U.S. ARMY ROTC CADET COMMAND PATCH

The United States Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or Army ROTC, is the largest component of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. ROTC graduates are eligible to serve in all four branches of the Armed Forces of the United States that fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense, but the Marine Corps does not have its own ROTC program (graduates of Navy ROTC can become Marine Corps officers, however). The Coast Guard has no ROTC program, but its College Student Pre-Screening Initiative operates similarly albeit limited to schools designated as Minority Serving Institutes. The ROTC was established as part of the National Defense Act of 1916.

The Army ROTC Cadet Command shoulder sleeve insignia, or unit patch, features a quartered shield bounded by top and bottom by banners with inscriptions (“Leadership” on the top, “Excellence” on the bottom). In the upper right quadrant is a Lamp of Knowledge, while the lower left contains a yellow Trojan helmet; a sword positioned diagonally crosses the other two quadrants. The shield stands for national defense, while the sword is symbolic of courage and self-sacrifice that is inherent in a military profession; the helmet is an emblem of the warrior-scholar of ancient Greek civilization.

Originally approved in 1986 for the U.S. Army ROTC Cadet Command and U.S. Army Senior ROTC Cadets, the insignia’s specifications were changed in 1993 to include metric measurements and a version with subdued colors.
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