First Afghan National Army Battalion Develops Insignia Patch
Special to American Forces Press Service
KABUL, Afghanistan, May. 30, 2002 The Afghanistan National Army's first regular army battalion has developed a unit insignia patch that underscores the latest chapter of Afghanistan's military history.
The 500 members of 1st Battalion, National Army, are currently undergoing 10 weeks of basic infantry and combat skills training at the military academy here. They're scheduled to graduate in mid-July.
The centerpiece on the 1st Battalion patch is an outline of Afghanistan bracketed by two sheaves of wheat and overlaid with a fountain pen and two crossed rifles. The fountain pen signifies the re-writing of Afghan's history and also the intent of the soldiers to learn and become better educated.
In Arabic, the words "God is Great" are embroidered at the top and "First Battalion, National Army" are embroidered in a banner across the center. Near the bottom of the patch are small black, red and green bars replicating the colors of the Afghan national flag.
Encouraged by their U.S. trainers, Afghan soldiers designed the patch themselves. Recruit Faqir Mohommad, 26, of Qanduz, Afghanistan, rendered the first artist's drawing of the patch. He displayed it on a bulletin board and solicited input from fellow soldiers.
About 500 officer and enlisted Afghan trainees make up the battalion cadre. Their U.S. Army training staff hails from the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, N.C.
Other Afghan battalions will be formed and will take part in the training. They are expected to use the same patch, but with their own unit designations embroidered on it.
(From the public affairs cell of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, via U.S. Central Command.)