|Formed||September 1, 1960 , at|
5010 Duke Street,
Cameron Station, Virginia
|Headquarters||9325 Gunston Road,|
Fort Belvoir, Virginia
|Motto||"Aegis Fortissima Honos" (Latin)|
"Honor is the strongest shield"
|Parent Agency||Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army|
The Institute of Heraldry, officially The Institute of Heraldry, Department of the Army,is an activity of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army solely responsible for furnishing heraldic services to President of the United States and all Federal Government agencies. Title 18 of the United States Code, Chapter 33, Section 704 and Title 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 507 permit the institute to issue directives on how military insignia are displayed, the criteria for issuance, and how insignia will be worn on military uniforms.
The activities of The Institute of Heraldry encompass research, design, development, standardization, quality control, and other services relating to official symbolic items—seals, decorations, medals, insignia, badges, flags, and other items awarded to or authorized for official wear or display by federal government personnel and agencies. Limited research and information services concerning official symbolic items are also provided to the general public. The Institute of Heraldry is located at 9325 Gunston Road, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, a military installation in the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. The institute employees 22 Department of the Army civilians.
Heraldic and other military symbols have been used by the U.S. Armed Forces and Federal Government agencies since the beginning of the American Revolution. However, there was no coordinated military heraldry program until 1919, when an office within the War Department General Staff was established to approve and coordinate coats of arms and insignia of army organizations. In 1924, formal staff responsibility for specific military designs was delegated to the Quartermaster General of the Army. As the needs for symbolism by the military services and the Federal Government expanded, the scope of the services furnished by the Quartermaster General evolved into the Heraldic Program Office. The expansion of the army during World War II, and the subsequent increased interest in symbolism, contributed to the growth of the Heraldic Program Office. It was further expanded by Pub.L. 85–263, approved September 1957, 71 Stat. 89, which delineated the authority of the Secretary of the Army to furnish heraldic services to military departments and other branches of the Federal Government.
Department of the Army General Order No. 29, dated August 10, 1960, placed The Institute of Heraldry under the control of the Quartermaster General of the Army, effective September 1, 1960.The Adjutant General assumed responsibility of the institute in 1962, when the Office of the Quartermaster General ceased to exist because the Army reorganized. In 1987, another realignment subordinated the institute to the U.S. Total Army Personnel Command (present-day U.S. Army Human Resources Command). In April 1994, The institute moved from Cameron Station to Fort Belvoir, Virginia. In October 2004, another realignment assigned responsibility for the institute to the Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, Headquarters, Department of the Army.
The United States Department of War, also called the War Department, was the United States Cabinet department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army, also bearing responsibility for naval affairs until the establishment of the Navy Department in 1798, and for most land-based air forces until the creation of the Department of the Air Force on September 18, 1947.
The National Defense Service Medal (NDSM) is a service award of the United States Armed Forces established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953. It is awarded to every member of the US Armed Forces who has served during any one of four specified periods of armed conflict or national emergency from 1950 to the present. Combat or "in theater" service is not a requirement for the award.
The World War II Victory Medal is a service medal of the United States military which was established by an Act of Congress on 6 July 1945 and promulgated by Section V, War Department Bulletin 12, 1945.
The Vietnam Service Medal is a military award of the United States Armed Forces established on 8 July 1965 by order of President Lyndon B. Johnson. The medal is awarded to recognize service during the Vietnam War by all members of the U.S. Armed Forces provided they meet the award requirements.
The Army of Occupation of Germany Medal is a U.S. Army service medal established by an Act of Congress on November 21, 1941,. The military award recognized service in Germany or Austria-Hungary between November 12, 1918 and July 11, 1923.
The Southwest Asia Service Medal is a military award of the United States Armed Forces which was created by order of President George H.W. Bush on March 12, 1991. The award is intended to recognize those military service members who performed duty as part of the Persian Gulf War and for a time thereafter. The medal was designed by Nadine Russell of the Army's Institute of Heraldry. The colors of the ribbon are tan, representing sand, with the black, white, red, blue, and green colors symbolizing the colors of coalition countries' national flags.
