May, 23

US Army Unit Patches Vietnam: A Guide to the History and Meaning Behind Them

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In the midst of the chaos and destruction of the Vietnam War, soldiers in the US Army found a way to connect with one another through their unit patches. These small pieces of embroidered fabric displayed on their uniforms represented a sense of belonging and camaraderie among troops who were fighting an incredibly difficult war.

The designs on these patches varied greatly, often featuring symbols unique to each unit such as animals or historical figures. Many also included mottos or slogans that embodied the spirit and mission of each group. These patches reflected not only pride in one's service but also served as a reminder to soldiers that they were part of something bigger than themselves.

If you're interested in learning more about US Army Unit Patches from Vietnam, keep reading! We'll explore some fascinating history behind these badges and take a closer look at some notable examples from this time period.

US Army Unit Patches in Vietnam War


The Vietnam War was a significant event in the history of the United States. The war lasted for over a decade, and millions of Americans were drafted or volunteered to serve their country. One critical aspect of the war was identifying soldiers by their designated unit patches. These patches were often worn on uniforms as an indication of which unit they belonged to, what missions they completed and where they served.

In this article, we will be delving into US army unit patches during the Vietnam War era.


During World War II, American soldiers began wearing shoulder sleeve insignia (SSI) or Unit Patches that identified them by their division or regiment affiliation. The practice continued through to modern times with each patch symbolizing different things such as one's specific role within a division or regiment among others.

During the Vietnam War era, these patterns changed; some units had time-limited periods while other deployments required unique markings per mission due to clandestine nature operations like MACV-SOG ("Military Assistance Command – Studies and Observations Group").

For example:

  • 1st Cavalry Division: Known as "The First Team," deployed from Ft Benning GA in July 1965.
  • 101st Airborne Division: Known as "Screaming Eagles" deployed from Ft Campbell KY back in August 1965.
  • MACV-SOG: A highly secretive group tasked with special operations behind enemy lines throughout Southeast Asia territory.

These are just some examples amongst many other divisions that had unique designs for easy identification purposes among troops.


Unit patches played an essential role during deployment because it allowed individuals within a specific task force to identify themselves quickly amidst chaos when facing dire situations like ambushes from unknown adversaries where every second could save lives.

Moreover, most veteran bases now have museums dedicated solely towards showcasing priceless memorabilia-related artifacts such as these very same patches. These artifacts are of great historical value as they tell the story of sacrifices made by our brave men and women in uniform.

Popular US Army Unit Patches

  1. 1st Cavalry Division:
    The first team was one of the most famous units during the Vietnam War. They were responsible for conducting various missions throughout their deployment, including Operation Hump, which saw them engage with North Vietnamese Forces resulting in massive casualties.

  2. 101st Airborne Division:
    The Screaming Eagles were known for their mobility and speed on foot patrols when navigating through dense forests or jungle terrain while often engaging with Viet Cong guerrillas within these areas.

  3. MACV-SOG:
    MACV-SOG is a highly secretive group tasked with special operations behind enemy lines throughout Southeast Asia territory that utilized unique marking per mission due to its clandestine nature.


In conclusion, unit patches played an essential role in identifying troops assigned to specific divisions/regiments during deployments like those experienced throughout Vietnam War era engagements.

These patches also serve as memorabilia pieces today, reminding us all about those who served and sacrificed everything so we can enjoy living freely today.

As an ardent military historian enthusiast myself; I would strongly suggest visiting one such museum showcasing these priceless artifacts sometime soon!


What are US Army unit patches from Vietnam?

US Army unit patches from Vietnam are embroidered military badges that were worn by American soldiers during their deployment to the Southeast Asian country. These patches represented different units of the US Army and helped identify soldiers based on their specific roles within those units.

These patches were originally designed as a way for soldiers to easily identify each other in chaotic combat situations, but they eventually became a way for veterans to remember and commemorate their service during this significant period in American history.

What do different unit patches represent?

Each patch represents a specific unit within the US Army, including divisions, brigades, battalions, regiments and companies. The design of each patch is unique to its associated unit and typically includes symbols or imagery that reflect aspects of that particular group's mission or history.

For example, some common designs include eagles (symbolizing freedom), swords (representing strength), crossed rifles (signifying infantry) and lightning bolts (indicating speed). Each patch also includes text indicating the name or numerical designation of its respective unit.

Where can I find authentic Vietnam War era US Army Unit Patches?

Authentic Vietnam War era US army Unit Patches can be found through online auctions sites such as eBay or Etsy as well as dedicated military memorabilia stores both online and offline.

It is important when purchasing these items to ensure they come with an authenticity guarantee from reputable sellers who have experience dealing with historic war artifacts like this one.

Another option may be visiting local flea markets where vendors sell historic items like these at discounted prices- however it’s important again here too make sure you get proper verification about what you're buying before making any purchase decisions.

Can I still wear my father’s/wife’s/grandfather’s etc.. authentic Vietnam war-era Unit Patch today?

Yes! Wearing an authentic uniform item such as a veteran's' Unit Patch provides great opportunity for remembrance and honor their service. This is a great way to remember the sacrifice and service of your loved one.

It’s important however to note that these patches should not be worn in any uniform of an active duty personnel, in order to avoid confusion as well as for proper respect towards those still serving.

How do I properly preserve my Vietnam War era US Army Unit Patch?

Proper preservation for an authentic Vietnam War-era US Army unit patch includes the following steps:

-Store your patch in a cool, dry place that is free from moisture or sunlight exposure.
-Use archival materials such as acid-free tissue paper or boxes designed for artifact storage.
-Avoid handling the patch directly with unprotected hands. Wear cotton gloves when handling if possible.
-Finally, it's best not attempt any cleaning on old patches yourself – leave this task up to professionals who have experience dealing with historic military artifacts like these.

By taking proper care of your vintage Unit Patches you can ensure they remain well preserved over time so future generations can appreciate them too!

In conclusion: If you're interested in learning more about authentic Vietnam war-era US Army unit patches, there are many resources available online and offline where you can find information on what makes these items unique and valuable – both historically and personally. Whether you're looking to purchase one of these items yourself or simply want to learn more about their history, there's no shortage of opportunities out there!

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