Special Forces

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia


Description

On a teal blue arrowhead 3 1/8 inches (7.94cm) in height and 2 inches (5.08cm) in width, point up, a yellow dagger, its blade surmounted by three yellow lightning flashes, bendwise in pale, all inset 1/8 inch (.32cm) from the edge of the arrowhead. On a tab placed 3/16 (.48cm) inch above the insignia, the word "AIRBORNE" in yellow letters on a black background.

Symbolism

The arrowhead alludes to the American Indian's basic skills in which Special Forces personnel are trained to a high degree. The dagger represents the unconventional nature of Special Forces operations, and the three lightning flashes, their ability to strike rapidly by air, water or land.

Background

The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved on 22 Aug 1955. It was amended to add an airborne tab on 20 Nov 1958. The insignia was authorized to be worn by personnel of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) and its subordinate units not authorized a shoulder sleeve insignia in their own right on 7 Mar 1991.

(TIOH Drawing Number A-1-155)
Subdued, Olive Drab, NSN: 8455-00-131-6502  

Information & Plaques Courtesy of The Institute of Heraldry!!

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