Obsolete badges of the United States military

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Henry "Hap" Arnold wearing the Army Air Forces' Master Pilot Badge (above ribbons) and Army Signal Corps' Military Aviator Badge (below ribbons) Henry Harley Arnold.jpg
Henry "Hap" Arnold wearing the Army Air Forces' Master Pilot Badge (above ribbons) and Army Signal Corps' Military Aviator Badge (below ribbons)

Obsolete badges of the United States military are a number of U.S. military insignia which were issued in the 20th and 21st centuries. After World War II many badges were phased out of the United States Armed Forces in favor of more modern military badges which are used today.

Contents

A unique obsolete badge situation occurred with General of the Air Force Henry H. Arnold, who in 1913 was among the 24 Army pilots to receive the first Military Aviator Badge, an eagle bearing Signal Corps flags suspended from a bar. [1] Replaced in 1917 by the more conventional "wings" embroidered design (authorized as an oxidized silver badge in 1921), Arnold displayed both types on his uniform throughout his career. The original Military Aviator Badge design can be seen in pictures of him in uniform.

The following is a listing of obsolete U.S. military badges and insignia organized by branch of service.

U.S. Army

Army Aviation Section/Air Service

Signal Corps Military Aviator Badge [1] USA - Aviator Wings - 1913.png
Air Service Airplane Pilot Badge [1] USA - Aviator Wings WWI era.png
Bombing Aviator Badge [1] USA - WWI Bombadier Wings.png
Aeronaut Badge [1] USA - Balloon Pilot WW.png
Enlisted Aviator Badge [1] USAAF - Enlisted Aviator Badge.png
Observer Badge [1] USA - Balloon Observer WWI.png
Wound Chevron [1] WoundChev.jpg

Army Air Forces

Aerial Gunner Badge [1] USAAF Aerial Gunner Badge.png
Army Air Forces Aircrew Badge [1] USAAF Aircrew Badge.png
Airship Pilot Badge [1] USAAF Airship Pilot Badge.png
Balloon Pilot Badge [1] BallonPilot.jpg
Balloon Observer Badge [1] USAAF - Balloon Observer Badge.jpg
Bombardier Badge [1] BombardierBadge 2.jpg
Flight Engineer Badge [1] FlightEnginneerbadge.jpg
Flight Nurse Badge [1] USAAF Flight Nurse Wings.png
Flight Surgeon Badge [1] USAAF Flight Surgeon Wings.png
Flight Surgeon Dentist Badge [1] USAAF - Flight Surgeon Dentist.JPG
Glider Pilot Badge [1] GliderPilot2.jpg
Instructor Badge [1] USAAF - Civilian Flight Instructor.jpg
Liaison Pilot Badge [1] LiaisonWings.jpg
Navigator Badge [1] NavigatorBadge-old.jpg
Observer Badge [1] ObserverBadge.jpg
Pilot Badge [1] USAAF Wings.png
Service Pilot Badge [1] USAAF Service Pilot Badge.png
Technical Observer Badge [1] Technical Observer.jpg
Women Airforce Service Pilots Badge [1] WASPbadge.jpg
Women Airforce Service Pilots Badge (early version) [1] USAAF Wings WASP Pilot Class 43-W-2 1943.jpg
Army Air Forces Technician Badge [1] USAAF - Tech Badge BW.jpg
Distinguished Aerial Badges [2] [3] Former US Army Distinguished Aerial Badges.png

