During the world wars and the years in between, Australian soldiers wore cloth patches of various shapes and colours on their upper sleeves to indicate to which unit or formation they belonged. The use of colour patches was discontinued in 1949 when the British system of embroidered shoulder titles, formation signs and lanyards was adopted.

In July 1987 colour patches were reintroduced in order to foster the Army’s heritage and are now worn on the right side of the puggaree on the slouch hat.

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