Armored car (military)
A military armored car is a lightweight wheeled armored fighting vehicle employed for reconnaissance, internal security, armed escort, other subordinate battlefield tasks. With the gradual decline of mounted cavalry, armored cars were developed for carrying out duties assigned to horsemen. Following the invention of the tank, the armored car remained popular due to its comparatively simplified maintenance and low production cost, it found favor with several colonial armies as a cheaper weapon for use in underdeveloped regions. During World War II, most armored cars were engineered for reconnaissance and passive observation, while others were devoted to communications tasks; some equipped with heavier armament could substitute for tracked combat vehicles in favorable conditions—such as pursuit or flanking maneuvers during the North African Campaign. Since World War II the traditional functions of the armored car have been combined with that of the armored personnel carrier, resulting in such multipurpose designs as the BTR-40 or the Cadillac Gage Commando.
Postwar advances in recoil control technology have made it possible for a few armored cars, including the B1 Centauro, the AMX-10RC and EE-9 Cascavel, to carry a large cannon capable of threatening many tanks. During the Middle Ages, war wagons covered with steel plate, crewed by men armed with primitive hand cannon and muskets, were used by the Hussite rebels in Bohemia; these were deployed in formations where the horses and oxen were at the centre, the surrounding wagons were chained together as protection from enemy cavalry. Similar wagons were used by the English army of Henry VIII, by the Chinese Empire. With the invention of the steam engine, Victorian inventors designed prototype self-propelled armored vehicles for use in sieges, although none were deployed in combat. H. G. Wells' short story The Land Ironclads provides a fictionalised account of their use; the Motor Scout was designed and built by British inventor F. R. Simms in 1898, it was the first armed petrol engine-powered vehicle built.
The vehicle was a De Dion-Bouton quadricycle with a mounted Maxim machine gun on the front bar. An iron shield in front of the car protected the driver. Another early armed car was invented by Royal Page Davidson at Northwestern Military and Naval Academy in 1898 with the Davidson-Duryea gun carriage and the Davidson Automobile Battery armored car. However, these were not'armored cars' as the term is understood today, as they provided little or no protection for their crews from enemy fire, they were by virtue of their small capacity engines, less efficient than the cavalry and horse-drawn guns that they were intended to complement. At the beginning of the 20th century, the first military armored vehicles were manufactured, by adding armor and weapons to existing vehicles; the first armored car was the Simms' Motor War Car, designed by F. R. Simms and built by Vickers, Sons & Maxim of Barrow on a special Coventry-built Daimler chassis with a German-built Daimler motor in 1899. and a single prototype was ordered in April 1899 The prototype was finished in 1902, too late to be used during the Boer War.
The vehicle had Vickers armour 6 mm thick and was powered by a four-cylinder 3.3-litre 16-hp Cannstatt Daimler engine, giving it a maximum speed around 9 miles per hour. The armament, consisting of two Maxim guns, was carried in two turrets with 360° traverse, it had a crew of four. Simms' Motor War Car was presented at the Crystal Palace, London, in April 1902. Another early armored car of the period was the French Charron, Girardot et Voigt 1902, presented at the Salon de l'Automobile et du cycle in Brussels, on 8 March 1902; the vehicle was equipped with a Hotchkiss machine gun, with 7 mm armour for the gunner. One of the first operational armoured cars with four wheel drive and enclosed rotating turret, was the Austro-Daimler Panzerwagen built by Austro-Daimler in 1904, it was armoured with 3-3.5 mm thick curved plates over the body and had a 4mm thick dome-shaped rotating turret that housed one or two machine-guns. It had a 4-cylinder 35 hp 4.4 litre engine giving it average cross country performance.
