One of the best ways to celebrate the spirit and camaraderie of your military unit or association is with morale patches. Worn by active military and veterans alike, they let you show support of your fellow soldiers while adding some fun and laughter at the same time.
What Is a Morale Patch?
Morale Patches are morale-building patches worn by troops to reflect pride in their unit and help build unit spirit. Although they look somewhat like official military unit designators, they are not sanctioned by the military. Their unofficial status seems to have made them even more desirable, as their popularity has grown over the years. Morale patches are sometimes dramatic and often funny -- looking at the lighter side of military life. Often they showcase the pride soldiers have in a specific unit or association.
The History of Morale Patches
Because they are not approved by the military, morale patch wearers have kept their favorite patches under the radar so they cannot be called out for not following regulations. The morale patch you see today is direct descendant of earlier modes of self-expression in the military. From the nose art on aircraft in WWII to the peace symbols and other drawings on infantry helmets during the Vietnam War, troops have always sought a way to add some personalization and humor to the strict regimens of military life.
Today many patches are attached to clothing, rucksacks, hats and other gear with Velcro. It allows soldiers to rotate their patches for changing personal tastes or to honor specific historical events. More importantly, Velcro provides the perfect method to quickly remove patches that are not approved by the military.
Who Wears Morale Patches?
Morale patches are very common among veterans. Even years after ending active service, veterans like to display their pride by wearing patches on jackets and hats showing dates of service, specific battles, unique jobs and other points of honor.
Some civilians wonder if they can wear morale patches, since they are non-sanctioned and unofficial. The general feeling by military members seems to be it is okay to wear patches that show support for the military in general, but patches for units, battles and similar specific designations are rightfully reserved for individual soldiers and veterans related to those units and events.
No matter what different kinds of morale patches you like best -- funny patches, tactical patches or other kinds -- it's a great way to quietly show pride in your unit or share a laugh with your buddies. Morale patches are an easy way to relieve stress and build unit spirit.