Overseas Insignia Collection


Irish Defence Forces Overseas

United Nations Observer Group in Lebanon


Irish National Badge

Irish National Badge

These are the National badges that Irish personnel have worn overseas.   After the two national  brassards in the Congo the shamrock flash was introduced.  In 1988 the national flag was introduced and has changed in size a number of times since.    The medium size flag was first worn in East Timor. 

NOTE: Nov 2006  Some overseas unit commanders are changing from the small flag back to the large IRELAND flag (1988-1999) again.  The main reason would be identification,  the colours of the Irish flag can be mistaken for the Italian flag.  Having the FLAG and IRELAND may be large but is very clear.

The flag with velcro backing was first wornby personnel in Chad early 2008.  It is an illuminus badge.

United Nations Badges

United Nations Insignia

Organisation des Nations Unies au Congo (ONUC) 1960 – 1964

Congo, 1960 - 1964

The 32nd Battalion was the first Irish Unit to serve overseas on UN duty. 

 They departed in July 1960 with a strength of 689 all ranks and were followed immediately afterwards by the 33rd Battalion in August 1960 with a strength of 706 all ranks.

Unit titles were only introduced with the 2nd Armd Car Sqn.

Congo Brassard

Congo Shoulder Titles

Congo Arm bands

United Nations Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) 1964 – 1973

Cyprus, 1964 - 1973

NB: The 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th Infantry Groups were home designations and did not wear a title.

NOTE: The following units that served in Cyprus did not wear a unit title:

19th Infantry Group - Sep 1970 / Apr 1971  (Stg 414)

20th Infantry Group - Apr 1971 / Oct 1971 (Stg 414

24 Infantry Group - Apr 1973 / Oct 1973 (Stg 130

25th Infantry Group - Oct 1973 / Apr 1974 - (To Sinai in Nov 1973

SINAI (UNEF), 1973 - 1974

United Nations Iran Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG) 1988 – 1991

Iran / Iraq, 1988 - 1991

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) 1978 - 2001 - Battalion Shoulder Titles

The Irish Defence Forces in the Lebanon, 1978 - 2001

Shoulder Titles

NOTE: The 43rd Battalion did not wear a unit title.

With the introduction of the new DPM combat uniform in 2000 the wearing of a unit title ceased.


UNIFIL - Irish / Finnish  Battalion  - 2006  and  2011

The Irish returned to UNIFIL (unit level) on the 31 October 2006 with the 34th Infantry Group.  The roll being fulfilled is different than on the previous UNIFIL service,  they worked alongside a Finnish engineer company and both made up a joint Irish-Finnish Battalion.  

Unit badge worn by all personnel. Designer Finnish, colour is the Finn Engineer colours.

HQ / Logs badge and Workshop Platoon Badge were worn by Finnish personnel and by Irish personnel near the end of the tour.

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) 1978 - 2001 - Component Shoulder Titles

Irish Component, UNIFIL Headquarters, 1978 - 2001

Irish Component personnel were based in the main UN camp at Naqoura. A Components tour of duty will match that of the Battalion.

With the introduction of the new DPM combat uniform in 2000 the wearing of a unit title had ceased. The 42nd Irish Component was the last one to wear a title badge.

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) 2012 - Present Day Irish/Finnish Battalions

107 Inf Bn Lebanon 2012 - 2013


108 Inf Bn Lebanon 2013

Finish /


Irish Bn - Irish / Finish Bn


UNIFIL Miscellanous


Force Mobile Reserve(F.M.R.), Lebanon

Badges worn by the F.M.R. were common to personnel of all the contributing countires.

Overseas Brassards

Overseas Brassards

Other UN Missions

United Nations Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM II) 1993 - 1994

The Irish Defence Forces contribution to UNOSOM II was a Transport Company.

 The Irish initially worn a very smart desert pattern uniform (American pattern) this changed to a basic green during the period.

The reason there is a variation badge for the 1st Tpt Coy is that enough were not ordered for the troops and a second batch was made.


