By Tommy Fuller, Headquarters Resolute SupportJune 17, 2015
KABUL, Afghanistan (JUNE 18, 2015) -- For Soldiers in the infantry, wearing a unit patch on the right sleeve of their uniform is significant. It means they are part of a band of brothers who face danger together.
Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division (LI) took part in such a rite of passage June 6 when they were presented their right-sleeve unit patch during a ceremony at Headquarters Resolute Support.
Unit leaders placed the patches on the right sleeves of 64 Soldiers of D Company, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, attached to the brigade's 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, signifying they have served 30 days in a combat zone.
Many of the older Soldiers assigned to D Company already wore right-sleeve patches because of previous deployments, so it was primarily the younger Soldiers of the unit who were honored.
"Roughly 60 percent of the Soldiers patched were specialist and below, with this being their first deployment," said D Company 1st Sgt. Lynn Dishon. "The combat patch is a badge of honor for these young Soldiers -- kind of a 'been there, done that, got the T-shirt' type of symbol."
Dishon said that being a member of such a storied division as the 10th Mountain Division is an honor, and most young Soldiers will continue to wear their first combat patch throughout their time in service.
For Pfc. Jacob Hallenbeck, it was a moment he will savor for a long time. Hallenbeck said that even though D Company is a solid team, he always felt apart from those Soldiers with more time in service who already wore a right-sleeve combat patch.
"You know you belong to the same unit, but you don't feel the same as the more experienced Soldiers," Hallenbeck said before the ceremony.
Soldiers of 2-15 FA provide security to other Resolute Support units in the Kabul area.