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I want a word that can sum up one's experiences in a battlefield but I am unable to find the proper terminology for this purpose.

Military badges are normally placed on the left shoulder as well as the upper left chest of military personnels. What is the proper name for these areas which badges would be placed on?

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Also note that the stripes are generally chevrons and in dress uniforms MAY be found on the shoulderboards. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevron_(insignia) – jcolebrand Feb 15 '11 at 1:29
Why is the answer not shoulder and/or chest? I'm not sure why you are looking for a different proper name for these parts of the uniform. – ukayer Feb 15 '11 at 6:55
This is unclear. Do you want the area on the uniform or as you state "a word that can sum up one's experiences in a battlefield"? – Mitch Dec 24 '11 at 23:02
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Well for the US military that have this practice (many do, I know):

Shoulder sleeve insignia or SSI as an abbreviation.

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

Interesting to note that when it is on the right shoulder, it indicates former service, not current.

The article linked to above notes that they are not continuing with this custom on newer uniforms, opting for a Combat Service Identification Badge (CSIB) instead. :-/

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Thanks. Insignia is the precise definition. However, I don't think it's really user friendly (naming a product after this). – disappearedng Feb 15 '11 at 4:16
Insignia is the word for the badge, not for the area where the badges are placed, which is what the question asks for. – kiamlaluno Feb 15 '11 at 4:32
@kiamlaluno: True, but other than "top of left shoulder", it seemed most accurate. "SSI location" perhaps? – Orbling Feb 15 '11 at 9:57
@disappearedng: Do you wish to name a product after this? You did not say so in your question. Or do you mean the army should not have named it such? Military names for items relating to kit tend to be fairly matter of fact. – Orbling Feb 15 '11 at 9:59
Sleeve, upper, insignia for the wearing of. ;-) – RedGrittyBrick Feb 15 '11 at 10:31

I believe that the word for shoulders is "epaulettes." Military officers (as opposed to enlisted men) are sometimes referred to as "epaulette boys," because of their shoulder badges.

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You are right that the shoulder strips (on top of the shoulder) are called epaulettes. @Orbling's picture shows that the badges are not actually on the epaulettes, but the upper sleeve instead. – Kit Z. Fox Jun 30 '11 at 17:01
@Kit: Military practices have varied over the years. The (modern) picture does show the badge just below the shoulder. And in fact, the caption says "SHOULDER sleeve insignia."But the concept of "epaulettes" goes back some time, at least to the "Three Musketeers." – Tom Au Jun 30 '11 at 17:06
@Tom Absolutely and well observed. – Kit Z. Fox Jun 30 '11 at 17:11
@kit:Is that worth an upvote? Valued more from you, than from most. – Tom Au Jun 30 '11 at 18:40
@Tom Gosh, yes. I thought I had, but must have lost track while I was writing the comment. – Kit Z. Fox Jun 30 '11 at 18:48

I understand that among service members, the phrase salad bar is used informally to refer to the collection of insignia and decorations worn on a uniform.

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