Regular Army

Marksman Buttons Former US Army Marksman Button.png Replaced by Rifle Marksmanship Badges in 1897 [4]
Marksmanship Prize Badges Example-Former US Army Marksmanship Prizes-Division 1st Prize.png Replaced by Team Marksmanship Badges in 1903 [5]
Artillery Qualification Badges Former US Army Artillery Qualification Badge.png Retired in 1913 and reintroduced as a qualification clasp for the Marksmanship Qualification Badges in 1921 [6] [7]
Rifle Marksmanship Badges Former USMC Rifle Marksmanship Badges.png Replaced by Marksmanship Qualification Badges in 1921 and adopted by the Marine Corps. [8]
Pistol Marksmanship Badges Former US Army Pistol Marksmanship Badges.png In 1915, the expert version of the badge was replaced with a new design, which lives on in today's U.S. Marine Corps Expert Pistol Badge. All pistol badges were replaced by the Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Pistol Clasp in 1921 and adopted by the Marine Corps. [8]
Team Marksmanship Badges Former Army Cavalry Team Marksmanship Badge.png Replaced with new three piece design between 1922 and 1924 [9]
Corps of Intelligence Police Identification Badge Historical Corps of Intelligence Police Badge circa World War I.jpg Replaced by Counterintelligence Special Agent Identification Badge on 13 December 1941
Counterintelligence Special Agent Identification Badge Historical Corps of Intelligence Police Badge.jpg Replaced with a different design between 1947 and 1948
Distinguished Automatic Rifleman Badge Former US Army Distinguished Automatic Rifleman Badge.png Retired in the late 1940s or early 1950s [9] [10] [11]
Team Marksmanship Badges Former US Army Team Marksmanship Badge.png Replaced by Army Excellence-in-Competition Badges in 1958 [9] [12] [13] [14]
Glider Badge USAAF - Glider Pilot 4.png Retired on 3 May 1961 [15]
Counterintelligence Special Agent Identification Badge Ci badge.jpg Replaced with a different design
Air Assault Badge (11th Air Assault Division–Test) OldAirmobileBadge.gif Replaced with Airmobile Badge in April 1974 which was renamed the Air Assault Badge in January 1978 [16] [17] [18]
Recondo Badges (various designs) Recondo Pocket Badge.jpg Discontinued in the 1980s but a different version of it continues to be issued as a special skills badge in the U.S. Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps [19]
Nuclear Reactor Operator Badges USA - Nuclear Reactor Operators 2.png Retired on 1 October 1990 [20]
Jungle Expert Badge (ARSOUTH) Jungle Expert Logo.png Retired in 1999 and reinvented in 2014 as the Jungle Expert Tab (USARPAC)
Reserve Recruiter Identification Badge US Army Reserve Recruiter Badge.png Replaced with the Army Recruiter Identification Badges in April 2001 [21] [22] [23]
Medical Department Recruiter Identification Badge Former US Army Medical Department Recruiter Identification Badge.png Replaced with the Army Recruiter Identification Badges in June 2001 [24]
Scuba Diver Badge Diver Badge (USN).jpg Replaced by the Special Operations Diver Badge on 17 September 2004 [25] [26] [27]
National Guard Recruiter and Retention Identification Badges USA - Obsolete Recruiting Badges.png Replaced with new designs on 12 May 2008 [28]
Jungle Expert Tab (USARPAC) Jungle Expert Tab.jpg Replaced with new design
Arctic Tab (USARAK) US Army Arctic Tab.png Replaced with new design

U.S. Air Force

Air Force Command Flight Surgeon Badge USAF Command Flight Surgeon Badge-Historical.png Replaced by Chief Flight Surgeon Badge on 1 June 1959 [29]
Air Force Parachutist Badges USAF Parachutist Badge-Historical.png USAF Senior Parachutist Badge-Historical.png USAF Master Parachutist Badge-Historical.png Replaced by Army & Air Force Parachutist Badges in 1963 [29]
Air Police Badge Historical USAF Air Police Badge.png Replaced by Security Police Badge in November 1966 [30]
Air Force Training Instructor Badges USAF Training Instructor Badges-Historical.png USAF Master Training Instructor Badge-Historical.png Replaced by Air Education and Training Command Instructor Badges [29]
Gold National Excellence-In-Competition Badges [31] [32] Former USAF Gold National EIC Badges.png
Gold & Silver Elementary Excellence-In-Competition Badges [32] [33] Former USAF Gold and Silver Elementary EIC Badges.png
Combat Control Team Crest
US Air Force Historical Combat Control Team Beret Flash.jpg
US Air Force Historical Combat Control Team Beret Flash.jpg
Replaced with new design in 1984 [34]
Air Force Recruiter Badges USAF Recruiter Badge-Historical.png USAF Silver Recruiter Badge-Historical.png Replaced with new designs and additional grades/awards
Air Force Combat Crew Badge CombatCrewBadge.jpg Retired in August 1993 [35]
Special Operations Weather Team Crest 1986-2001 US Air Force SOWT Beret Flash.png Replaced with Combat Weather Team Crest in 2002 [36]
Space and Missile Badges USAF - Occupational Badge - Space and Missile.svg USAF - Occupational Badge - Senior Space and Missile.jpg USAF - Occupational Badge - Master Space and Missile.jpg Replaced by Space Operations Badges on 1 Nov 2005 [37] [38]
Air Force Communications and Information Badges United States Air Force Communications and Information Badge.svg United States Air Force Senior Communications and Information Badge.jpg United States Air Force Master Communications and Information Badge.jpg Replaced by Cyberspace Support Badges on 1 Jun 2010 [39]
Air Force Honor Guard Badge USAF Honor Guard Badge.png Replaced with new design
Air Force RPA Sensor Operator Badges USAF - Sensor Operator Badge.png Replaced with Enlisted Aircrew Badges on 4 November 2016 [40]
Special Operations Weather Crest USAF Special Operations Weather Team Flash.png Replaced with Special Reconnaissance Crest in 2019 [41] [42]

