Learn more about USMC patches
The US Marine Corps does not allow Marines to wear insignias different from USMC rank patches, ribbons, and qualification badges. Even the American flag patch is not authorized on their “cammies”.
“Cammies” are what the Marines call their battle dress uniforms, officially known as Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniforms (MCCUU). This is the standard uniform to wear in garrison, during training, and while deployed. It uses MARPAT (short for Marine Pattern), a multi-scale camo using a digital micro-pattern formed by pixels. That’s why it’s also known as “digi-cammies” and “digital pattern”.
The practice of wearing patches on cammies ended just after WW2. In 1947, the Marine Corps abolished the use of patches aside from the mandatory ones (ranks, ribbons, and qualification badges). The reason was to highlight the uniformity as a key characteristic of being a marine, denoting that the USMC was a “unified body organized to fight as a whole”. As a result, “patches representing different units or services were not reflecting the spirit of the Corps”.
This is why currently there are no Marine Corps unit patches in use in the USMC.
Tactical Freaky, your one stop shop for USMC patches highly customizable
Tactical Freaky is the USMC patch maker which aims to build the largest catalog of laser-cut Velcro patches around.
Despite USMC not allowing their soldiers to wear patches distinct from the official ones, we often receive requests from active USMC personnel, ex-Marines (sorry, wanted to say “Marines”, “No such thing as an Ex-Marine”!), civilians, and many USMC enthusiasts. They usually request USMC morale patches, custom badges, and USMC name patches, which often include symbols or logos of the Marines, and intended to be worn when off-duty, retired, or simply for fun.
Our patches are highly customizable. In addition to MARPAT camo, you have a plethora of other options:
- 40+ additional backgrounds including many other camos and solid colors,
- 20+ colors and features for texts and logos, including reflective, IR and solid color films,
- 10+ sizes from 1×1 to 10×4 inches,
- and a bunch of different shapes, including odd ones (shields, rhombus, triangles, etc) as well as standard squares and rectangles.
Laser-cut? And Velcro backed? What’s the point of laser-cut USMC Velcro patches?
We specialize in making high quality laser-cut Marine Corps velcro patches.
The laser-cutting process makes the sturdiest and most durable patches compared to other types of patch manufacturing, which is the reason why laser-cut patches are among the preferred types of insignias of the military in combat scenarios. Apart from being long lasting and having endurance, there are other benefits of laser-cut patches:
May feature Infrared Reflectivity (IR), which is a key requirement in real combat situations to guarantee IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) and avoid friend fire.
Extreme accuracy and repeatability of CNC laser cutting machines provide fine and precise design cuts ending up in better detailed texts and images.
Backing our patches with Velcro is consistent with our goal of building long lasting and rugged Mil-Spec patches. Velcro hook and loop fasteners provide a fast and easy way to remove and replace patches. Also, Velcro loop strips can be placed in many different surfaces (clothing, helmets, bags, etc)—this way insignias, badges, and other components can be easily attached to almost any component of your equipment or recreational gear.
Interesting facts of some popular US Marine Corps patches.
One of the most famous patches in the Marines is the Marine Raider patch (aka Raider patch or Raider SSI). Its origin is quite amazing, and it’s worth some words here.
In the closing days of the Guadalcanal campaign in WW2, the Marines needed to procure new uniforms in a time when logistics was a huge problem. As a result, there was a high risk that they would be forced to wear US Army uniforms which could be obtained more readily. Then, a search began for a distinctive insignia to maintain their identity.
By then, the Marines were transported to Australia, where Colonel Twinning started to sketch the new design. It’s believed that he was influenced by the color and design of the Australian National flag, which includes the 5 stars of the Southern Cross on a dark blue background. This influence led to the design of the Raider patch in a blue background, five white stars, a red diamond, and a white skull.
The First Marine Division patch followed a similar path in the same period. While the division was in Australia after Guadalcanal, its new patch design also got influenced in the same way, ending up in the popular rhombus patch with blue background and 5 white stars.
Check out the Marine Raider badge in our store! It’s a laser-cut version fully customizable to your needs.
Looking for a USMC custom patch?
Should you need a custom insignia, a special design commemorating your service in the Marines, or a customized USMC FLAK patch, feel free to get in touch with us to talk about your idea. We will be glad to assess your request in terms of feasibility, cost, and MOQ (minimum order quantity).