Morale patches are the patches that are worn by troops on their uniform. These are military ornamental badges with funny pictures and expressions. These are designed in such a way that it signifies an inside joke which is applicable specifically to their unit or military career field. These patches are used to identify with a specific unit like a brigade or division. It is designed to form an esprit de corps and boost morale. The military does not authorize them directly for wearing on official uniforms but these can be found on military gear or clothing. These are worn during usually during deployments. But, these can only be worn at the unit commander’s discretion.
History of morale patches
Morale patches are associated to law enforcement agents and soldiers and are a solid part of military history. The history of this can be traced back to before World War 1, when they were called as ‘battle patches’ by the British Army. These patches help in identification of allies as well as enemy units.
During the World War I, the US Army 81st Division Wildcats were the first one to create morale patch. Soon after this, all divisions were ordered by General Pershing to create and wear patches. In the 1920s, patches began to become individualized and unique. The popularity of patches made them a collectible item and item of trade. This helped to bring the civilians and military population closer.
Aircraft nose art was a way to personalize a crew in the WWII. Years later, the Velcro patches came in and made it easier to put or remove patches in the presence of a strict company. Patches were also put on helmets and other military weapons. morale patches doesn’t always have to be patches, they can be pins too.
Morale patches facts
- British Army was the first to use morale patches and called them ‘battle patches’.
- The Blood Chit is said to be the first morale patch.These were first issued in 1793 by President George Washington.
- In 1920s, collecting and trading patches became favourite pastime.
- The name Moral Patch came into existence after Vietnam War.
- The infamous ‘Anytime Baby…!’ patch was created by the US Navy Pilots.
Morale patches have been in the existence for a long period. They are good way to express one’s emotions. Military and law enforcement use variety of patches to show their association with a specific unit and also to connect with civilians.