Having the correct protective night gear is critical


The key difference in your IR patch basically comes down to your answer to this question. 

Soldiers working in the dark

Do you want to be hidden or seen?  

How you answer this question will determine the IR patch you will wear on your uniform.

While most work days are 9-5, your shift could easily have you working under darkness. Therefore, the correct protective night gear is critical. 

IR patches have 2 very distinct functions

IR Field – Keeps you hidden 

The Field IR patch is worn to keep you hidden from the enemy but reflects your position to those using an NVG device.   You (the soldier or police) can move about in a stealth position without fear of a flashlight, moonlight, or other white light exposing your position.  You can be confident the others in your unit with an NVG can detect your location and not harm you.  

IR Garrison – Exposes your location

The Garrison IR patch requires no special equipment and is seen with the naked eye. When the white light hits the patch, your location is identified. This patch is not recommended for covert operations because it will give away your position and put you in harm’s way.

IR Field US Flag absorbing white flashlight

Absorbs Light - Field IR Patch

A covert Field IR patch absorbs light to keep you hidden from the enemy yet is seen with a Night Vision Device.

IR Garrison SWAT patch reflecting white light

Reflects Light- Garrison IR Patch

A non-covert Garrison IR patch reflects white light exposing your position. Patch is seen with the naked eye and a Night Vision Device.

Operations in the dark are dangerous and challenging so understanding the key difference in your IR patch is a matter of life and death. 

When the job calls, you answer … and we are grateful you do.  

Contact us. We look forward to solving your IR Protection challenges. 


 The Author

Tom Boyer profile picture

Tom founded IR.Tools™ in 2006. He has embraced manufacturing premium IR patches, panels, thermal markers, and thermal targets to better protect and train the military and law enforcement communities.  Always the innovator, he is always thinking out of the box. Currently he has 21 awarded patents, and 14 patents pending. Tom received his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the Univ. of MD, College Park and his MBA from Regents Univ.