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"Hap" Arnold wearing (above ribbons) conventional "wings" design and (below ribbons) Military Aviator Badge

Obsolete badges of the United States military are a number of U.S. military insignia which were issued in the 20th and early 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.

A limited number of badges were also issued in the 19th century. The oldest military badge on record dates to the time of the American Revolutionary War. The following is a listing of obsolete U.S. military badges and the period, or branch of service, to which such badges were specific.

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. 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 design can be seen in pictures of him in uniform.

Revolutionary WarEdit

Badge of Military Merit MeritBadge
Fidelity Medallion 95px

Army Aviation Section/Air ServiceEdit

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

Army Air ForcesEdit

Army Air Forces Pilot Badge USAAF Wings
Army Air Forces Flight Surgeon Badge USAAF Flight Surgeon Wings
Army Air Forces Flight Nurse Badge USAAF Flight Nurse Wings
Army Air Forces Navigator Badge NavigatorBadge-old
Army Air Forces Aircrew Badge USAAF - Air Crew BW
Bombardier Badge BombardierBadge 2
Aerial Gunner Badge 145px
Airship Pilot Badge 145px
Balloon Pilot Badge BallonPilot
Glider Pilot Badge GliderPilot2
Service Pilot Badge 145px
Liaison Pilot Badge LiaisonWings
WASP Pilot Badge USAAF Wings WASP Pilot Class 43-W-2 1943
Flight Engineer Badge FlightEnginneerbadge
Aircraft Observer Badge ObserverBadge
Technical Observer Badge 145px
Balloon Observer Badge USAAF - Balloon Observer Badge
Women Airforce Service Pilots Badge WASPbadge
Flight Instructor Badge USAAF - Civilian Flight Instructor
Army Air Forces Technician Badge USAAF - Tech Badge BW
Distinguished Aerial Badges[1][2] Former US Army Distinguished Aerial Badges

Air ForceEdit

Air Force Command Flight Surgeon Badge USAF Command Flight Surgeon Badge-Historical Replaced by Chief Flight Surgeon Badge on 1 June 1959[3]
Air Force Parachutist Badges USAF Parachutist Badge-Historical Replaced by Army Parachutist Badges in 1963[3]
Air Force Training Instructor Badges USAF Training Instructor Badges-Historical Replaced by Air Education and Training Command Instructor Badges[3]
Gold National Excellence-In-Competition Badges Former USAF Gold National EIC Badges
Gold & Silver Elementary Excellence-In-Competition Badges Former USAF Gold and Silver Elementary EIC Badges
Air Force Aide-de-camp Insignia USAF Aide-De-Camp Badges-Historical
Air Force Combat Crew Badge 145px Retired in August 1993[4]
Space and Missile Badges USAF - Occupational Badge - Space and Missile Replaced by Space Badges on 1 Nov 2005 [5]
Air Force Communications and Information Badges United States Air Force Communications and Information Badge Replaced by Cyberspace Support Badges on 1 Jun 2010 [6]
Air Force Information Management Badges United States Air Force Information Management Badge Replaced by Cyberspace Support Badges on 1 Jun 2010[6]
Air Force Special Operations Weather Technician Crest USAF Special Operations Weatherman Flash Replaced by Special Operations Weather Team Flash
Air Force Honor Guard Badge USAF Honor Guard Badge Replaced with new design

