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Ribbons, pin insignia, and badge as worn on the uniform of a Command Master Chief.

Insignia and badges of the United States Navy are military "badges" issued by the United States Department of the Navy to naval service members who achieve certain qualifications and accomplishments while serving on both active and reserve duty in the United States Navy. Most naval aviation insignia are also permitted for wear on uniforms of the United States Marine Corps.

As described in Chapter 5 of US Navy Uniform Regulations [1], "badges" are categorized as breast insignia (usually worn immediately above and below ribbons) and identification badges (usually worn at breast pocket level) [2]. Breast insignia are further divided between command and warfare and other qualification [3].

Insignia come in the form of metal "pin-on devices" worn on formal uniforms and embroidered "tape strips" worn on work uniforms. For the purpose of this article, the general term "insignia" shall be used to describe both, as it is done in Navy Uniform Regulations. The term "badge", although used ambiguously in other military branches and in informal speak to describe any pin, patch, or tab, is exclusive to identification badges [4] and authorized marksmanship awards [5] according to the language in Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 5.

The modern day United States Navy currently maintains the following breast insignia and identification badges:

Contents

Breast Insignia - Command Insignia

Command at Sea and Command Ashore/Project Manager insignia

There are two Command insignia: Command at Sea and Command Ashore/Project Manager.

The Command at Sea insignia is for officers who are in or have been in command of a ship or operational fleet air unit. The Command Ashore/Project Manager insignia is eligible to officers who are in or have been a commanding officer of a naval installation or placed in charge of a project.

An incumbent officer wears insignia on the right breast; in full dress it is worn 1/4 inch above the ribbons.

A post tour officer wears insignia on the left breast 1/4 inch below the top of the pocket/flap. If a warfare or qualification insignia is already occupying that position, it is then worn 1/4 inch below that insignia, or on uniforms with pocket flaps, 1/4 inch below the flap. Women in full dress will wear post tour command insignia 1/4 inch above the left pocket, medals or primary breast insignia. Only one post tour command insignia may be worn [6].

Breast Insignia - Warfare and Other Qualification Insignia

Warfare and Other Qualification insignia are awarded for completing qualifications in various fields within the Navy. They are worn on the left side of the uniform in the primary position (for one insignia), or the primary and secondary position (for two insignia) [4]. Only two of this class of breast insignia may be worn at one time.

  • The primary position is centered above ribbons or medals with the lower edge of the device 1/4 inch above the top row of ribbons or medals. When no ribbons or medals are worn, it is centered above the left pocket with the lower edge of the device 1/4 inch above the top of the pocket.
  • The secondary position is centered 1/4 inch below the top of the pocket or pocket flap, when ribbons or no awards are worn. When medals are worn, centered below medals with the top of the device 1/4 inch below the lowest row of medals [7].

Warfare and Other Qualification insignia are grouped in the following categories (in alphabetical order) [4]:

Warfare Qualification Other Qualification
     1) Aviation Warfare      9) Aircrew
     2) Explosive Ordnance Disposal Warfare     10) Integrated Undersea Surveillance System
     3) Fleet Marine Force (FMF)     11) Officer In Charge/Petty Officer in Charge
     4) Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist     12) Parachutists
     5) Special Operations Warfare     13) Submarine Patrol
     6) Special Warfare     14) Underwater
     7) Submarine Warfare     15) Naval Reserve Merchant Marine
     8) Surface Warfare     16) U.S. Air Force Space Badge

"Warfare" insignia take precedence over "Other" insignia and are placed in the primary position. If two Warfare insignia are authorized for wear, insignia of the specialty in which currently serving will be worn in the primary position. Personnel with multiple qualifications may wear only two insignia, and (until September 2009) only one insignia from any single category listed above. As of September 2009, personnel with multiple designators within a single community (for example, an aviation officer who has earned both Naval Aviator and Naval Flight Officer qualifications) may wear both insignia, with their current billet's insignia on top.

