A brassard is a piece of cloth worn on the upper arm, usually by the military or police forces to allow the display of rank or unit insignia. It has a number of advantages over standard sewn insignia. The insignia can be quickly removed if the tactical situation changes, it is ideal for insignia that is only worn on particular duties and so can be removed when that person stops performing that task and it means that the insignia does not need to be laundered, subjecting it to damage. Today we are looking at a more sophisticated example of one of these as used by a British Army corporal:
The printed corporal’s stripes is printed in black on green and sewn to the front:
To wear the brassard, a loop is provided at the top to allow the epaulette on the wearer’s uniform to be passed through it and buttoned up to secure it at the top:
The brassard wraps around the upper arm and there is a piece of elastic at the back to keep it pulled tight and allow it to be secured:
What makes this example a little more advanced is that there is a panel at the front, secured by Velcro, that can be pulled up to reveal a set of channels for pens to be carried:
One of the biggest users of brassards are the cadets who can often be seen with a variety of insignia sewn to their brassards on parade:
I’ve worn those with the letters OC when I was the Orderly Corporal.