Shoulder Sleeve Inignia-Former Wartime Service (SSI-FWTS) "Combat Patch" is a very specific patch and a soldier cannot just wear any pacth from his MACOM down. For example, a soldier in 5th Special Forces Group deploys and his orders have him as going with 5th SFG, then he can only wear the SF patch. He cannot wear USASOC(United States Army Special Operations Command) patch or the SOCOM patch even though 5th SFG is under these two commands. If people from your unit are on orders with 504th MP BN then, yes, they can wear that patch, but if it is not said on their orders then they are wrong.
SUBJECT: AR 670-1, 3 FEB 05, WEAR AND APPEARANCE OF ARMY UNIFORMS AND INSIGNIA
1. THIS MESSAGE SERVES AS IMPLEMENTING INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHANGES TO THE WEAR POLICY
OUTLINED IN AR 670-1, APPENDIX F, SHOULDER SLEEVE INSIGNIA-FORMER WARTIME SERVICE (SSIFWTS).
2. SINCE 1945, THE INTENT OF THE WEAR OF THE SSI-FWTS HAS BEEN TO DENOTE SOLDIERS
PARTICIPATION IN COMBAT OPERATIONS, AS DIRECTED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, WHILE
SERVING WITH LARGE ECHELON DEPLOYED UNITS. BASED ON THE WAY UNITS ARE CURRENTLY
DEPLOYING, THE WEAR POLICY FOR THE SSI-FWTS MUST BE REVISED TO CLEARLY CAPTURE THE
WARTIME RELATIONSHIP WITH FIGHTING UNITS ON THE GROUND.
3. THIS POLICY CHANGE IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND IS NOT RETROACTIVE.
4. THIS GUIDANCE APPLIES TO SOLDIERS OF ALL COMPONENTS (ACTIVE, ARNG, AND USAR) THAT
DEPLOY DURING PERIODS OF SERVICE DESIGNATED FOR WEAR OF THE SSI-FWTS, IN ACCORDANCE
WITH AR 670-1, PARAGRAPH 28-17.
5. THERE IS NO TIME-IN-THEATER REQUIREMENT TO BE AUTHORIZED TO WEAR THE SSI-FWTS.
6. A DEPLOYED UNIT (COMPANY OR HIGHER) WILL WEAR THEIR UNIT S SSI AS THE SSI-FWTS. THIS IS
TRUE REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE HEADQUARTERS ELEMENT DEPLOYS, AND REGARDLESS OF
THE NUMBER OF CHANGES TO THE UNIT S ALIGNMENT OR OPERATIONAL CONTROL (OPCON) DURING
THE PERIOD OF DEPLOYMENT.
7. WHEN ECHELONS BELOW COMPANY LEVEL DEPLOY, MEMBERS OF THESE UNITS WILL WEAR THE
SSI OF THE LOWEST ECHELON DEPLOYED UNIT (COMPANY OR HIGHER) IN THEIR NEW DEPLOYED
CHAINS OF COMMAND AS THEIR SSI-FWTS.
8. WHEN THERE IS NO INTERMEDIATE UNIT (COMPANY OR HIGHER) IN THE DEPLOYED CHAIN OF
COMMAND, DEPLOYED SOLDIERS WILL WEAR THE SSI OF THE SENIOR ARMY COMMAND IN THE
THEATER AS THEIR SSI-FWTS.
9. SOLDIERS WHO ARE CROSS-LEVELED, ASSIGNED, ATTACHED, OR AUGMENTING DEPLOYED UNITS,
AND SOLDIERS WHO ARE TDY ON ORDERS THROUGH THE USE OF DD FORM 1610 (REQUEST AND
AUTHORIZATION FOR TDY TRAVEL OF DOD PERSONNEL) WILL WEAR THE SAME SSI-FWTS WORN BY
MEMBERS OF THEIR DEPLOYED UNIT (COMPANY OR HIGHER) TO WHICH ATTACHED OR OPCON. THIS
DOES NOT APPLY TO MEMBERS OF TRIAL DEFENSE AND CIDC, WHO WILL WEAR THE SSI OF THEIR
RESPECTIVE COMMANDS AS THEIR SSI-FWTS.
The sky, even more than the sea, is terribly unforgiving for even the slightest mistake.