BAGHDAD - West Virginia National Guardsmen from the 150th Armored Reconnaissance Squadron receive the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team's insignia patch during a ceremony at Camp Stryker July 22, as recognition of wartime service.

The combat patch, a tradition started by the Army during World War II, is worn on the right sleeve of all Soldiers assigned to U.S. Army units that actively participate in or support ground combat operations against hostile forces.

"Wearing the patch signifies a rite of passage, a sense of pride and significance," said Capt. Walter Hatfield of Charleston, W. Va.

The 150th, based out of Bluefield, W. Va., is comprised of four troops and one company. The squadron's lineage dates back to the War of 1812 and includes service in the Civil War, World Wars I and II and is currently on its second tour to Iraq.

The unit deployed with the North Carolina National Guard brigade, which known as the Old Hickory Brigade.

Col. Gregory Lusk, the 30th HBCT brigade commander, presented the Old Hickory patch to Lt. Col. Robby Scarberry, squadron commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. James Allen, the squadron's senior enlisted advisor.

Troops filed out of formation to personally receive the Old Hickory patch from Lusk, Swart, Scarberry and Allen.

Placing a patch on one of the Soldier's sleeve, Lusk raised his hand and slapped the patch down with a bit of force, securing it to its Velcro base; signifying an enduring Old Hickory connection.

"Their attitude (Lusk and Swart) is what made me want to wear the patch," said Staff Sgt. Lionel Jones, of Huntington, W. Va., about the insignia on his right sleeve. "It was cool how he (Lusk) slapped it on; I wear the patch with pride."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16