The US Army has debuted a new shoulder patch that soldiers in Iraq can wear to represent their role in the ongoing fight against ISIS, USA Today reports.
The patch features crossed scimitars, three stars, and a palm wreath. According to USA Today, the three stars denote the US land, air, and sea forces involved in the fight against ISIS.
The palm wreath is meant to symbolise honour, while the crossed swords evoke the twin goals of the ongoing operations: the defeat of ISIS and the restoration of stability in the region.
Currently, there are over 3,000 US Army personnel deployed in Iraq. These soldiers have not been deployed in combat roles; instead, they provide training to the Iraqi Security Forces and help coordinate air strikes against ISIS positions.
The patch will only be available for US Army soldiers. The other service branches of the military are also participating in Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIS but will reportedly not be receiving patches.
According to the Washington Post, the Army is likely rolling out the patch because soldiers traditionally wear unit patches on both shoulders, while US Army uniforms also offer more Velcro for the positioning of operational patches than the uniforms of other service branches.
The patch could be still made available to all members of the coalition involved in Operation Inherent Resolve.
“Unit insignia is important because it fosters esprit de corps,” the operation’s spokesman told USA Today. “The CJTF-OIR [Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve] headquarters is made up of men and women from all services, many nations and many different units in the Army. This insignia will be worn by all of the Army members of the CJTF and may be authorised for wear by other services and nations according to their regulations.”
Operation Inherent Resolve is a US-led bombing campaign against ISIS that began in August 2014.
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