Of note, both the driver and co-driver had adjustable seats enabling them to raise them to see out of the roof of the drive compartment as needed. The Italians used armored cars during the Italo-Turkish War. A great variety of armored cars appeared on both sides during World War I and these were used in various ways. Armored cars were used by more or less independent car commanders. However, sometimes they were used in larger units up to squadron size; the cars were armed with light machine guns, but larger units employed a few cars with heavier guns. As air power became a factor, armored cars offered a mobile platform for antiaircraft guns; the first effective use of an armored vehicle in combat was achieved by the Belgian Army in August–September 1914. They had placed a Hotchkiss machine gun on Minerva touring cars, their successes in the early days of the war convinced the Belgian GHQ to create a Corps of Armoured Cars, who would be sent to fight on the Eastern front once the western front immobilized after the Battle of the Yser.
The British Royal Naval Air Service dispatched aircraft to Dunkirk to defend the UK from Zeppelins. The officers' cars followed them and these began to be used to rescue downed reconnaissance pilots in the battle areas, they mounted machine guns on them and as these excursions became dangerous, they improvised boiler plate armoring on the vehicles provided by a local shipbuilder. In London Murray Sueter ordered "fighting cars" based on Rolls-Royce and Wolseley chassis
United States Army
The United States Army is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution; as the oldest and most senior branch of the U. S. military in order of precedence, the modern U. S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, formed to fight the American Revolutionary War —before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army; the United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775. As a uniformed military service, the U. S. Army is part of the Department of the Army, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense; the U. S. Army is headed by a civilian senior appointed civil servant, the Secretary of the Army and by a chief military officer, the Chief of Staff of the Army, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It is the largest military branch, in the fiscal year 2017, the projected end strength for the Regular Army was 476,000 soldiers. S. Army was 1,018,000 soldiers; as a branch of the armed forces, the mission of the U. S. Army is "to fight and win our Nation's wars, by providing prompt, land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders"; the branch participates in conflicts worldwide and is the major ground-based offensive and defensive force of the United States. The United States Army serves as the land-based branch of the U. S. Armed Forces. Section 3062 of Title 10, U. S. Code defines the purpose of the army as: Preserving the peace and security and providing for the defense of the United States, the Commonwealths and possessions and any areas occupied by the United States Supporting the national policies Implementing the national objectives Overcoming any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United StatesIn 2018, the Army Strategy 2018 articulated an eight-point addendum to the Army Vision for 2028.
While the Army Mission remains constant, the Army Strategy builds upon the Army's Brigade Modernization by adding focus to Corps and Division-level echelons. Modernization, reform for high-intensity conflict, Joint multi-domain operations are added to the strategy, to be completed by 2028; the Continental Army was created on 14 June 1775 by the Second Continental Congress as a unified army for the colonies to fight Great Britain, with George Washington appointed as its commander. The army was led by men who had served in the British Army or colonial militias and who brought much of British military heritage with them; as the Revolutionary War progressed, French aid and military thinking helped shape the new army. A number of European soldiers came on their own to help, such as Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who taught Prussian Army tactics and organizational skills; the army fought numerous pitched battles and in the South in 1780–1781, at times using the Fabian strategy and hit-and-run tactics, under the leadership of Major General Nathanael Greene, hit where the British were weakest to wear down their forces.
Washington led victories against the British at Trenton and Princeton, but lost a series of battles in the New York and New Jersey campaign in 1776 and the Philadelphia campaign in 1777. With a decisive victory at Yorktown and the help of the French, the Continental Army prevailed against the British. After the war, the Continental Army was given land certificates and disbanded in a reflection of the republican distrust of standing armies. State militias became the new nation's sole ground army, with the exception of a regiment to guard the Western Frontier and one battery of artillery guarding West Point's arsenal. However, because of continuing conflict with Native Americans, it was soon realized that it was necessary to field a trained standing army; the Regular Army was at first small and after General St. Clair's defeat at the Battle of the Wabash, the Regular Army was reorganized as the Legion of the United States, established in 1791 and renamed the United States Army in 1796; the War of 1812, the second and last war between the United States and Great Britain, had mixed results.