Listed below are all the Warfare and Other Qualification insignia within each category.

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Warfare Qualification - Surface Warfare

Surface Warfare insignia

Surface Warfare insignia are breast insignia of the surface warfare community. They are issued to those naval personnel who are trained and qualified to perform duties aboard United States surface warships. The Surface Warfare Officer insignia was first proposed in 1972, and by 1980 a variety of the Surface Warfare insignia had been approved for issuance.

Line officers of the surface warfare community earn the Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) insignia. Enlisted personnel who complete the Enlisted Surface Warfare qualification program earn the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) insignia. Other insignia for qualification in specialized areas exists in Medical Corps, Nurse Corps, Dental Corps, Medical Service Corps, and Supply Corps.

The SWO and ESWS insignia may be earned by United States Coast Guard personnel assigned to Navy commands.

Warfare Qualification - Submarine Warfare

Submarine Warfare insignia

Submarine Qualification insignia (usually known as "dolphins") are breast insignia of the submarine warfare community which are issued to those naval personnel after they complete a complex, demanding and extensive program that incorporates learning each system aboard the submarine and completion of certain watchstanding requirements including cross rate watch requirements. This program differs from many of the other "Warfare" programs in that it requires personnel to become proficient in engineering and operational details to such an extent that each person must be able to understand and perform basic operation of each system and equipment aboard the submarine. In addition each person must be able to efficiently perform damage control and emergency control functions in each space on the submarine. The Submarine Qualification insignia for officers and enlisted was first proposed by then-Captain Ernest King on 13 June 1923, with the current design finalized March 1924.

In addition to line officer and enlisted versions, there are insignia for officers working in engineering duty, medical corps, and supply corps.

Warfare Qualification - Special Warfare

"Budweiser" and SWCC

There are two Special Warfare insignia issued to Navy personnel serving under Naval Special Warfare Command, a part of USSOCOM: Special Warfare and Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman.

The Special Warfare insignia (aka the "SEAL Trident"), is awarded to personnel who completed BUD/S training and qualification, and have been designated as Navy SEALs and assigned to Navy SEAL Teams or Special Delivery Vehicle (SDV) Teams.

The Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC - pronounced "swick") insignia is awarded to personnel who complete SWCC training and qualification, and have been designated as United States Navy SWCCs assigned to Special Boat Teams in support of special operations units (i.e. SEAL Teams, etc.) [8].

Warfare Qualification - Special Operations Warfare

"SPECOPS"

The Special Operations Warfare (SPECOPS) insignia is earned by officers by virtue of training in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Mine Countermeasures (MCM), Operational Diving and Salvage (ODS), and Expendable Ordnance Management (EOM) [9]. Not to be confused with Special Warfare (i.e. SEALs), Special Operations, in Navy parlance, refer to dive qualified EOD technicians [10].

The insignia shares a similar design to the Surface Warfare insignia, but is considered a different category. Therefore, personnel earning insignia from both Surface Warfare and Special Operations Warfare may wear both at the same time.

Warfare Qualification - Aviation Warfare

Aviation Warfare insignia

Aviation Warfare insignia are breast insignia of the aviation warfare community which are issued to those naval personnel who are trained and qualified to perform duties related to operation and support of naval aircraft.

There are two variants for line officers: Naval Aviator insignia for pilots, and Naval Flight Officer insignia for non-piloting officers (aka "FO's"). There is also an astronaut version of each of these insignia, known as the Naval Astronaut and Naval Astronaut (NFO), respectively [4].

The enlisted variant is known as the Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist (EAWS) insignia, and is earned by sailors that demonstrate an in depth knowledge of Naval aviation.

Other insignia for qualification in specialized areas exists for Flight Surgeons, Flight Nurses, Experimental Psychologists/Physiologists, Observers/Flight Meteorologists, and Supply Corps personnel.

