U.S. ARMY COMBAT UNIFORM (ACU) PRIVATE FIRST CLASS RANK INSIGNIA

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.
 
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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. 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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