Military badges of the United States are awards authorized by the United States Armed Forces that signify rating, qualification, or accomplishment in several career fields, and also serve as identification devices for personnel occupying certain assignments. Personal recognition is granted to service members by a number of awards and decorations. Together with military decorations, such badges are authorized for wear on military uniforms.
Each of the six military services maintains a separate series of badges that may be awarded to service members, although some badges may be shared between branches. An example of the latter is the Basic Parachutist Badge, which is authorized for wear by all six services. Each service determines how badges are displayed, how many may be worn at one time, and whether badges awarded by other branches may be worn on the uniform. Properly earned foreign badges may also be worn, depending on the branch of service, awarding nation, and type of badge.
There are six general categories of United States military badges:
There are also United States auxiliary military badges:
Auxiliary badges are reserved for members of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary or the Civil Air Patrol, as the auxiliary of the United States Air Force. The Coast Guard Auxiliary, originally known as the Coast Guard Reserve, was founded in 1939 by the Congress. It enlisted the aid of "unpaid, volunteer U.S. citizens who owned motorboats or yachts."Its purpose is to keep safe the seas and waters of the United States, offer general aid to the entirety of the Coast Guard, and ensure the efficiency of the technology used on the seas and waters of the United States. The Civil Air Patrol was involved with United States Civil Defense operations throughout World War II. On 26 May 1948, Public Law 80-557 was enacted and CAP became the official auxiliary to the United States Air Force.
In addition to those badges currently authorized, there are a number of obsolete badges that have been phased out of the U.S. armed forces and no longer appear on U.S. award precedence charts.
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and law enforcement service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight uniformed services. The service is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the United States military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its duties. It is the largest and most powerful coast guard in the world, rivaling the capabilities and size of most navies.
The United States Armed Forces awards and decorations are primarily the medals, service ribbons, and specific badges which recognize military service and personal accomplishments while a member of the U.S. Armed Forces. Such awards are a means to outwardly display the highlights of a service member's career.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the civilian uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard. Congress established the unit on June 23, 1939, as the United States Coast Guard Reserve. On February 19, 1941, the organization was re-designated as the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Auxiliary exists to support all USCG missions on the water or in the air, except for roles that require "direct" law enforcement or military engagement. As of 2018, there were approximately 24,000 members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
A "V" device is a metal 1⁄4-inch (6.4 mm) capital letter "V" with serifs which, when worn on certain decorations awarded by the United States Armed Forces, distinguishes an award for heroism or valor in combat instead of for meritorious service or achievement.
The diver insignia are qualification badges of the uniformed services of the United States which are awarded to servicemen qualified as divers. Originally, the diver insignia was a cloth patch decoration worn by United States Navy divers in the upper-portion of the enlisted service uniform's left sleeve during the first part of World War II, when the rating insignia was worn on the right sleeve. When enlisted rating insignia were shifted to the left sleeve in late World War II, the patch shifted to the upper right sleeve. The diving patch was created during World War II, and became a breast insignia in the late 1960s.
The Recruiter Badge is a decoration of the United States uniformed services that is awarded to personnel who have performed recruitment duties as service recruiters. The Recruiter Badge is issued by every branch of the U.S. uniform services except for the Marine Corps and the NOAA Commissioned Corps. With the exception of the U.S. Army, a Recruiting Service Ribbon is also awarded to those personnel who have completed successful tours as recruiters.
The Observer Badge is a military badge of the United States armed forces dating from the First World War. The badge was issued to co-pilots, navigators, and flight support personnel who had received a variation in the training required for the standard Pilot's Badge. The Observer Badge survived through the Second World War and into the 1950s, at which time the concept of an Observer Badge was phased out in favor of the modern Aircrew Badge and Navigator-Observer Badges. In addition to wings for Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers, the United States Navy still maintains an "Observer Badge" which is issued to flight-qualified mission specialists, such as a select number of meteorologists and intelligence officers in both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. The U.S. Air Force awards its USAF Observer Badge, which is identical to the USAF Navigator Badge, to Air Force officers who have qualified as NASA Space Shuttle Mission Specialists, have flown an actual mission aboard the shuttle and/or the International Space Station and who are otherwise not previously aeronautically rated as an Air Force pilot or navigator.
The U.S. military issues instructor badges to specially training military personnel who are charged with teaching military recruits the skills they need to perform as members of the U.S. Armed Forces or teach continuing education courses for noncommissioned officers and officers in the military. With the exception of the U.S. Army and U.S. Coast Guard, these badges are considered temporary military decorations and must be surrendered upon completion of one's duty as a military instructor. Because of this, the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps award Drill Instructor Ribbons as a permanent decoration to recognize service members who have qualified and performed as military instructors.