United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) 2001 –2003

These badges were locally produced and were unofficial.  They were not worn on uniform. UNMEE stands for the Unitied Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The 1st Irish Guard had no badges and it was only because of a collector with the 2nd Irish Guard that these exist.


United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) 2003 – 2007

This badge was designed by Cpl. George Wykes, 4 Cavalry Squadron and was the badge of Recce Troop, 90 Inf Bn. 

It was not worn as a uniform item. The badge incorporates the flags of Ireland and Liberia.

United Nations Missions in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) 2009 – 2010

Recce Coy 100Bn MINURCAT


United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) 2013

The numbering system for UNDOF was even numbers because there was also an Infantry Group in Lebanon and they were odd numbers.

The designation changed to Battalion for the troops in Lebanon and so UNDOF carried on the next number e.g. 54, 55.



OGL - Observer Group Lebanon


OGG - Observer Group Golan



Badges relating to Overseas Service - Non Uniform

UNIFIL- Irish Battalion Commemorative Badges

These are commemorative badges only, produced by the battalion but not worn on uniforms

UNIFIL - Irish Battalion Sub-Units 

The badge shown below is a sub unit type badge and was not worn on uniform.

Pocket Badges

Irish Components Lebanon

Irish Battalion Lebanon 1978 - 1996

This section deals with the pocket badges that were worn by the Irish personnel on overseas service. They were worn hanging from the pocket button of the shirt.  The 43rd Irish Battalion were the first Irish unit to wear a unit type pocket badge. The standard type badge with the battalion number was worn up to around the time of the 69th Battalion when badges other than the standard started to appear. It is difficult to put a figure on the number of badges that have been produced but I would guess at close to  one hundred. With the introduction of the French type overseas uniform the pocket badges started to phase out because there was no button to hang them from.  These were a private purchase that could be found in some of the local traders in the Irish Battalion area. 

The badges worn by personnel of 43rdh - 59th Battalions are a mixed format and to my knowledge there may not a full numbered set.  The two standard un-numbered badges were worn at different stages which I think resulted in no battalion number being worn at some stage between 50th and 56th.  There were no sub unit badges worn during this period.

The badges worn by personnel of 70th - 79th Battalions are the standard format and there is a full set of the ten badges.  You may be able to see that some are covered with a plastic coating which protects the paint. In the miscellaneous section you will see a wider range of badges to sub units of these battalions.


Irish Battalion - Sub Units

These are badges that were produced by Sections of the Irish Battalion.  Some of the pocket badges are for specific units which give them a fixed date period whereas others may have been worn by more than one section. 





Recce Company / Section


Tech Town

Military Police


Weapons Platoon

Pipe Band


The following are Corps related pocket badges,  they relate to no specific section but were worn by Corps personnel who were spread throughout the battalion.

Overseas Pins









Non United Nations Missions

ISAF - International Security Assistance Force


Irish personnel served with ISAF since July 2002 and with KMNB since February 2003.

Collectors must remember that there would be a number of variations and sizes to these badges because of national preference to size and shade.

Those worn by the Irish were from the same source in Kabul.

For the first three months of the tour in 2007 the Irish wore the home pattern DPM's but then changed to desert pattern.

With the uniform change came locally made badges,  Name tab and rank slider.



Badges worn by Irish Personnel in the various branches in ISAF HQ.


Afgan Flag Insignia


Name Tabs Type 1


Name Tab Type 2


Name Tabs Type 3


Qualification badges

Qualification badges worn on the desert pattern uniform. 


Rank Insignia

These desert pattern rank sliders replaced the green home issue pattern.  As can be seen variations exist because up to the time of the official issue in 2011 they were locally made for each rotation.


Locally Made Rank Sliders


Official Issued ISAF Rank Sliders


Reselute Support (RS)

RS replaced ISAF in 2015

EU - European Union Missions

EUFORBih - European Union Force Bosnia and Herzegovina

The standard EUFOR badge is worn by personnel on EUFOR missions. It is worn on the right sleeve.

Staff/Branch Badges


Bosnia 2007

In 2007 a series of badges were introduced and worn by Irish personnel serving in Bosnia.





