On a teal blue arrowhead 3 1/8 inches (7.94cm) in height and 2 inches (5.08cm) in width, point up, a yellow dagger, its blade surmounted by three yellow lightning flashes, bendwise in pale, all inset 1/8 inch (.32cm) from the edge of the arrowhead. On a tab placed 3/16 (.48cm) inch above the insignia, the word "AIRBORNE" in yellow letters on a black background.
The arrowhead alludes to the American Indian's basic skills in which Special Forces personnel are trained to a high degree. The dagger represents the unconventional nature of Special Forces operations, and the three lightning flashes, their ability to strike rapidly by air, water or land.
The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved on 22 August 1955. It was amended to add an airborne tab on 20 November 1958. The insignia was authorized to be worn by personnel of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) and its subordinate units not authorized a shoulder sleeve insignia in their own right on 7 March 1991. The wear of the insignia by the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) and its subordinate units was cancelled and it was authorized to be worn by personnel of the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) and their subordinate units not authorized a shoulder sleeve insignia in their own right on 27 October 2016. (TIOH Dwg. No. A-1-155)