The U. S. Army did not conquer Canada but it did destroy Native American resistance to expansion in the Old Northwest and it validated its independence by stopping two major British invasions in 1814 and 1815. After taking control of Lake Erie in 1813, the U. S. Army seized parts of western Upper Canada, burned York and defeated Tecumseh, which caused his Western Confederacy to collapse. Following U. S. victories in the Canadian province of Upper Canada, British troops who had dubbed the U. S. Army "Regulars, by God!", were able to capture and burn Washington, defended by militia, in 1814. The regular army, however proved they were professional and capable of defeating the British army during the invasions of Plattsburgh and Baltimore, prompting British agreement on the rejected terms of a status quo ante bellum. Two weeks after a treaty was signed, Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans and Siege of Fort St. Philip, became a national hero. U. S. troops and sailors captured HMS Cyane and Penguin in the final engagements of the war.
Per the treaty, both sides (the United S
Armoured warfare, mechanised warfare or tank warfare is the use of armoured fighting vehicles in modern warfare. It is a major component of modern methods of war; the premise of armoured warfare rests on the ability of troops to penetrate conventional defensive lines through use of manoeuvre by armoured units. Much of the application of armoured warfare depends on the use of tanks and related vehicles used by other supporting arms such as infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled artillery, other combat vehicles, as well as mounted combat engineers and other support units; the doctrine of armoured warfare was developed to break the static nature of World War I trench warfare on the Western Front, return to the 19th century school of thought that advocated manoeuvre and "decisive battle" outcomes in military strategy. Modern armoured warfare began during the First World War with the need to break the tactical and strategic stalemates forced on commanders on the Western Front by the effectiveness of entrenched defensive infantry armed with machine guns—known as trench warfare.
Under these conditions, any sort of advance was very slow and caused massive casualties. The development of the tank was motivated by the need to return manoeuvre to warfare, the only practical way to do so was to provide caterpillar traction to guns allowing them to overcome trenches while at the same time offering them armour protection against small arms fire as they were moving. Tanks were first developed in Britain and France in 1915, as a way of navigating the barbed wire and other obstacles of no-man's land while remaining protected from machine-gun fire. British Mark I tanks first went to action at the Somme, on 15 September 1916, but did not manage to break the deadlock of trench warfare; the first French employment of tanks, on 16 April 1917, using the Schneider CA, was a failure. In the Battle of Cambrai British tanks were more successful, broke a German trenchline system, the Hindenburg Line. Despite the unpromising beginnings, the military and political leadership in both Britain and France during 1917 backed large investments into armoured vehicle production.
This led to a sharp increase in the number of available tanks for 1918. The German Empire to the contrary, produced only a few tanks, late in the war. Twenty German A7V tanks were produced during the entire conflict, compared to over 4,400 French and over 2,500 British tanks of various kinds. Nonetheless, World War I saw the first tank-versus-tank battle, during the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux in April 1918, when a group of three German A7V tanks engaged a group of three British Mark IV tanks they accidentally met. After the final German Spring Offensives of 1918, Entente tanks were used in mass at the Battle of Soissons and Battle of Amiens, which ended the stalemate imposed by trench warfare on the Western Front, thus ended the war. Tactically, the deployment of armour during the war was typified by a strong emphasis on direct infantry support; the tank's main tasks were seen as crushing barbed wire and destroying machine-gun nests, facilitating the advance of foot soldiers. Theoretical debate focused on the question whether a "swarm" of light tanks should be used for this or a limited number of potent heavy vehicles.
Though in the Battle of Cambrai a large concentration of British heavy tanks effected a breakthrough, it was not exploited by armour. The manoeuvrability of the tank should at least in theory regain armies the ability to flank enemy lines. In practice, tank warfare during most of World War I was hampered by the technical immaturity of the new weapon system causing mechanical failure, limited numbers, general underutilisation, a low speed and a short range. Strategic use of tanks was slow to develop during and after World War I due to these technical limitations but due to the prestige role traditionally accorded to horse-mounted cavalry. An exception, on paper, was the Plan 1919 of Colonel John Fuller, who envisaged using the expected vast increase in armour production during 1919 to execute deep strategic penetrations by mechanised forces consisting of tanks and infantry carried by lorries, supported by aeroplanes, to paralyse the enemy command structure. Following the First World War, the technical and doctrinal aspects of armoured warfare became more sophisticated and diverged into multiple schools of doctrinal thought.
