The Overseas Service Stripe (as it is officially known), is referred to rather, as The Army Combat Service Stripe. It was originally created (in another form), during World War I and known as The ''Overseas Service Chevron''. This was a ''V''-shaped cloth device of Olive Drab Green coloring. This version was worn on the Left Sleeve (above The Cuff) of the Uniform. It was awarded to US Army Soldiers who served in Combat in France. There were also (3) different colors other than Olive drab to denote time served in such combat theaters. These were Silver, Gold and Powder Blue (each denoting a longer period). During World War II, the current form of Stripe was adopted. This was a Gold colored Horizontal cloth device, roughly 2-inches in length. It was sewn (placed) in very much the same was as it's WWI ''cousin'' – on the Left Uniform Cuff Sleeve, but now only on the Dress Uniform of The Period.
Each Stripe represents 6-months of deployed (actual) combat service. If a ''Tour of Duty'' is 1 year (12-months), then a Soldier wears two such Stripes, sewn Vertically (one on top of the other). There is no number limit to the amount worn on the Left Sleeve. To current date, the Recipient of the highest amount of ''Combat Stripes'' was former US Army General William Westmoreland. He was awarded a total of (16) such stripes – representing Combat Service deployments to both Korea and Vietnam. This would represent (8) years of Combat experience! The Device is still in active Service with The US Army today, for both Officer and Enlisted Personnel.