A Marksmanship Ribbon device is primarily a miniature metal rifle, pistol, target, service star, or letter E or S which may be worn if authorized on a Marksmanship Ribbon awarded to members of the United States Coast Guard, United States Air Force, and United States Navy.
Mess dress uniform is the most formal type of uniforms used by military personnel, police personnel, and other uniformed services members. It frequently consists of a mess jacket, trousers, white dress shirt and a black bow tie, along with orders and medals insignia. Design may depend on regiment or service branch, e.g. army, navy, air force, marines, etc. In Western dress codes, mess dress uniform is the supplementary alternative equivalent to the civilian black tie for evening wear or black lounge suit for day wear although military uniforms are the same for day and evening wear. Mess dress uniforms are typically less formal than full dress uniform, but more formal than service dress uniform.
The Air Force Fire Protection Badge is a military badge of the United States Air Force that is issued to those service members who have been trained in safety and fire prevention, have qualified as military firefighters, and have been assigned to an Air Force fire department.
Identification badges of the Uniformed Services of the United States are insignia worn by service members conducting special duties, many of which can be awarded as permanent decorations if those duties are performed successfully. There are a few identification badges that are awarded to all services, others are specific to a uniform service. The Office of the President and Vice President and department/service headquarters badges are permanent decorations for those who successfully serve in those assignments. Some of the service level identification badges can be permanent decorations and others are only worn by a service member while performing specific duties, such as the Military Police Badge.
Badges of the United States Army are military decorations issued by the United States Department of the Army to soldiers who achieve a variety of qualifications and accomplishments while serving on active and reserve duty in the United States Army.
Badges of the United States Air Force are specific uniform insignia authorized by the United States Air Force that signify aeronautical ratings, special skills, career field qualifications, and serve as identification devices for personnel occupying certain assignments.
The awards and decorations of Civil Air Patrol are "designed to recognize heroism, service, and program achievements" of members of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) of the United States of America. The CAP is the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force. These awards are made to improve the esprit de corps of members. These awards are all worn in the form of medals or ribbons and all are considered civilian decorations. Civil Air Patrol regulations allow them to only be worn and displayed on appropriate CAP uniforms. In order to be considered for one of these awards, an individual must be a member in good standing of Civil Air Patrol at the time of the act being recognized. There is a statute of limitations for these awards and all recommendations must be submitted within 2 years of the act being performed. It is possible for the next of kin of deceased persons to be presented awards to which a member was entitled, but which he or she did not receive. Award review boards are established at the region, wing, group, and squadron levels to consider recommendations for all awards and decorations.
The black beret is a type of headgear. It is commonly worn by paramilitaries and militaries around the world, particularly armored forces such as the British Army's Royal Tank Regiment (RTR), the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (RCAC), and Royal Australian Armoured Corps (RAAC) and the Indian Army Armoured Corps. Notable non-armored military units to wear the black beret include the non-military police and non-special forces elements of the Irish Defence Forces, Russian Naval Infantry and Russian OMON units, the United States Air Force (USAF) Tactical Air Control Party (TACP), Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) members, and the Royal Canadian Navy. It was also worn by the United Kingdom's Royal Observer Corps (ROC) with their Royal Air Force (RAF) uniform, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
The Philippine Presidential Unit citation Badge is a unit decoration of the Republic of the Philippines. It has been awarded to certain units of the United States military and the Philippine Commonwealth military for actions both during and subsequent to the Second World War.
The Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) is a U.S. camouflage combat uniform formerly worn by members of the United States Air Force, United States Space Force, and some civilian employees of the U.S. Department of the Air Force until April 2021. It replaced the Battle Dress Uniform and Desert Camouflage Uniform on 1 November 2011 after a four-year phase-in period.
Service dress uniform is the informal type of uniform used by military, police, fire and other public uniformed services for everyday office, barracks and non-field duty purposes and sometimes for ceremonial occasions. It frequently consists of a jacket, trousers, dress shirt, and neck tie, along with orders, medals, and insignia. Design may depend on regiment or service branch, e.g. army, navy, air force, marines, etc. In Western dress codes, a service dress uniform is a permitted supplementary alternative equivalent to the civilian suit - sometimes collectively called undress or "dress clothes". As such, a service dress uniform is considered less formal than both full dress and mess dress uniforms, but more formal than combat uniforms.
The Mississippi State Guard (MSSG) is the state defense force of Mississippi. It operates under the authority of the Mississippi Military Department alongside the Mississippi Army National Guard (MSARNG) and the Mississippi Air National Guard (MSANG).