Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa held a combat patching ceremony for Soldiers with the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, South Carolina National Guard, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, on Aug. 14, 2023.
The combat patch commemorates a unit's service in a combat zone and is authorized to be worn by Soldiers who serve with the unit during their deployment and may then be worn throughout their military career.
“We’re gathered here for a tradition that should not be taken lightly,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley, CJTF-HOA commanding general. “You work tirelessly on a continent that lies at the crossroads of the globe.”
While deployed to Camp Lemonnier, the 218th MEB serves as CJTF-HOA’s headquarters support unit and is responsible for facilitating mission accomplishment by ensuring strategic partnerships with Djibouti and other partner nations, responding to crises and enhancing stability and peace. Prior to their current deployment, the 218th MEB has a storied legacy.
“The rich history of the 218th includes service in the Spanish American War, Medals of Honor in the first World War, service in Italy and North Africa in the second World War, Operation Noble Eagle and now, service in Africa,” said Shawley. “And even though you’ve already long-ago earned it, today we take this moment to recognize your warrior spirit.”
The 218th MEB Soldiers were presented with the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) combat patch to unite the Soldiers with the AFRICOM mission and enhance the sense of camaraderie and espirit de corps in a deployed environment. The patch was placed on the right shoulder during the ceremony, as a symbol of unity and common mission.
“You now wear the AFRICOM patch just below the flag as a symbol of this team, of this mission, of something that is bigger, of something that is meaningful,” said Shawley. “Wear it proudly.”