A similar breast insignia, the Navy Aircrew insignia, is under a separate category and considered as "other qualification". Therefore, enlisted personnel with both EAWS and Aircrew qualifications are permitted to wear both insignia. See further down this article for more on Aircrew.

Professional Aviation Maintenance Officer insignia

In December 2009, the first of the new Professional Aviation Maintenance Officer (PAMO) warfare designator were awarded. The PAMO community consists of aerospace maintenance duty officers, aviation maintenance limited duty officers, and aviation maintenance chief warrant officers. Complete eligibility requirements can be found in OPNAVINST. 1412.11.[11]

Warfare Qualification - Explosive Ordnance Disposal Warfare

EOD Warfare insignia come in 3 grades

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Warfare (EOD) insignia, also known as the "crab", is awarded to personnel trained to deal with the construction, deployment, disarmament, and disposal of high explosives munitions. This group is part of Navy Special Operations and all are dive qualified as closed circuit divers. It is the only decoration awarded to all four uniformed services of the US Defense Department.

EOD Warfare Officer insignia

Enlisted EOD technicians wear the insignia as their primary warfare breast insignia. Officers used to wear it as a secondary insignia under the Special Operations Warfare insignia, but wear the Basic, Senior, and Master insignia as their primary warfare device.

In 2007, the Special Operations Officer Community was rechristened "Explosive Ordnance Disposal," a change which the Navy felt also needed to be reflected in the EOD Officer warfare device as well. The new officer insignia is identical to the Master EOD warfare device, but is gold in color.[12].

Warfare Qualification - Fleet Marine Force

FMF insignia for officers, enlisted and chaplains

The Fleet Marine Force (FMF) insignia can be awarded to Navy personnel assigned to Fleet Marine Force command, a combined command of US Navy and Marine Corps. The insignia is issued to both officers and enlisted.

Navy Hospital Corpsmen (or simply "Doc") and Religious Programs Specialists (RP) are good examples of Navy personnel in FMF.

The Chaplain (Chaps) version of the officers' badge does not include the crossed rifles.[3]

Warfare Qualification - Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist

SCWS insignia for officers and enlisted

The Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist (SCWS) insignia is awarded to personnel qualified to serve in Construction Battalions (CB or Seabees and Navy Hospital Corpsmen (or simply "Doc") and Religious Programs Specialists (RP)), or other construction units, in the Navy.

Warfare Qualification - Information Dominance Corps

Navy Information Dominance Corps Warfare Device

As announced on 19 Feb, 2010 in NAVADMIN 058/10, the United States Navy Uniform Regulations prescribe the Information Dominance Corps Warfare insignia will be "authorized for wear by members of the Information Dominance Corps who have successfully completed the qualification requirements outlined in forthcoming OPNAV instructions", and will be available for purchase by August 2010.

Personnel included under the Information Dominance Corps include the following communities: intelligence, information technology, information warfare, oceanography and space cadre designators/NECs.[13]

Other Qualification - Aircrew

Aircrew insignia for Naval and Marine aircraft

The Aircrew insignia is issued to enlisted personnel trained to operate equipment aboard airborne aircraft.

Navy aircrew assigned to Navy aircraft place "(NAC)" after their rating to indicate this skill. Navy aircrew qualified to wear the Marine Corps combat aircrew insignia place "(CAC)" after their rating. Example: "AW1(NAC) Jenkins" is Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 1st Class Jenkins, who is Navy Aircrew qualified.

Other Qualification - Integrated Undersea Surveillance System

Undersea surveillance qualifications

The Integrated Undersea Surveillance System insignia is awarded to those personnel who have been trained and qualified in naval sonar and undersea surveillance technology.

Other Qualification - Officer in Charge/Petty Officer in Charge

Insignia of the small boat community

The Officer in Charge/Petty Officer in Charge (OIC/POIC) insignia is issued to personnel of the small boat community. It is issued to operators of small combatant and non-combatant vessels.

