For years in Afghanistan and Iraq, Marine special operators were hounded for sporting the iconic Raider patch on their camouflage utilities. However, the Corps actually has a short history of unit shoulder patches that starts in World War I with the beloved 13th commandant of the Marine Corps.
During one of the greatest wars in Europe, like the Army, the Marines wore shoulder unit patches, and amid all the fighting, the Corps had to weigh in on its design.
After World War II the Marine Corps revoked the practice, calling it an Army tradition foreign to the Corps.
Marine patches using American Indian imagery were recently put on display at an event hosted by the National Museum of the Marine Corps on April 25 in commemoration of the World War I centennial. June 1 will mark the 100-year anniversary of the Corps’ bloody battle at Belleau Wood in France.