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United States Aviator Badge: Wikis

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United States Aviator Badge
US - Aviation Wings.png
Awarded by United States Armed Forces
Type Badge
Status Currently awarded
Statistics
Established Second World War
First awarded Second World War
Last awarded On going
Army Precedence
Next (higher) (Group 2 badges)
CMB - EFMB
Equivalent (Group 3 badges)
Astronaut - EOD - Aviator - Flight Surgeon - Aircrew
Next (lower) (Group 4 badges)
Parachutist, Air Assault, Military Freefall Parachutist

A United States Aviator Badge refers to three types of aviation badges issued by the United States military, those being for Army, Air Force, and Naval aviation. The first United States Aviator Badges were issued to members of the Air Service during the First World War. The badges were issued in three degrees: enlisted, junior officer, and senior officer. The Army Air Corps also issued a badge for balloon pilots, known as the Aeronaut Badge.

WWI Senior Aviator Badge

During the Second World War, with the rise of the Army Air Forces, a second series of aviator badges were issued to include a design that has survived to the modern day. The Army Air Corps Pilot Badge was issued in three degrees, including Pilot, Senior Pilot, and Command Pilot, and this badge was the predecessor of the modern United States Air Force Pilot Badge. The Enlisted Aviator Badge was eliminated, since the new pilot corps was composed entirely of officers.

After the creation of the Air Force as a separate service in 1947, Army aviation continued to a degree that warranted a new badge for Army Aviators. The result was the creation of the Army Aviator Badge, which is a modified version of the U.S. Air Force Pilot Badge. Army and USAF aviators' badges are silver in color.

The aviator badge currently used in the Navy has remained virtually unchanged since it was first issued on 13 November 1917. The Naval Aviator Badge is earned by all U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps pilots upon graduation from advanced flight schooling. Naval aviators' badges are gold in color.

Command Pilot Badge, WWII Army design and currently Air Force regulation

In the modern military, Army and Air Force Aviator Badges are issued in three ratings: Basic, Senior, and Command/Master/Chief. The higher degrees are denoted by a star or star with wreath above the badge. Air Force regulations state that the basic rating denotes completion of specified training and that the advanced ratings denote experience levels. The Naval Aviator Badge is issued in a single rating for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

With the dawn of the Space Age, all of the United States Aviator badges are upgradable to the Astronaut Badge, for those military pilots who become astronauts.

See also

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