The US Army has a very specific system of rules for the use of Shoulder Sleeve Insignia (SSI). The short version: You wear the SSI of your current unit on your left upper arm. If you’ve been down range, you are authorized to wear the SSI of the unit you were in the suck with on your right upper arm. This is commonly called a “Combat Patch.”
The SOC has amended these rules:
– Dispensing with Combat Patches, they require Sorcerers to wear the SOC SSI on the left upper arm, and the applicable school patch on the right upper arm.
– For Novices, the Training Coven SSI is worn on the right upper arm. School SSIs are not worn until graduation (Novices and Sorcerers alike wear lapel pins, which identify school).
– For Rump Latents, the SOC SSI is worn on the left upper arm and a Combat Patch may be worn on the right upper arm if the member has served as a liaison to a regular army unit in a forward deployed position or domestic incident of “national security significance” for a period exceeding 60 days.
These regulations are documented in US Army Regulation 670-1 Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia – Joint Service Amendment – Supernatural Operations Corps. This is also known as “The Purple Amendment.”
When I first started out as a professional author, I commissioned Paul Jacobsen to design the SSI for the SOC, and for one the Training Covens (Coven-4, Umbra AKA Shadow Coven). Since then, I’ve had two friends design SSI for the rest, and I wanted to share them with you here. They’re absolutely incredible, and they are that most sublime of all writerly experiences: When your art inspires someone else’s, so gratified to have these. Here are the SSIs for the SHADOW OPS universe courtesy of Jerome and Sam.
For Probe schools, SSIs are not worn, as Probes cannot be members of the military and serve on a “contracted” basis. In these cases, their SSIs appear, unlabeled, as pectoral symbols on their compression shirts.
Really cool stuff. Thanks Jerome and Sam. Worldbuilding always kills me when I’m doing it, but sometimes it’s fun to look back over the world you’ve built and . . . well . . . gloat a little.