ArmyEdit

Marksman Buttons Former US Army Marksman Button Replaced by Rifle Marksmanship Badges in 1897.[7]
Artillery Qualification Badges Former US Army Artillery Qualification Badge Retired in 1913 and reintroduced as a qualification clasp for the Marksmanship Qualification Badges[8][9]
Rifle Marksmanship Badges Former USMC Rifle Marksmanship Badges Replaced by Marksmanship Qualification Badges in 1921[10]
Pistol Marksmanship Badges Former US Army Pistol Marksmanship Badges In 1915, the expert version of the badge wss 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.[10]
Team Marksmanship Badges Former Army Cavalry Team Marksmanship Badge Replaced with new three piece design between 1922 and 1924.[11]
Distinguished Automatic Rifleman Badge Former US Army Distinguished Automatic Rifleman Badge Retired in the late 1940s or early 1950s.[11]
Team Marksmanship Badges Former US Army Team Badge-Bronze Pistol-Coastal Artillery Replaced by Army Excellence-in-Competition Badges in 1958.[11][12][13][14]
Glider Badge USAAF - Glider Pilot 4 Retired on 3 May 1961[15]
Counterintelligence Agent Identification Badge Ci badge Replaced with a different design
Nuclear Reactor Operator Badges USA - Nuclear Reactor Operators 2 Retired on 1 October 1990[16]
Reserve Recruiter Identification Badge[17] 130px
National Guard Recruiter & Retention Identification Badges USA - Obsolete Recruiting Badges Replaced with new designs
Scuba Diver Badge Diver Badge (USN) Replaced by the Special Operations Diver Badge on 17 September 2004[18]
Gold Recruiter Identification Badge Gold Recruiting Badge Replaced by the Master Recruiter Identification Badge on 1 September 2011[19]

Marine CorpsEdit

Marksmanship Competition Badges Former USMC Gold Rifle Marksmanship Competition Badge Replaced with new designs between 1910 and 1930.[20]
Rifle Marksmanship Badges Former USMC Rifle Marksmanship Badges Replaced by the Marksmanship Qualification Badges in 1924, reinstituted in 1937, and replaced by the Marine Corps's current Rifle Qualification Badges in 1958[21][22]
Marksmanship Qualification Badges Armyqual Replaced by Rifle Marksmanship Badges and Basic Badge in 1937[21][22]
Basic Badge Former USMC Basic Badge Retired in December 1968[21][22]

Coast GuardEdit

Coast Guard Flight Officer Badge 200px
Office of the Secretary of Transportation Badge Office of DoT ID Badge
Command Identification Badges for a Sector USCG Command CPO Identification Badge of a Sector Removed from Uniform Regulations in March 2012[23][24]

NavyEdit

Sharpshooter's Badge Former US Navy Sharpshooters Badge Replaced with Marksmanship Ribbons in 1920.[12][25][26][27]
Expert Team Rifleman Badge[25] Former US Navy Expert Team Rifleman Badge
Naval Aviation Observer Insignia NavyEnlistedPilot Replaced with new design in October 1929[28]
Naval Aviation Observer (Tactical) Insignia Naval Aviation Observer (Tactical) Insignia Replaced with Naval Aviation Observer Insignia in 1947[28]
Naval Aviation Observer (Radar) Insignia Naval Aviation Observer (Radar) Insignia Replaced with Naval Aviation Observer Insignia in 1947[28]
Naval Navigator Insignia WWIINavyNav Replaced with Naval Aviation Observer Insignia in 1947[28]
Naval Flight Surgeon Insignia WWII Naval Flight Surgeon Insignia Replaced with new design in 1952[28]
Naval Flight Nurse Insignia WWII Naval Flight Nurse Insignia Replaced with new design in 1952[28]
Dirigible Pilot Insignia Navyballoonbadge Retired in 1978[28]
Enlisted Special Warfare Insignia USN - SEAL Enlisted Replaced with Special Warfare Insignia
Underwater Demolition Officer Insignia USN - UDT Officer Replaced with Special Warfare Insignia in 1975
Underwater Demolition Enlisted Insignia USN - UDTBadge Replaced with Special Warfare Insignia in 1975
Scuba Officer Insignia 70px
Navy Reserve Merchant Marine Insignia USNR Qualification Pin Replaced by Strategic Sealift Officer Warfare Insignia in June 2011[29][30]
MAA/Law Enforcement Badges Former Navy Law Enforcement Badges Some replaced and some discontinued in June 2011[30]