U.S. Marine Corps

Marksmanship Competition Badges Former USMC Gold Rifle Marksmanship Competition Badge.png Replaced with new designs between 1910 and 1930. [43]
Rifle Marksmanship Badges Former USMC Rifle Marksmanship Badges.png Replaced by the Army's Marksmanship Qualification Badges in 1924, reinstituted in 1937, and replaced by the Marine Corps's current Rifle Qualification Badges in 1958 [44] [45]
Marksmanship Qualification Badges Armyqual.jpg Adopted by the Army and replaced by Rifle Marksmanship Badges and Basic Badge in 1937. [44] [45]
Expert Team Rifleman Badge [11] Former US Navy Expert Team Rifleman Badge.png
Basic Badge Former USMC Basic Badge.png Retired in December 1968 [44] [45]
Military Police Badge USMC MP.jpg Replaced with a new design

U.S. Coast Guard

Coast Guard Flight Officer Badge US Coast Guard Flight Officer Insignia.png Discontinued on 22 November 1991 [46]
Office of the Secretary of Transportation Badge Office of DoT ID Badge.png Discontinued in 2003
Sector Command Identification Badges USCG Command CPO Identification Badge of a Sector.png Removed from Uniform Regulations in March 2012 [47] [48]
Unit Command Identification Badges Former USCG Unit Command CPO Identification Badges.png Removed from Uniform Regulations in August 2018 [48] [49]
Rating Force Master Chief Identification Badge Former USCG Rating Force Master Chief Identification Badge.png Replaced with a new design in August 2018 [48] [49]

U.S. Navy

Sharpshooter's Badge Former US Navy Sharpshooters Badge.png Replaced with Marksmanship Ribbons in 1920. [11] [50] [51]
Naval Aviation Observer Insignia NavyEnlistedPilot.jpg Replaced with new design in October 1929 [52]
Expert Team Rifleman Badge [11] Former US Navy Expert Team Rifleman Badge.png
Naval Aviation Observer (Tactical) Insignia Naval Aviation Observer (Tactical) Insignia.png Replaced with Naval Aviation Observer Insignia in 1947 [52]
Naval Aviation Observer (Radar) Insignia Naval Aviation Observer (Radar) Insignia.png Replaced with Naval Aviation Observer Insignia in 1947 [52]
Naval Aviation Observer (Navigator) Insignia WWIINavyNav.jpg Replaced with the Naval Aviation Observer Insignia in 1947; [52] this badge is still in use by the U.S. Marine Corps as the Marine Aerial Navigator insignia.
Naval Flight Surgeon Insignia WWII Naval Flight Surgeon Insignia.png Replaced with new design in 1952 [52]
Naval Flight Nurse Insignia WWII Naval Flight Nurse Insignia.png Replaced with new design in 1952 [52]
Dirigible Pilot Insignia Navyballoonbadge.jpg Retired in 1978 [52]
Enlisted Special Warfare Insignia USN - SEAL Enlisted.jpg Replaced with Special Warfare Insignia
Underwater Demolition Officer Insignia USN - UDT Officer.png Replaced with Special Warfare Insignia in 1975
Underwater Demolition Enlisted Insignia USN - UDTBadge.png Replaced with Special Warfare Insignia in 1975
Scuba Officer Insignia USCG Scuba Diver-Officer Badge.png
Navy Reserve Merchant Marine Insignia USNR Qualification Pin.jpg Replaced by Strategic Sealift Officer Warfare Insignia in June 2011 [53] [54]
MAA/Law Enforcement Badges Former Navy Law Enforcement Badges.png Some replaced and some discontinued in June 2011 [54]
Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman Insignia SWCC insignia.png Replaced with three different skill level insignias on 19 August 2016 [55]