During the 1920s, only few tanks were produced. There were however, important technical developments. Various British and French commanders who had contributed to the origin of the tank, such as Jean Baptiste Eugène Estienne, B. H. Liddell Hart and J. F. C. Fuller, theorised about a possible future use of independent armoured forces, containing a large concentration of tanks, to execute deep strategic penetrations. Liddell Hart wrote many books about the subject propagating Fuller's theories; such doctrines were faced with the reality that during the 1920s the armoured vehicles, as early road transport in general, were unreliable, could not be used in sustained operations. Mainstream thought on the subject was more conservative and tried to integrate armoured vehicles into the existing infantry and cavalry organisation and tactics. Technical development focussed on the improvement of the suspension system and engine, to create vehicles that were faster, more reliable and had a better range than their WW I predecessors.
To save weight, such designs had thin armour plating and this inspired fitting small-calibre high-velocity guns in turrets, giving tanks a good antitank capacity. Both France and Britain built specialised infantry tanks, more armoured to provide infantry
Captain (armed forces)
The army rank of captain is a commissioned officer rank corresponding to the command of a company of soldiers. The rank is used by some air forces and marine forces. Today, a captain is either the commander or second-in-command of a company or artillery battery. In the Chinese People's Liberation Army, a captain may command a company, or be the second-in-command of a battalion. In NATO countries, the rank of captain is described by the code OF-2 and is one rank above an OF-1 and one below an OF-3; the rank of captain is considered to be the highest rank a soldier can achieve while remaining in the field. In some militaries, such as United States Army and Air Force and the British Army, captain is the entry-level rank for officer candidates possessing a professional degree, most medical professionals and lawyers. In the U. S.. Army, lawyers who are not officers at captain rank or above enter as lieutenants during training, are promoted to the rank of captain after completion of their training if they are in the active component, or after a certain amount of time one year from their date of commission as a lieutenant, for the reserve components.
The rank of captain should not be confused with the naval rank of captain or with the UK-influenced air force rank of group captain, both of which are equivalent to the army rank of colonel. The term goes back to Late Latin capitaneus meaning "chief, prominent"; the military rank of captain was in use from the 1560s, referring to an officer who commands a company. The naval sense, an officer who commands a man-of-war, is somewhat earlier, from the 1550s extended in meaning to "master or commander of any kind of vessel". A captain in the period prior to the professionalization of the armed services of European nations subsequent to the French Revolution, during the early modern period, was a nobleman who purchased the right to head a company from the previous holder of that right, he would in turn receive money from another nobleman to serve as his lieutenant. The funding to provide for the troops came from his government. If he was not, or was otherwise court-martialed, he would be dismissed, the monarch would receive money from another nobleman to command the company.
Otherwise, the only pension for the captain was selling the right to another nobleman when he was ready to retire. Many air forces, such as the United States Air Force, use a rank structure and insignia similar to those of the army. However, the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force, many other Commonwealth air forces and a few non-Commonwealth air forces use an air force-specific rank structure in which flight lieutenant is OF-2. A group captain was derived from the naval rank of captain. In the unified system of the Canadian Forces, the air force rank titles are pearl grey and increase from OF-1 to OF-5 in half strip increments. A variety of images illustrative of different forces' insignia for captain are shown below: Captain Captain Senior captain Staff captain
A non-commissioned officer is a military officer who has not earned a commission. Non-commissioned officers obtain their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks. In contrast, commissioned officers hold higher ranks than NCOs, have more legal responsibilities, are paid more, have more non-military training such as a university diploma. Commissioned officers earn their commissions without having risen through the enlisted ranks; the NCO corps includes all grades of corporal and sergeant. The naval equivalent includes all grades of petty officer. There are different classes of non-commissioned officer, including junior non-commissioned officers and senior non-commissioned officers; the non-commissioned officer corps is referred to as "the backbone" of the armed services, as they are the primary and most visible leaders for most military personnel. Additionally, they are the leaders responsible for executing a military organization's mission and for training military personnel so they are prepared to execute their missions.
