BAGRAM, Afghanistan (10/27/2012) – Pvt. Chris Griffin of the 1st
Sustainment Brigade received his overseas service patch, or better
known to soldiers as the “combat patch” on Oct. 12.
Army Pvt. Chris Griffin and Command Sgt.
Maj. Ian Griffin proudly display their 1st Sustainment Brigade
combat patches at Bagram Airfield during their deployment in support
of Operation Enduring Freedom on October 17, 2012. Photo by Army 2nd
Lt. Henry Chan
The history of the combat patch dates back to the end of World
War II, when the wearing of the unit patch on the right shoulder was
approved to denote service in combat with that unit. To many
soldiers, the combat patch is a badge of honor.
of the 1st Sustainment Brigade shoulder sleeve insignia patch are on
a bluff vertical rectangular embroidered device coming to a
90-degree angle point at base, a yellow reversed chevron, surmounted
over the chevron a vertical red sword, throughout, blade pointing
up, all with a 1/8 inch red border. Bluff and red are the colors
traditionally used by sustainment units. The reversed chevron
signifies support, also illustrating the letter “V,” which alludes
to the motto “sustain to victory.” The red sword symbolizes military
readiness and suggests the number “1” (affectionately known to
soldiers as the “Big Red One”) depicting the Brigade's lineage to
the 1st Infantry Division, the Big Red One.
For Pvt. Griffin, it was his first combat patch earned,
but it was not the first for the Griffin family. In fact,
Pvt. Griffin is the fifth member of his family to wear the
1st SB or the 1st ID as a combat patch.
Griffin's parents both wear the 1st SB patch on their right
sleeve after deploying under the 1st SB.
Griffin and his father, Command Sgt. Maj. Ian Griffin share
the job as wheeled vehicle mechanics in the Army. Command
Sgt. Maj Griffin deployed to Iraq twice while serving under
the 1st ID for five years in Kitzingen, Germany, and 1st SB
in Fort Riley in 2009-2010. He currently serves under the
18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, based out of
Command Sgt. Maj. Ian
Griffin's wife, Sgt. 1st Class Wibke Griffin served as a
tank turret repairer, and deployed under the 1st Sustainment
Brigade leading a personal security detachment in Operation
Iraqi Freedom from 2007-2008.
Command Sgt. Maj. Ian
Griffin's brother, Capt. Nathan Moore, displays the 1st ID
patch from his service during 2008-2009, leading Mobile
Engagement Training Teams (METT) on the Iraqi border.
The Griffin family great-great-grandfather, Cpl. Howard
Greenup fought with the 1st Infantry Division in World War
I. Cpl. Greenup fought in Meuse Argon, France, in the early
years of the 1st Infantry Division and proudly displayed a
Big Red One patch on his shoulder.
“We didn't know
that he was a 1st ID soldier till we were at our
grandmother's place," Pvt. Griffin said. “My father and I
found a painting of him and saw the bright-red ‘1' on his
sleeve ... that was pretty cool”.
While Command Sgt.
Maj. Ian Griffin recalls the days as a recovery specialist
in Operation Desert Storm, both Griffins now enjoy a much
more modernized battlefield while deployed to Afghanistan in
support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
driving across the desert to a phone tent in Iraq to wait in
line for two hours and not be able to call through,” says
Command Sgt. Maj. Griffin, “or when we all read our letters
out-loud to our friends, because not everyone got to talk to
people back home.”
Fast-forward 21 years to the year
2012, Pvt. Griffin speaks about spending time watching DVDs
with Command Sgt. Maj. in the MWR (Morale Welfare and
Recreation) facility at Bagram Airfield. Unlike other
families, deployment for the Griffins brought them more time
“It's great being deployed with him. We
didn't get to spend time together this frequent before. Time
has been passing by a lot faster when we see each other,”
said Pvt. Griffin.
“I wanted that patch so bad ... now
I have it,” said Pvt. Griffin. "My father made command
sergeant major in 19 years. Let's see if I can do that
Courtesy of U.S. Army
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