SDF Poll 2

Poll – Should State Defense Forces Adopt a Valor Patch to Recognize Heroic Efforts in Life-Saving Operations?

The United States Army and Army National Guard have established policies for the Shoulder Sleeve Insignia (SSI) worn by soldiers. On the left shoulder, soldiers display a patch representing the divisions, corps, armies, or other authorized organizations to which they are currently assigned. Combat veterans are allowed to permanently wear the SSI of the unit they served with in combat on their right shoulder, signifying their “former wartime service” and commonly referred to as a “combat patch.”

State Defense Forces follow a similar policy to their National Guard counterparts. On the left shoulder, they wear the patch signifying the emblem or logo of their State Defense Force. On the right shoulder, soldiers who have previously served in the U.S. Army or Army National Guard in a combat zone and earned a combat patch are permitted to wear one. However, as no State Defense Force has ever deployed to a combat zone, the chances of an SDF soldier earning a combat patch are non-existent. This is further reinforced by the newly revised National Guard Bureau directive CNGBI 5500.01, which states, “No organizational patches from any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, including combat patches, are authorized for wear.” for State Defense Forces. This directive, agreed upon by the Adjutant General Association of the United States—a group comprised of current and former Adjutant Generals (senior National Guard generals in charge of their state’s military)—will likely lead to policy changes in the coming years for State Defense Forces across the nation.

While is lobbying to retain combat patches and promote State Defense Force usage within the National Guard Bureau, which you can support our efforts by joining our Patreon Program. In light of these changes, we propose an alternative to honor the bravery of State Defense Force soldiers.

State Defense Forces have been undertaking increasingly dangerous missions in recent years, often saving lives or putting their own at risk. For example, the California State Guard and Washington State Guard have wildfire firefighters who face life-threatening conditions, and the Texas State Guard conducts missions along the border, where they may encounter dangerous situations that can involve drug cartels. During major natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, State Defense Force troops have carried out critical life-saving missions. To recognize these heroic efforts, we suggest the creation of a “Valor Patch” to honor State Defense Force soldiers who have participated in missions or operations where they saved lives or risked their lives to protect others or property.

In this weeks poll we want to ask you as the Combat Patch will be removed from authorized wear, should State Defense Forces adopt a Valor Patch to honor their soldiers who participated in a major & life saving operation?

  • Yes, State Defense Force troops should be recognized for the heroic efforts they performed while serving their State & Country
  • No, State Defense Forces should keep to US Army & National Guard uniform standards

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