Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
1960 - Current.
This patch is worn by United States forces assigned to
NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium. Two swords pointing
skyward meet at their points to form the letter "A," which
represents the strength of the Allied forces. The original
twelve nations that formed the NATO alliance are represented
by the blue and silver fronds emanating from the swords.
The olive branches at the bottom are the symbol for peace.
The green background suggests the green fields and woods of Europe.
Vivlia pretum libertatis is Latin for "Vigilance is the price of liberty."
The first attempt to create a joint US command in
Europe was made on 15 March 1947 when the European Command
replaced USFET (US Forces European Theater created in July 1945).
Although it was created as a joint command, EUCOM never
truly became one. The EUCOM "component commands" as of
15 November 1947 were: the US Army Europe (USAREUR); the
US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE); and the US Naval Forces,
Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. However, the perceived
"jointness" was misleading as EUCOM and USAREUR had identical staffs.
What many people do not realize is the fact that SHAPE and
the whole command structure for NATO do not date back to the
beginning of the Alliance.
When twelve nations from Western Europe and North America
signed the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, DC on 4 April 1949,
they agreed that “an armed attack against one or more of them in
Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.”