NCO training and education includes leadership and management as well as service-specific and combat training. Senior NCOs are considered the primary link between enlisted personnel and the commissioned officers in a military organization, their advice and guidance are important for junior officers and in many cases to officers of all senior ranks, who begin their careers in a position of authority without practical knowledge and experience. In the Australian Army, lance corporals and corporals are classified as junior NCOs, while sergeants and warrant officers are classified as senior NCOs. In the New South Wales Police Force, NCOs perform supervisory and coordination roles; the ranks of probationary constable through to leading senior constable are referred to as "constables". All NCOs within the NSW Police are given a warrant of appointment under the Commissioner's hand and seal. All officers within the Australian Defence Force Cadets are non-commissioned. ADFC officers are appointed by the Director-General of their respective branch.
In the Canadian Forces, the Queen's Regulations and Orders formally defined a non-commissioned officer as "A Canadian Forces member holding the rank of Sergeant or Corporal." In the 1990s, the term "non-commissioned member" was introduced to indicate all ranks in the Canadian Forces from recruit to chief warrant officer. By definition, with the unification of the CF into one service, the rank of sergeant included the naval rank of petty officer 2nd class, corporal includes the naval rank of leading seaman. NCOs are divided into two categories: junior non-commissioned officers, consisting of corporals/leading seamen and master corporals/master seamen. In the Royal Canadian Navy, the accepted definition of "NCO" reflects the international use of the term. Junior non-commissioned officers billet with privates and seamen. Conversely, senior non-commissioned officers billet with warrant officers; as a group, NCOs rank below warrant officers. The term "non-commissioned members" includes these ranks.
In the Finnish Defence Force, NCO's includes all ranks from corporal to sergeant major. Ranks of lance corporal and leading seaman are considered not to be NCO ranks; this ruling applies to all branches of service and to the troops of the Border Guard. In France and most former French colonies, the term sous-officier is a class of ranks between the rank-and-file and commissioned officers. Corporals belong to the rank-and-file. Sous-officiers include two subclasses: "subalternes" and "supérieurs". "Sous-officiers supérieurs" can perform various functions within a regiment or battalion, including commanding a platoon or section. In Germany and German-speaking countries like Austria, the term Unteroffizier describes a class of ranks between normal enlisted personnel and officers. In this group of ranks there are, in Germany, two other classes: Unteroffiziere mit Portepee and Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee, both containing several ranks, which in Austria would be Unteroffiziere and Höhere Unteroffiziere.
In the New Zealand Defence Force, a non-commissioned officer is defined as: " In relation to the Navy, a rating of warrant officer, chief petty officer, petty officer, or leading rank.
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy known as West Point, Army West Point, The Academy, or The Point, is a four-year federal service academy in West Point, New York. It was established as a fort that sits on strategic high ground overlooking the Hudson River with a scenic view, 50 miles north of New York City, it is one of the five U. S. service academies. The Academy traces its roots to 1801, when President Thomas Jefferson directed, shortly after his inauguration, that plans be set in motion to establish the United States Military Academy at West Point; the entire central campus is a national landmark and home to scores of historic sites and monuments. The majority of the campus's Norman-style buildings are constructed from black granite; the campus is a popular tourist destination, with a visitor center and the oldest museum in the United States Army. Candidates for admission must both apply directly to the academy and receive a nomination from a member of Congress or Delegate/Resident Commissioner in the case of Washington, D.
C. Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands. Other nomination sources include the Vice President of the United States. Students are officers-in-training and are referred to as "cadets" or collectively as the "United States Corps of Cadets". Tuition for cadets is funded by the Army in exchange for an active duty service obligation upon graduation. 1,300 cadets enter the Academy each July, with about 1,000 cadets graduating. The academic program grants a bachelor of science degree with a curriculum that grades cadets' performance upon a broad academic program, military leadership performance, mandatory participation in competitive athletics. Cadets are required to adhere to the Cadet Honor Code, which states that "a cadet will not lie, steal, or tolerate those who do." The academy bases a cadet's leadership experience as a development of all three pillars of performance: academics and military. Most graduates are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army. Foreign cadets are commissioned into the armies of their home countries.
Since 1959, cadets have been eligible for an interservice commission, a commission in one of the other armed services, provided they meet that service's eligibility standards. Most years, a small number of cadets do this; the academy's traditions have influenced other institutions because of unique mission. It was the first American college to have an accredited civil-engineering program and the first to have class rings, its technical curriculum was a model for engineering schools. West Point's student body has lexicon. All cadets dine together en masse on weekdays for breakfast and lunch; the academy fields fifteen men's and nine women's National Collegiate Athletic Association sports teams. Cadets compete in one sport every fall and spring season at the intramural, club, or intercollegiate level, its football team was a national power in the early and mid-20th century, winning three national championships. Its alumni and students are collectively referred to as "The Long Gray Line" and its ranks include two Presidents of the United States, presidents of Costa Rica and the Philippines, numerous famous generals, seventy-six Medal of Honor recipients.
The Continental Army first occupied West Point, New York, on 27 January 1778, it is the oldest continuously operating Army post in the United States. Between 1778 and 1780, the Polish engineer and military hero Tadeusz Kościuszko oversaw the construction of the garrison defenses; the Great Hudson River Chain and high ground above the narrow "S" curve in the river enabled the Continental Army to prevent British Royal Navy ships from sailing upriver and thus dividing the Colonies. While the fortifications at West Point were known as Fort Arnold during the war, as commander, Benedict Arnold committed his act of treason, attempting to sell the fort to the British. After Arnold betrayed the patriot cause, the Army changed the name of the fortifications at West Point, New York, to Fort Clinton. With the peace after the American Revolutionary War, various ordnance and military stores were left deposited at West Point. After the Continental Army was disbanded 1783, West Point was the only place in the newly formed United States to have active military personel, 80 in total, until Legion of the United States was established in 1792."Cadets" underwent training in artillery and engineering studies at the garrison since 1794.
In 1801, shortly after his inauguration as president, Thomas Jefferson directed that plans be set in motion to establish at West Point the United States Military Academy. He selected Jonathan Williams to serve as its first superintendent. Congress formally authorized the establishment and funding of the school with the Military Peace Establishment Act of 1802, which Jefferson signed on 16 March; the academy commenced operations on 4 July 1802. The academy graduated Joseph Gardner Swift, its first official graduate, in October 1802, he returned as Superintendent from 1812 to 1814. In its tumultuous early years, the academy featured few standards for length of study. Cadets attended between 6 months to 6 years; the impending War of 1812 caused the United States Congress to authorize a more formal system of education at the academy and increased the size of the Corps of Cadets to 250. In 1817, Colonel Sylvanus Thayer became the Superintendent and established the curriculum, elements of which are still in use as of 2015.
Thayer instilled strict disciplinary
Shoulder sleeve insignia
A shoulder sleeve insignia, is an embroidered patch worn on some uniforms of the United States Army. It is used by major formations of the U. S. Army; the U. S. Army is unique among the U. S. Armed Forces in that all soldiers are required to wear the patch of their headquarters as part of their military uniforms. Shoulder sleeve insignia receive their name from the fact that they are most worn on the upper left sleeve of the Army Combat Uniform. S. Army uniforms. However, they can be placed on other locations, notably on the side of a helmet. Shoulder sleeve insignia worn on the upper right sleeve of Army uniforms denote former wartime service; these "combat patches" are no longer worn on the Army Service Uniform. Instead, a 2 inch metal replica is worn on the right breast pocket and is known as the Combat Service Identification Badge. Shoulder sleeve insignia were designed with intricate designs including bright colors, when created; because these bright colors and designs risk standing out when a soldier is in combat or in hiding, the shoulder sleeve insignia in its color form was only worn on the dress uniform or service uniform when a soldier was not in combat.
