The Shoulder Sleeve Insignia (SSI) of United States Army South was originally approved for wear by members of the Caribbean Defense Command in May 1944. The Command had been activated in early 1941 was the successor to the Panama Canal Department, which was created as a geographic command of the U.S. Army and had served as senior Army HQ in the region. A white galleon represents the type of ships that sailed in the area during the great periods of exploration inaugurated by Christopher Columbus, whose ships flew Maltese crosses as their insignia, and the blue background is the color of the Caribbean ocean.

The Caribbean Defense Command was renamed the United States Army, Caribbean in February 1948, which in turn was redesignated United States Army Forces Southern Command fifteen years later in 1963. It was not until 1987 that the SSI, informally referred to as a unit patch, was assigned to United States Army South, reflecting the joint nature of U.S. Southern Command’s structure and operations.

Besides its Headquarters and HQ Battalion based at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, U.S. Army South has eight units that are aligned with or subordinate to it. Three are also based at Fort Sam Houston: the 470th Intelligence Brigade, the 512th Geospatial Engineer Detachment, and the 56th Signal Battalion. Army Forces Honduras, part of Joint Task Force Bravo, is based at Soto Cano Air Base along with the 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment. The remaining three units are the 525th Military Police Battalion (Guantanamo Bay), the 377th Theater Sustainment Command (New Orleans), and the 807th Medical Deployment Support Command (Fort Douglas, Utah).

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