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Army November 10, 2011
By Cpl Melanie Schinkel
THE best unit shoulder patches
(USP) clearly identify the unit, have
a unique design and are the product
of deep thought and consideration
according to Army's Ceremonial Cell.
When designing a USP, units must
be aware they will be seen by the public
and need to adhere to the criteria out-
lined in the Army Standing Orders for
Director General Personnel -- Army
Brig Gavan Reynolds said units should
remember a USP could not contain
words or symbols that were inappropri-
ate or could reflect poorly on Defence.
"All USP go through an approval
process to ensure they are not duplicated
or offensive and that they conform to
the guidelines for suitability to represent
the Army in the public domain," Brig
"Chief of Army is the approving
authority for all forms of Army dress
and accoutrements. Units need to abide
by ASOD and guidance can be sought
from Ceremonial Cell -- Army."
Army units wishing to submit a
request for USP need to complete the
form in ASOD, which is located in vol-
ume 2, part 6, chapter 4, annex F.
The form must be accompanied with
the proposed patch design and an expla-
nation of its concept and how it relates
to the unit. The unit's CO and formation
headquarters must sign the form before
it is submitted to Ceremonial Cell --
Army for processing.
Triservice units must submit their
applications to RSM Ceremonial -- ADF,
who will distribute it to each service for
processing. Operational USP applica-
tions must be endorsed by the service's
respective mounting headquarters before
they are submitted to HQJOC for final
Brig Reynolds said triservice or
non-Army groups were required to
ensure their patch designs were appro-
priate for wear by all of the unit's serv-
"Any design for a triservice patch
must be approved by each service.
ASOD contains sections on triservice
and non-Army group patches -- units
should read these before designing their
USP," he said.
"Units can research already
approved USP as a guide. The Special
Operations Command's series of USP
are good examples because they are
effective and appropriate."
He said soldiers should not wear
a patch until it had been formally
approved by Army headquarters.
"If a unit is found to be wearing non-
approved patches they will be directed
to remove them and submit a formal
request for approval. Units should not
assume their designs will be accepted.
"USP are purchased from direct
unit funding, so ordering them with-
out approval may result in a waste of
Information on the process for submitting USP
for approval is available on the ASOD DRN
intranet site at http://intranet.defence.gov.au/
Questions relating to Army USP should be
directed to the Ceremonial Cell -- Army by email
Avoid quick patch ups
Stitched up: Brothers WO2 Vince Dougherty, left, and Sgt Pete Dougherty proudly display the Force Support
Unit patch while deployed to the MEAO last year.
Photo by Sgt Brent Tero
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