This arm brassard was  worn by personnel serving with ECMM  (European Community Monitor Mission) and later EUMM (European Union Monitor Mission) in the Former Yugoslavia.



Two badges exist one for mission personnel in the Congo and the other for staff personnel in HQ in Germany.



This is the mission badge worn by personnel serving in or in support of the mission in Chad / RCA. The inner circle shows a map of Africa with the mission location superimposed. The badge was issued on 31st January 2008 by Lt. Gen. P. Nash (Op Comd)


Name Badges

Due to work environment Irish personnel serving in EUFOR OHQ in Paris wore a flight jacket. In December 2008 this badge which I designed was introduced for wear on the jacket. It has name, rank and branch. Some badges just had the name and rank or appointment.


EUTM SOMALIA - European Union Military Mission to Somalia

In 2010 the European Union Training Mission Somali was established.   The mission roll, to train SOMALI forces to NCO level and has its training base in Uganda.  A small number of Irish personnel are involved with the mission.

The DFTT badge is worn by the two NCO's who are involved in the actual on the ground training.




European Battle Group

There are 18 Battle Groups each consisting of a Battalion size force reinforced with combat support elements.

The Battle Groups rotate actively so that two are ready for deployment at all times.

The Austro-German Battle Group was active in 2012 with contributions from Ireland, Czech Republic, Croatia and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Nordic Battle Group

The Nordic Battle Group (NBG) whose lead nation is Sweden with Ireland, Norway, Finland and Estonia also contributing.

The Irish element was established on 28 May 2007.

Stabilization Force (SFOR) 1996 – 2004

BOSNIA(SFOR), January 1996 - December 2005

The SFOR badge displayed here is the "IRISH" made version.  SFOR participating countries produced and issued there own version of this badge, which in some cases differed in quality.

International Military Police Company

International Military Police (IMP) Unit, based in Sarajevo, Bosnia, serving with SFOR.

Two badges exist. One badge displays the flags of the four participating countries on it, the other badge has the national flag of a particular country on it. Either badge can be worn by personnel of the IMP. The badge was only introduced in 2000.

Unofficial SFOR

These two badges unofficial badges were worn by some Irish personnel.  They date from 2001/2002, but could cover any period.


Kosovo Force (KFOR)



Irish personnel provided the IEDD team on six month rotation with KFOR.  They were based in MNTF (C) HQ, Lipljan.  The first IEDD team was with the 27th Inf Gp and had no badge,  28th Inf Gp and each subsequent team designed their own.  In general the badge design is a team effort. The IEDD team, 29 Inf Gp changed their design because the Irish Flag was already being worn as the National Badge.   Variations may be found but they were sample badges and the badges actually worn are shown here. There was no 34th and 36th Badges because those Infantry Groups served in Lebanon

KOSOVO (KFOR) - Irish Infantry Group

The Infantry Group forms  C Coy of the Finnish Battalion.   Irish personnel also serve outside the company in Headquarters and in Logistics. I have added the table below to show where the Irish fit into the Finnish Battalion.  These badges are found in various materials.



Finnish Battalion Variations


32nd Inf Gp

C Company, 32nd Inf Gp (Apr-Oct 2006) replaced the Finnish issue badge with a new design.  The result was that the other Irish elements followed suit and four new Irish badges all with the same basic design were produced.


Unofficial Badges

These are two unofficial badges but were worn.



Before 2005 Irish personnel serving in staff appointments did not wear the badge that would have been worn by other members of the staff.   With the introduction of the C Coy (Finnish Badge) for the Infantry Group the practice was adopted by staff personnel.  Staff badges for other sections exist but no Irish personnel have served in those sections.

You will note some badges have MNB-C on them this indicates Multinational Brigade (Centre),  in 2005 the title changed to MNTF-C  Multinational Task Force (Centre). 



KFOR - Miscellaneous


NATO HQ - Sarajevo

African Union

Irish personnel served in a European Union support roll for the African Union force in Sudan.