Joint ServiceEdit

The National Match Team ("Dogs of War") Badge Dogs of War Trophy Badge Replaced with gold, silver, and bronze medals in 1919.[11]
White House Service Badge WHServiceBadge Replaced by the Presidential Service Badge on 1 September 1964[31]
Vice Presidential Service Badge Former Vice Presidential Service identification badge Replaced with new design on 19 July 1976[22][32]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Distinguished Bomber and Aerial Gunner Badges, U. S. Army Insignia, William K. Emerson, last accessed 25 January 2013
  2. U.S. Army Air Corps - Between The Wars, Aviation Wings and Badges of World War II, last accessed 25 January 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 U.S. Air Force Obsolete Insignia, last accessed 24 August 2012
  4. History of Combat Service Insignia; Air Force Enlisted Heritage Research Institute; by CMSgt Malcolm W. McVicar JR., TSgt Sharee A. Hileman, and William I. Chivalette; dated 29 August 2006; last accessed 20 January 2013
  5. New space badge wear begins today, Air Force Space Command, dated 1 November 2005, last accessed 20 January 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 New cyberspace support career field stood up Nov. 1, Air Force News Service, dated 5 November 2009, last accessed 20 January 2013
  7. Marksman Buttons, Weapons Badges, U.S. Army Insignia, by William K. Emerson, last accessed 19 May 2013
  8. U.S. Army Artillery Qualification Badges, 1891-1913, U. S. Army Insignia, William K. Emerson, last accessed 25 January 2013
  9. Weapons Qualification, U.S. Army Badges, The Institute of Heraldry, last accessed 25 January 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 U.S. Army Weapons Qualification Badges and Certificates, 1880-1921, U. S. Army Insignia, William K. Emerson, last accessed 25 January 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Marksmanship in the U.S. Army: A History of Medals, Shooting Programs, and Training, by William K. Emerson, dated 17 May 2004, last accessed 25 January 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1 Army Shooting Prizes, Post 1916, U.S. Army Insignia, William K. Emerson, last accessed 25 January 2013
  13. A Short History of the Distinguished Shooter Program, by Hap Rocketto, dated 28 Sep 10, last accessed 4 Oct 11
  14. Army Excellence-in-Competition Badge (post yours too!), U.S. Militara Forum, last accessed 31 December 2012
  15. Title 32: National Defense, Section 578.95 - Glider Badge (Rescinded), U.S. Government Printing Office, Code of Federal Regulations, last accessed 21 January 2013
  16. Nuclear Reactor Operator Badges, The Institute of Heraldry, last accessed 13 January 2013
  17. U.S. Army Reserve Recruiter, The Institute of Heraldry, last accessed 13 January 2013
  18. Diver Badges, The Institute of Heraldry, last accessed 13 January 2013
  19. Master Recruiter Badge OK’d for officers, NCOs, Army Times, By Jim Tice, dated 9 May 2011, last accessed 24 August 2012
  20. USMC Shooting Prizes, Weapons Badges, U.S. Army Insignia, by William K. Emerson, last accessed 19 May 2013
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 U.S. Marine Corps Marksmanship Badges from 1912 to the Present, History and Museums Division, Headquarters Marine Corps, by Michael D. Visconage, dated 1982, last accessed 19 January 2013
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Complete Guide to United States Marine Corps Medals, Badges and Insignia World War II to Present, Medals of America, last accessed 17 January 2013
  23. U.S. Coast Guard Uniform Regulation COMDTINST M1020.6F, dated February 2009, last accessed 27 January 2013
  24. U.S. Coast Guard Uniform Regulation COMDTINST M1020.6G, dated March 2012, last accessed 27 January 2013
  25. 25.0 25.1 National Geographic Magazine, October 1943, page 45 and 46, published October 1943, last accessed 2 February 2013
  26. Uniform Regulations United States Navy, 1913, Navy Department, dated 1913, last accessed 2 February 2013
  27. Navy Expert Rifle Medal, MilitaryVetsPX.com, last accessed 2 February 2013
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 28.6 Evolution of Naval Wings, Naval History and Heritage Command, last accessed 17 January 2013
  29. ‘Sea chicken’ pin to be replaced, NavyTimes, by Sam Fellman, dated 2 July 2011, accessed 27 December 2012
  30. 30.0 30.1 U.S. Navy Uniform Board Update, accessed 19 August 2012
  31. United States Executive order 11174, Establishing the Presidential Service Certificate and the Presidential Service Badge, dated 1 September 1964, Wikisource, page last modified 5 November 2009, last accessed 13 January 2013
  32. Executive Order 11926--The Vice Presidential Service Badge, National Archives, Federal Register, dated 19 July 1976, last accessed 21 January 2013


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