The Small Craft insignia is awarded to officers and petty officers commanding small combatant vessels that patrol brown-water (littoral zone) and riverine environments. The Craftmaster insignia is awarded to senior enlisted commanding small non-combatant vessels, such as tugboats, dredges, and scows.

Other Qualification - Parachutists

Two degrees of parachutists

The Parachutists insignia, also known as "jump wings", is awarded to personnel for training in airborne school. The basic insignia is issued for completion of basic parachutist training. The Naval Parachutist insignia is issued after 10 qualifying jumps.

Enlisted personnel with jump wings place "(PJ)" after their rating to indicate this skill. Free-fall/HALO qualified place "(FPJ)" in their rating. Example: "EOD3(FPJ) Smith" is Explosive Ordnance Disposal 3rd Class Smith, who is Free-fall/HALO-qualified.

The Naval Parachutist insignia is a common secondary insignia among Navy SEALs, SWCC and Navy EOD.

Other Qualification - Submarine Patrol

Submarine Combat Patrol and SSBN Deterrent Patrol insignia

The Submarine Combat Patrol insignia is a breast insignia worn by Navy personnel who have completed war patrols. Such patrols were conducted during World War II.

The SSBN Deterrent Patrol insignia is a breast insignia worn by Navy personnel of the submarine service who have completed strategic deterrent patrols in nuclear ballistic missile submarines. It is the successor to the Submarine Combat Patrol insignia awarded for submarine patrols during World War II.

Qualified personnel wear the insignia as a secondary device, after the Submarine Warfare device.

Other Qualification - Underwater

Deep Submergence insignia

The Deep Submergence insignia is worn by Navy personnel who are qualified in submarines and have completed one year of regular assignment to a manned or unmanned deep submersible.

Various diver insignia

Diver insignia are issued to personnel who are qualified divers and is given in several degrees. The first degree of the diving insignia is Scuba Diver. The remaining insignia are awarded for deep sea dive qualifications and are issued in the degrees of Second Class, First Class, and Master Diver. There also exists a Diving Officer insignia for officers who completed Basic Diving Officer course, and insignia for medical personnel who have qualified as both divers and medical response personnel to medical emergencies underwater.

Enlisted personnel who are dive qualified place "(DV)" after their rating to indicate this skill. Example: "BM2(DV) Jones" is Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Jones, who is Diver-qualified.

Other Qualification - Naval Reserve Merchant Marine

Naval Reserve Merchant Marine Insignia

The Navy Reserve Merchant Marine Insignia, also known as the "Golden Chicken", was created in 1938 is based on the original eagle carved into the stern of the USS CONSTITUTION. A gold embroidered or metal spread eagle surcharged with crossed anchors behind a shield in the center. The letters "USNR" appear on the scroll at the bottom.

The insignia may be worn by:

  • An officer holding a valid U.S. Merchant Marine License for vessels of unlimited ocean tonnage or horsepower.
  • U.S. Merchant Marine officers who are U.S. Naval Reserve officers while wearing a U.S. Merchant Marine or U.S. Maritime Service uniform.
  • Merchant Marine Reserve, USNR Midshipmen

Other Qualification - U.S. Air Force Space Badge

Air Force Space badges

Effective 29 October 2007, the United States Navy Uniform Regulations prescribe the U.S. Air Force Space Badge is authorized for wear by qualifying Department of the Navy personnel while attached to USSTRATCOM or NORAD.

Not yet detailed in Navy Uniform Regulations

The following insignia is currently being issued but is not yet officially described in Navy Uniform Regulations, as of January 2007 (latest edition) [14].

