Photo courtesy Ken Wilcox


The “Follow Me” patch, first made in 1918 by Camp Benning for its Army Soldiers, symbolizes a Soldier and Foot Soldier’s shield. It also displays an U.S. Model 1905 Rifle Bayonet against a blue Infantry background and carries an iconic phrase “Follow Me!”

With just these few elements, the symbolic meaning remains largely unchanged since its inception and serves to rally up troops. In fact, “Follow Me!” is taken from a 1918 Infantry Drill Regulations command to inspire movement from a team of Infantry Soldiers in the field.

Fort Benning was officially recognized as a branch school in 1922-1923, and the name changed to “Fort Benning”.

At the same time, the post’s motto was also altered to make it easier to machine embroider—the tip of the bayonet was reversed from an attitude of honoring the dead while in combat. During the Vietnam War, there was a green and black version of the “Follow Me” patch.