Traditionally military insignia was made of brass or embroidered onto cloth. Recently however many nations have been experimenting with moulded rubber patches on their uniforms. Whether this is due to a difference in cost, ease of manufacture or just because its seen as modern and tactical is unclear. Whilst many ‘morale’ patches come in this material, the British Army has not yet embraced this new style of insignia, but their counterparts in the Republic of Ireland have and today we are looking at a moulded Irish Army patch for their 1st Mechanised Infantry Company:
The badge is made of green and black injection moulded rubber and the design has a tire to represent the mechanised role of the unit and a pair of crossed rifles to indicate the infantry aspect of the unit (the large ‘1’ is presumably self-explanatory!).
The insignia is designed to be removable for battlefield security, so the back of the badge has the hook part of a piece of Velcro so it can easily be added and removed from the sleeve of a uniform:
The Irish Army give some more details on the 1st Mechanised Infantry Company here:
The Irish Army’s Infantry Corps can be categorised as light infantry and mechanised infantry. Light infantry operate dismounted, often in complex environments characterised by difficult or close terrain; whereas mechanised infantry operate in wheeled armoured personnel carriers (APC) giving the soldiers protected mobility across the battlespace with greater firepower, logistics, and communications capabilities. Whilst all seven of the Army’s infantry battalions are light infantry, soldiers train in mechanised infantry tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) often required on overseas operational deployments. At present, the Army operates 65 MOWAGs Piranha APCs. Apart from their use at home, the MOWAG has seen service overseas in Eretria (UNMEE), Kosovo (KFOR), Liberia (UNMIL) and Chad (EUFOR/MINURCAT), Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the Golan Heights (UNDOF). 1 Mechanised Infantry Company (1 MIC) based in the DFTC, Curragh Camp are a permanently mechanised unit. In addition to their role as a mechanised infantry company, they are also responsible for training APC crews, commanders, and soldiers in the various TTPs associated with mechanised operations.