Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment "Raiders," 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, received the Shoulder Sleeve Insignia -- Former Wartime Service patch, commonly known as the combat patch, during a patching ceremony May 25, 2018.
The combat patch ceremony is a tradition started by the Army during World War II. Soldiers who served in a combat zone during a period of active enemy engagement placed their unit patches on their right shoulders to signify their participation.
Commanders continue the long-standing Army tradition today and present each Soldier with the shoulder sleeve insignia, denoting wartime service.
Lt. Col. Jason W. Atkinson, commander, 1st SBCT, placed the patches on the Soldiers' uniforms as part of the prestigious patching ceremony with the help of Staff Sgt. Kenneth C. Barrett, cannon crewmember, 2nd Bn., 12th FA Reg., 1st SBCT.
"I am very excited and proud to earn the coveted 4th Infantry Division patch," said Spc. Sean McIntire, cannon crewmember, 1st SBCT. "I am also proud to represent the 4th Infantry Division."
To many Soldiers, the combat patch is a clear sign of loyalty to defend freedom and duty to fulfill their military obligation. It is a symbol of respect for Soldiers who have served in a hostile environment, and it proves courageous commitment to face peril and danger.
"It is a privilege to be part of the legacy of the men and women that served before me," said Sgt. Joshua Fogel, fire control specialist, 2nd Bn., 12th FA Reg., 1st SBCT. "Our job is important because we can help set the conditions for the guys we support and this patch is also a symbol (which) represents that important role."