Australian Army Soldiers are issued Individual identification patches. An initial issue of four patches to each individual is made so that, Body Armour, Helmet and Field shirts can be identified.
The current version is limited to Country, Name and Rank however previous version of the Individual Identification Patch had four lines which included AUSTRALIA, First and Last name, Rank, and Dhobi Number
The word "Dhobi" originates from the Hindi word for washerman or laundryman. Dhobi is a traditional role in the Indian Army, typically filled by an enlisted soldier. This person is responsible for all of the laundry and cleaning duties that must be completed in order to maintain the hygienic and sanitary conditions of the camp or other assigned area. They are tasked with washing clothing and linens, as well as cleaning, scrubbing and maintaining other cloth items such as tents, bivouacs and sleeping bags. They also provide a variety of laundering services for the troops, such as mending tears in clothing, stitching buttons and repairing uniforms.
In some instances, the Dhobi may be responsible for the repair or maintenance of personal military equipment that requires washing. As a result, Dhobi must be experienced with and knowledgeable in the operation of washing machines and other laundry equipment. Aside from their duties within the army, Dhobi are also common in many residential areas and may provide cleaning services for local households as well.
The ADF Dhobi number is a combination of the first 3 letters of your surname and last 3 numbers of a Service number / PMKeyS number.
Soliders place the patch on laundry before giving it to the Dhobi Wallah to wash your clothes
The current version issued has Australia, last name and PMKeys number.
Cadetshop produces these custom patches in Australia for individual soliders and in bulk for units.
Thanks to our serving Army friends at 17 Brigade for providing a background to this unique Military Patch.