A morale patch is a military ornamental insignia with humorous images and expressions. They can be used as identification with a particular unit, such as a division or brigade, and are designed to build an esprit de corps with military personnel. The morale patch is usually not authorized directly by the military to be worn on an official uniform, but can often be found on military clothing or gear.
Morale patches are a strong part of military history and are deeply connected to soldiers and law enforcement agents. Even before World War 1, the morale patch can be traced to the British Army who called them "battle patches". Mainly used to identify allies and enemy units; the distinctive designs would belong to each individual unit as a way to know who was who. Nowadays morale patches are also being used by civilians, for boosting employee morale etc.
In the 1920s, the patches became so unique and individualized, that widespread popularity took over the patch and it became an item for trading and collecting. This was a very successful way to bring the civilian population closer with the military population and make law enforcement agencies more approachable to the general population.
Tracked back to World War I; the 81st Division Wildcats of the US Army, created the first morale patch. It was suggested to Army officials that a patch should be created to acknowledge a division. The insignia was approved to help the morale of the troops and it wasn’t long after that where General Pershing ordered all divisions to create and wear a patch; something unique to their division.
Today, patches can be found for almost all Civilian and Government Groups. Morale patches will always have collectors, enthuiasts, operators, family, comrades and civilian population share in their appreciation.