Enlisted Expeditionary Warfare Specialist


Identification Badges

The Presidential and Vice Presidential Service badges are worn on the right side at a level corresponding to badges worn on the left side on dress uniforms, and center of the right pocket on other uniforms. The badges for Office of the Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff are worn on the left breast pocket, 1/4 inch below medals or secondary breast insignia on dress uniforms, and in the center of left pocket on other uniforms. If a breast insignia in the secondary position forces the badge below the lower seam of the pocket, the secondary insignia must be omitted. (see figure 1)

The command badges for E-7s and higher (figure 2, below) are issued to chiefs holding a command position (e.g. senior enlisted of the entire Navy, of a fleet or task force, of a single ship, etc). Male incumbents wear it on the left breast pocket, 1/4 inch below medals or secondary breast insignia on dress uniforms, and in the center of left pocket on other uniforms. If a breast insignia in the secondary position forces the badge below the lower seam of the pocket, the secondary insignia must be omitted. Women wear it 1/4 inch above the right pocket, but may opt to wear it as men do. Miniature versions are issued to post tour chiefs.

Recruiter, Career Counselor, and Law Enforcement badges are worn on the left breast pocket, 1/4 inch below medals or secondary breast insignia on dress uniforms, and in the center of left pocket on other uniforms. Women wear it 1/4 inch above medals, ribbons, or pocket. Not permitted for wear on dinner dress uniform.

Starting in January 2007, Navy Uniform Regulations allow CNO approved Joint/Unified Command identification badges, including

See also

References

  1. ^ "NAVPERS 15665, Navy Uniform Regulations". United States Navy. http://www.npc.navy.mil/CommandSupport/USNavyUniforms/UniformRegulations/. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  2. ^ "Uniform Regulations, Chapter 5". United States Navy. http://www.npc.navy.mil/CommandSupport/USNavyUniforms/UniformRegulations/Chapter5/default.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-02. 
  3. ^ a b "Uniform Regulations, Chapter 5, Section 2". United States Navy. http://www.npc.navy.mil/CommandSupport/USNavyUniforms/UniformRegulations/Chapter5/5201.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Uniform Regulations, Chapter 5, Section 2, Article 5201.2". United States Navy. http://www.npc.navy.mil/CommandSupport/USNavyUniforms/UniformRegulations/Chapter5/5201.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  5. ^ "Uniform Regulations, Chapter 5, Section 3, Article 5310". United States Navy. http://www.npc.navy.mil/CommandSupport/USNavyUniforms/UniformRegulations/Chapter5/5301.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  6. ^ "Uniform Regulations, Chapter 5, Section 2, Article 5201.1". United States Navy. http://www.npc.navy.mil/CommandSupport/USNavyUniforms/UniformRegulations/Chapter5/5201.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  7. ^ "Uniform Regulations, Chapter 5, Figure 5-2-1". United States Navy. http://buperscd.technology.navy.mil/bup_updt/508/unireg/chapter5/figure5-2-1.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  8. ^ Ansarov, Sonya (2003-10-27). "Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC): The "Boat Guys"". Naval Special Warfare Command Public Affairs. http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/navy/a/navyswcc.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  9. ^ Powers, Rod. "Navy Commissioned Officer Job Designators Description & Qualification Factors: Special Operations (EOD/UMCM/ODS/EOM)". About.com: US Military. http://usmilitary.about.com/od/officerjo2/a/specops.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  10. ^ "Naval Military Personnel Manual, Article 1210-230". United States Navy. 2003-10-09. http://buperscd.technology.navy.mil/bup_updt/508/milpers/1210-230.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  11. ^ http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=50044
  12. ^ Schogol, Jeff. "Navy’s EOD officer community gets new insignia". Stars and Stripes (newspaper). http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=58918&archive=true. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  13. ^ http://www.npc.navy.mil/NR/rdonlyres/1739D4C6-2728-46D2-889C-5431A19E7CAC/0/NAV10058.txt
  14. ^ "Uniform Regulations, Summary of Changes". United States Navy. 2008-01-01. http://buperscd.technology.navy.mil/bup_updt/508/unireg/summary/summary.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 

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