Common Army emblems
Land troops emblems
Air Forse emblems
Navy emblems
Military institution emblems
Boundary troop emblems
Inlying troop emblem
National guards emblems

National Space Agency emblems
Ministry of extraordinary situation emblems



This Catalogue comprises a gathering of the sleeve insignia of the military from military units, institutions and sub-units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, selected from the collection of Central Museum of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

To distinguish own troops from others on a battlefield and to indue the former with the signs indicating their belonging to a country is of obvious importance. In the course of history, as large so small countries resolved the matter each in their own way. Banners, shields, clothes, sounds, pictures and a lot of other means were used and are used now for the purpose. In 20th century in Ukraine, the matter pertaining to distinguishing military formations had arisen as far as in 1917 with formation of the Centralna Rada and after declaration of the country's course to autonomy by it. The matter has become an extremely divisive issue after passing a resolution on formation of independent Ukrainian State. At first, no significant changes in uniform have taken place the uniform of then existing army was used. To distinguish a sub-unit, cap insignia with the Trident, yellow-blue breast knots were introduced; later they used a yellow-blue rectangle in the outer corner of greatcoats' or service jackets' collars.

When power of P. Skoropadsky, the Hetman, has been established in Ukraine in 1918, the work on implementation of national symbols in the troops get a large scale. By his decision, the entire divisions and regiments were attired in clothes specially devised for them. Thus, well-known 1st Ukrainian Mounted-Cossack Division or "grey zhupans '', 1st Ukrainian Cossack Division or "blue zhupans", Serdiutska Division, Liubensky Regiment of said Division, as well as the Staff and Escort of His Highness Hetman have obtained own uniforms and insignia each. When the Hetman's Governance was overthrown, the development and implementation of uniform clothes for the Army was made under guidance of Simon Petliura, the Chief Troops Otaman of Ukrainian People's Republic. A lot was made then. The uniform clothes had become more practical to be used on a battlefield. Special insignia were introduced for each Corps. A system of chevrons or sleeve insignia was used to distinguish the military. It was the first time then when the Trident was used as sleeve strip to indicate belonging of the troops to the country. As soon as the Soviet power in Ukraine was established and military units and sub-units, dislocated then within the territory of Ukrainian Military Command, were included into the body of the Red Army, application of national symbols was stopped. The work aimed at implementation of military uniform was fully subordinated to needs and requirements of the Soviet Army.

When the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine had declared Independence Act and subordinated military formations to the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, formed in 1991, the military command at once brought the motion on conformity of external military attributes of the Army to the State Symbols. The efforts were mainly focused at working out the projects of the uniform intended for the military of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The matter of sleeve insignia was put in this context as well. The way to the first specimens was not easy one. Firstly, sleeve insignia for the Honour Guard Company, whose servicemen met official delegations from foreign countries, were elaborated and implemented; the same was made for the subunits of the Armed Forces of Ukraine which acted in the body of United Nations Peace-Keeping Force. The first sleeve insignia (devised by 0. Rudenko) still retained an impression and impact of Soviet traditions by copying the size and form of sleeve strips in the Soviet Army, but at the same time, they were already based on certain elements of national heraldry. In 1992, Kostyantyn Morozov, then Minister of Defence of Ukraine, Colonel-General, put the task to elaborate and implement in the Armed Forces of Ukraine the military symbols which would substitute the Soviet ones fully. It was assumed then to implement new Battle Banners of military units, of Corps, to replace the furniture on the uniform, to devise the uniform itself for the military in Ukrainian Army. The task was placed onto the Rear Services as a whole and onto the Central Logistics in particular, Just in the bowels of the latter service, Central Scientific-Technical Laboratory on elaboration of uniform was originated; just the Laboratory dealt with elaboration of the new uniform and sleeve insignia.

It was planned to go fully to the military symbols of Ukraine by 30 October 1993 at the latest. But such transition to the new uniform was delayed. In April 1994, Leonid Kravchuk, President of Ukraine, had issued the Decree "On Military Uniform of the Military in the Armed Forces and other Military Formations". Following the Decree, Regulations on Wearing Military Uniform by the Military of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were announced in June 1995. These Regulations have established sleeve insignia for Air Forces and Aviation, Air Defence Corps, Navy Forces, combined arms sleeve insignia, sleeve insignia for Airmobile Corps, Marine Corps, band-masters and bandsmen, educatees of military lyceums. It is clear that idea of the Order excluded existence of the sleeve insignia for any particular military units. Although military unit No. 39288, 23rd Airmobile Brigade, 1st Airmobile Division, Airmobile Brigade in Khyriv, Control and Staff of Marine Corps Brigade, Base of Armament and Machinery Storage of Communications Corps of Prykarpattya Military Command and many others have their insignia (devised by M. Slobodianiuk) then.

Such initiative on the part of the troops was not hindered by the supreme military control, but was not supported either. A trend even was outlined at certain locations to ban the sleeve insignia that were not allowed by the Regulations on Wearing Uniform. The situation was changed in autumn 1996, when on the initiative of Chief Agency of Educative Work of the Ministry of Defence, the troops obtained instructions from then Minister of Defence (Olexandr Kuzmuk, Lieutenant-General) prescribing elaboration of emblems for units and formations. The task was set forth to work out draft sleeve insignia and to submit these for approval of the Ministry of Defence. At the same time, a Commission was formed to finish elaboration of military symbols in the Armed Forces of Ukraine; the Commission was headed by Ivan Bizhan, the First Deputy Minister of Defence, Colonel-General. Although the Commission concentrated its activities at working out draft emblems for specialists' gradation mainly, its work nevertheless had favourable influence on conditions of elaboration and implementation of military symbols in general and sleeve insignia in particular in the troops.

In pursuance of the instructions of Minister of Defence, Corps of the Armed Forces and Military Commands had formed own heraldic commissions. As a result, new sleeve insignia have appeared: for Corps of Engineers, for 24th, 72nd, 92nd and 93rd Mechanised Divisions, for 26th Artillery Division, 30th Tank Division and for many other military units. Among these, the system of sleeve insignia for 72nd Mechanised Division (devised by V. Pekny) is especially worthy to note. First of all, the system is interesting by the fact that its appearance dovetailed the form and content of the sleeve insignia in a single embodiment. The form is the same for all units in the division, while content is altered in accordance with intention of a specific unit. Each military unit in the division has obtained own heraldic symbol. The symbol is used in conjunction with the city emblem where the division is dislocated. It was the first specimen of an integrated system of sleeve insignia. Taking the system as a standard, the sleeve insignia for other division were elaborated systemically.

The Catalogue demonstrates the sleeve insignia developed in the Armed Forces and other military formations of Ukraine during 1992-1999. The sleeve insignia represented are classified as follows: Combined Arms Insignia, sleeve insignia of the military and units of Ground Troops, sleeve insignia of the military of Air Forces and Air Defence, sleeve insignia of the military of Navy, sleeve insignia of military education institutions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. There are represented also the sleeve insignia of the National Guard of Ukraine, Frontier and Internal Corps. The sleeve insignia presented in the Catalogue are material evidences of the development process of Ukrainian school of military heraldry and an evidence that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have passed the development stage of own military symbolism, which clearly defined fields and trends of further movement towards creation of a general system for the sleeve insignia.

Victor Karpov, Chief of Central Museum of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
For catalogue acquirement questions call +38 044-284-6476

(c) Microsystem, 2000