However, with the retirement of the Army Green Uniform in 2015, the full-color SSI was discontinued and was replaced with a CSIB. For combat uniforms, "subdued" versions have been created for wear on the battlefield. After a few years of retirement, the full-color SSI will return when the "pinks and greens" uniform is re-introduced in the late 2010s and early 2020s. "Full color" SSI were only worn on the brown service coat during the 1940s, on the green "Class A" uniform and on the OG-107 during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Full color SSI were worn on the "full color" Military Police brassard, worn by MPs while wearing the green "Class A" service uniform or while wearing subdued field uniforms in a garrison environment. However, with the ACU, the MP brassard was replaced by a rectangular patch made of fabric or infrared-reflective material, reading "MP". In one notable exception, the U. S. 1st Infantry Division wore full-color SSI on their BDUs and ACUs for a time, before that too was replaced with a subdued version.
The subdued version of the SSI created for the Battle Dress Uniform features patches that are olive, dark brown and black, to match the BDU. In general, this version is obsolete because the Army phased out the BDU in the late 2000s in favor of the Army Combat Uniform; the subdued version created for the Desert Camouflage Uniform is tan and "spice" brown, to match the uniform's design. This version is obsolete, as the Army phased out DCUs in favor of ACUs; the subdued version created for the Army Combat Uniform is the version used in the field today. Since the Army-wide adoption of the ACU, SSI for the ACU have been developed; these SSI are foliage green, light brown, black, though a few patches feature red and maroon colors for some details. Unlike previous patches, the ACU SSI are velcro-backed, designed to attach to the velcro pockets on the shoulder of the uniform, instead of being sewn on; this makes them easier to replace. Since the development of the Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform new SSI have been procured where the "Foliage" green of the ACU SSI is replaced by "Bagby" green.
Velcro remains the method for attaching the SSI to the uniform. Well-recognized examples are the shoulder sleeve insignia for the 1st Infantry Division and the 1st Cavalry Division. In the U. S. Army, the SSI is worn on the left upper arm, just below the uniform's shoulder seam on all but the ACU. On the Army Combat Uniform the SSI is attached to a velcro backing and is centered on rectangle of velcro on the arm. First Army has directed that all subordinate brigades wear the First Army SSI instead of their own authorized brigade SSI; the most common place for the SSI to be worn is on the upper sleeve of the uniform, however it is sometimes worn on other places, notably when the soldier's body armor covers the shoulders. SSI are commonly worn on the shoulder pads of interceptor body armor, which covers the SSI on the uniform; some soldiers wear SSI on their MICH TC-2000 Combat Helmets, however this is not standard practice for all units. Some SSI are too large to be worn on the helmets. SSI are occasionally worn on the backpacks or rucksacks of soldiers, but this is not standard practice and is personal preference.
Which SSI is worn depends on the chain of command that the soldier's formation is a part of. The soldier wears the SSI of their division or separate brigade, but if they fall under the command of a different division, they must wear the SSI of that division; those soldiers who are combat veterans are authorized permanent wear of the SSI of the unit they fought with on their right shoulder. This shoulder sleeve insignia recognizes "former wartime service" and is called a "combat patch". Per Army Regulation 670-1, a soldier is authorized to wear the SSI of their higher headquarters; this is not dependent on whether or not the higher headquarters deployed, or to whom the soldier was attached throughout his/her deployment. Exceptions have been made for operations of short duration such as service in the Dominican Republic and Grenada. With the transformation of the U. S. Army into a brigade-centered force, the SSI that soldiers may wear for wartime service has grown. Where soldiers once fought only under the command of