The 81st Readiness Division ("Wildcat") was a formation of the United States Army originally organized as the '81st Infantry Division' during World War I. After World War I, the 81st Division was allotted to the Organized Reserve as a "skeletonized" cadre division. In 1942, the division was reactivated and reorganized as the 81st Infantry Division, and service in the Pacific during World War II. After World War II, the 81st Infantry Division was allotted to the Organized Reserve as a Class C cadre division, and stationed at Atlanta, Georgia. The 81st Infantry Division saw no active service during the Cold War, and was inactivated in 1965.
The Spanish War Service Medal was a United States military medal of the U.S. Army which was established by an act of the U.S. Congress on 9 July 1918. The medal recognizes those members of the Army and of the U.S. Volunteers who performed active duty during the Spanish–American War, but did not qualify for the Spanish Campaign Medal.
The Parachutist Badge, also commonly referred to as "Jump Wings" is a military badge of the United States Armed Forces. The United States Space Force and United States Coast Guard are the only branches that do not award the Parachutist Badge, but their members are authorized to receive the Parachutist Badges of other services in accordance with their prescribed requirements. The DoD military services are all awarded the same Basic Parachutist Badge. The U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force issue the same Senior and Master Parachutist Badges while the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps issue the Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Badge to advanced parachutists. The majority of the services earn their Basic Parachutist Badge through the U.S. Army Airborne School.
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.
The United States Army Quartermaster Corps, formerly the Quartermaster Department, is a sustainment, formerly combat service support (CSS), branch of the United States Army. It is also one of three U.S. Army logistics branches, the others being the Transportation Corps and the Ordnance Corps.
In the United States Army, soldiers may wear insignia to denote membership in a particular area of military specialism and series of functional areas. Army branch insignia is similar to the line officer and staff corps officer devices of the U.S. Navy as well as to the Navy enlisted rating badges. The Medical, Nurse, Dental, Veterinary, Medical Service, Medical Specialist, Chaplains, and Judge Advocate General's Corps are considered "special branches", while the others are "basic branches".
United States Army Officer rank insignia in use today.
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Heraldry in the United States was first established by European settlers who brought with them the heraldic customs of their respective countries of origin. As the use of coats of arms may be seen as a custom of royalty and nobility, it had been debated whether the use of arms is reconcilable with American republican traditions. Families from English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, German, and other European nations with a heraldic tradition have retained their familial coat of arms in the United States. Several founding fathers also employed personal arms and a great number of Americans continue to do so.
Quartermaster sergeant (QMS) is a class of rank or appointment in some armed forces, especially those of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, and formerly also in the United States.
The Department of the Army Seal and the Department of the Army Emblem are, respectively, the official seal and emblem of the United States Department of the Army. The "War Office Seal" was created in 1778 and the Emblem was developed out of the seal and approved in 1947.
Edward C. Kuhn was an American heraldist and official U.S. Army artist who designed the first authorized coats of arms and distinctive unit insignia for the U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps, Engineer Corps, Cavalry, Infantry, National Guard and other branches. An expert on flags, heraldry, embroidery, and military antiquities, Kuhn made significant contributions to American military history. A number of Kuhn's paintings are included in the permanent collections of the White House, U.S. Naval Academy Museum and the Smithsonian Institution.
The Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army (OAA) has a primary mission, as specified in Title 10 of the United States Code and reiterated in General Orders and Regulations, to provide direct support to the Secretary of the Army, the Under Secretary of the Army and other Army presidential appointees. In accordance with Army Regulation (AR) 25–59, OAA's office symbol is SAAA.
The United States Army's enlisted rank insignia that was used during World War I differs from the current system. The color scheme used for the insignia's chevron was olive drab for field use uniforms or one of several colors depending on the corps on dress uniforms. The chevron system used by enlisted men during World War I came into being on July 17, 1902, and was changed to a different system in 1919. Specification 760, which was dated May 31, 1905, contained 45 different enlisted insignia that varied designs and titles by different corps of the Army. General Order Number 169, which was enacted on August 14, 1907, created an even larger variety of enlisted rank insignia. Pay grades similar to the current system were not yet in use by the U.S. Army, and instead, the pay system reflected the job assignment of the soldier rather than their rank. By the end of World War I, the system contained 128 different insignia designs.
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