Posted 6 years ago
These are two examples of early Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom patches.
The 101st was the first conventional unit to send troops to Operation Enduring Freedom. When the soldiers first deployed there was limited availability of Desert Camo insignia and many soldiers deployed with the standard black and green camo items (same as worn on BDUs) sewn to Desert Camo Uniforms.
In preparation for Iraqi Freedom, the Division and local shops ordered insignia to outfit the soldiers. The example on the left is one of these type of patches. It was acquired through the Army supply system.
The example on the right was made in theater. It is unusual in that the colors of the eagle were made opposite to the standard stateside pattern. These patches were attached to a cheese cloth material, as can be seen on the back. The backing is similar to what is seen on theater made Viet Nam era patches. These patches did not hold up to washing as well as the US made patches.