NEWS | Nov. 26, 2020

Combat Patching Ceremony

By Story by Staff Sgt. Mark Scovell 36th Infantry Division (TXARNG)

Jordan – U.S. Soldiers of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, stand at attention to receive their shoulder sleeve insignia for former wartime service, commonly referred to as a combat patch, in a ceremony in Southwest Asia, Nov. 26, 2020.
The SSI-FWTS is presented to Soldiers in units that have actively participated in or supported ground combat operations against hostile forces in which they were exposed to the threat of enemy action or fire, either directly or indirectly. This is according to Army Regulation 670-1.
Alpha Company Soldiers known as, Team Annihilator, held their ceremony at a remote outpost where they are assigned to security operations. Lt. Col. Ben Flynn, the 1-35th AR commander, began the ceremony with a short speech on the history of the combat patch and how it was developed during World War I to help identify the different units. Flynn then introduced special guest speaker, Brig. Gen. Win Burkett, deputy commanding general of operations, Task Force Spartan.
Burkett told the Soldiers how honored he was to be included in this significant milestone in their careers.
Following the speech, Flynn bestowed the honor on the Alpha Company commander, Cpt. James Reichhold, who in turn presented patches to his platoon leaders, and finally they placed patches on the rest of the formation. The ceremony marked a key point in the deployment for the unit assigned to Task Force Spartan in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

“It is extremely rewarding to recognize our Soldiers with their combat patch,” said Reichhold. “Each day our Soldiers perform their assigned duties at 100% of their ability, not only because it’s their job, but because they are dedicated to taking care of the Soldiers to their left and right.”

In separate, intimate ceremonies, Reichhold went to each of his Soldiers who were on duty during the ceremony and could not attend. He and Lt. Col. Flynn presented each member of the Annihilator team with their combat patch.
“The presentation of the combat patch is a symbol of the shared dedication each member has to the Soldiers they earned it with, in addition to the Soldiers who have worn it before them and will wear it in the future,” said Reichhold. “It’s something that no one will be able to take away from them, and I look forward to seeing each Soldier wear it with pride.”