Joint Service Badges

The National Match Team ("Dogs of War") Badge Dogs of War Trophy Badge.png Replaced with bronze, silver, and gold medals in 1919. [9]
White House Service Badge WHServiceBadge.jpg Replaced by the Presidential Service Badge on 1 September 1964 [56]
Vice Presidential Service Badge Former Vice Presidential Service identification badge.png Replaced with new design on 19 July 1976 [45] [57]
Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge US - Joint Chiefs.png Replaced with new design on 4 October 2021 [58]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Marksmanship ribbon United States Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard award

A marksmanship ribbon is a United States Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard award that is issued to its members who pass a weapons qualification course and achieve an above-average score. Additionally, there are select state National Guard organizations that award marksmanship ribbons for high placement in state-level marksmanship competitions.

Marksmanship badges (United States) US military and civilian decoration

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Driver and Mechanic Badge Award

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Glider Badge Award

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Uniform Service Diver Insignia (United States) Qualification badges of the uniformed services of the USA

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Uniform Service Recruiter Badges (United States)

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">U.S. military instructor badges</span>

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Marksmanship Device

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Gunner Badge

The Aerial Gunner Badge was a military aeronautical badge of the United States Army Air Forces and was issued during the Second World War. The badge was first created and authorized on April 29, 1943 to recognize both the training and hazardous duty of aerial gunners, who manned defensive machineguns on board such aircraft as the B-17, B-24, B-25, B-26 and B-29 bombers. The Aerial Gunner Badge appeared as a standard observer badge, upon which was centered a winged bullet. It was primarily awarded to USAAF enlisted aircrewmen, but a small number of commissioned officers also qualified and were awarded this insignia, to include film actor Clark Gable.

Parachutist Badge (United States) Award

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Identification badges of the Uniform Services of the United States List of identification badges of the US Uniformed Services

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Badges of the United States Air Force</span> Military badges of the U.S. Air Force

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Army branch insignia</span>

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Presidents Hundred Tab Award

The President's Hundred Tab/Brassard is a badge awarded by the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) to the 100 top-scoring military and civilian shooters in the President's Pistol and President's Rifle Matches. The tab is authorized for wear on military uniforms of the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard. The brassard version is authorized for wear on enlisted uniforms of the U.S. Navy. The tab is 4+14 inches (11 cm) long and 58 inch (1.6 cm) high, with the word "PRESIDENT'S HUNDRED" centered in 14 inch (0.64 cm) tall letters. The Army's and Air Force's miniature metal replica of the tab is a full-color variant of the tab once authorized for wear on the old Army Green Service Uniform and is about 2 inches (5.1 cm) in width. The brassard is a 3+12 inches (8.9 cm) long by 1 inch (2.5 cm) high curved bronze metallic arm patch with an enameled representation of the Flag of the President of the United States flanked by the Seal of the President of the United States to the left and the seal of the CMP to the right. At the top of the brassard are the raised words “PRESIDENT’S” to the left and “HUNDRED” to the right.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tabs of the United States Army</span> American Army insignia

In the United States Army, tabs are cloth and/or metal arches displaying a word or words signifying a special skill that are worn on U.S. Army uniforms. On the Army Combat Uniform and Army Service Uniform, the tabs are worn above a unit's Shoulder Sleeve Insignia (SSI) and are used to identify a unit's or a soldier's special skill(s) or are worn as part of a unit's SSI as part of its unique heritage. Individual tabs are also worn as small metal arches above or below medals or ribbons on dress uniforms.

The Space Operations Badge is an occupational badge for guardians of the United States Space Force and space airmen of the United States Air Force while the United States Army (USA) version of the badge, known as the Space Badge, is a special skills badge for soldiers who qualify as space professionals.

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