Technically referred to as subdued grade insignia, the Private First Class (PFC) rank insignia worn on the Army Combat Uniform is not sewn onto the uniform itself, but instead is embroidered on a swatch of ACU fabric which has a backing of hook-and-loop fasteners (Velcro). In addition to the ACU, subdued PFC insignia are also worn on the Army Aircrew Combat Uniform (A2CU), the Maternity Work Uniform, and the ECWCS jacket, as well as on the Patrol Cap.
Please double-check your selection in the drop-down Style box to the right and in the Pattern selector before adding the subdued grade insignia to your cart to ensure it fits the garment for which you need it. The "UCP" insignia are made using the camouflage pattern that was used in the manufacture of the ACU from 2004 to 2015, while OCP is the pattern that was introduced in 2015. The wear-out date for ACUs manufactured with the old UCP camo was 30 September 2019.

While Soldiers have been voicing their concerns regarding the tactical disadvantages of using hook-and-loop fasteners to attach various insignia and badges to the Army Combat Uniform (ACU), another issue is related not so much to the method of attaching rank insignia, but rather its placement.

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When the Army introduced the ACU, it decided that rank insignia would be displayed on the chest, either smack in the middle of the jacket (ACU and A2CU) or above the nameplate on CVC or cold-weather jacket.

For many, this placement was disconcerting because it mean they had to stare at another Soldier’s chest—which in some cases meant looking down on them—to ascertain their rank. And some Soldiers, both male and female, felt uncomfortable scrutinizing a female Soldier’s chest to ascertain the rank.

The official Army position on the subject is that the number of Soldiers who have complained about the placement of rank insignia is rather small, and that the uniform was designed from the ground up with the input of Soldiers.

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