, I got a couple of suggested ones over there to check out. If you are not already subscribed to the channel, make sure to hit that subscribe button. But thank you for watching. I’m Christopher Khaos, and I will see you next time. See you.

George N.
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