Soldiers wear many different types of Army patches to identify themselves or the unit they belong to. The patches come in different shapes and sizes and are an official part of every uniform.
Every Army combat uniform has patches on the chest that features the soldier's last name on the right and "U.S. Army" on the left. An American flag patch is on the right arm, along with patches on both arms that designate which unit the soldier serves in. The soldier wears his rank on both the front of the uniform and on any headgear.
At public or formal functions, soldiers wear the service dress uniform. This uniform features very few patches as most of the decoration is in the form of badges or medals. In most cases, the only patches are the soldier's rank and the unit he or she serves in. If the soldier wears a beret, the beret features a patch with the unit logo as well.
Each Army unit or division has its own special patch which features the logo of the unit. The logos are either the number of the unit or the unit mascot. Some units are famous for their logos, such as the 101st Airborne's "Screaming Eagle" or the 1st Infantry Division's "Big Red One." Many movies or television shows feature these logos on an actor's uniform or vehicle.
Army patches are very popular among collectors who are eager to collect as many as possible. Patches that soldiers wore in combat are usually worth more than surplus patches. Many American collectors also enjoy collecting patches from foreign armed services who were allies or enemies in past wars. Vintage patches from either world war are popular items to collect as well.
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