Obsolete badges of the United States military

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.

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

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. ArmyEdit

Army Aviation Section/Air ServiceEdit

Signal Corps Military Aviator Badge[1]  
Air Service Airplane Pilot Badge[1]  
Bombing Aviator Badge[1]  
Aeronaut Badge[1]  
Enlisted Aviator Badge[1]  
Observer Badge[1]  
Wound Chevron[1]  

Army Air ForcesEdit

Aerial Gunner Badge[1]  
Army Air Forces Aircrew Badge[1]  
Airship Pilot Badge[1]  
Balloon Pilot Badge[1]  
Balloon Observer Badge[1]  
Bombardier Badge[1]  
Flight Engineer Badge[1]  
Flight Nurse Badge[1]  
Flight Surgeon Badge[1]  
Flight Surgeon Dentist Badge[1]  
Glider Pilot Badge[1]  
Instructor Badge[1]  
Liaison Pilot Badge[1]  
Navigator Badge[1]  
Observer Badge[1]  
Pilot Badge[1]  
Service Pilot Badge[1]  
Technical Observer Badge[1]  
Women Airforce Service Pilots Badge[1]  
Women Airforce Service Pilots Badge (early version)[1]  
Army Air Forces Technician Badge[1]  
Distinguished Aerial Badges[2][3]  

Regular ArmyEdit

Marksman Buttons   Replaced by Rifle Marksmanship Badges in 1897[4]
Marksmanship Prize Badges   Replaced by Team Marksmanship Badges in 1903[5]
Artillery Qualification Badges   Retired in 1913 and reintroduced as a qualification clasp for the Marksmanship Qualification Badges in 1921[6][7]
Rifle Marksmanship Badges   Replaced by Marksmanship Qualification Badges in 1921 and adopted by the Marine Corps.[8]
Pistol Marksmanship Badges   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   Replaced with new three piece design between 1922 and 1924[9]
Corps of Intelligence Police Identification Badge   Replaced by Counterintelligence Special Agent Identification Badge on 13 December 1941
Counterintelligence Special Agent Identification Badge   Replaced with a different design between 1947 and 1948
Distinguished Automatic Rifleman Badge   Retired in the late 1940s or early 1950s[9][10][11]
Team Marksmanship Badges   Replaced by Army Excellence-in-Competition Badges in 1958[9][12][13][14]
Glider Badge   Retired on 3 May 1961[15]
Counterintelligence Special Agent Identification Badge   Replaced with a different design
Air Assault Badge (11th Air Assault Division–Test)   Replaced with Airmobile Badge in April 1974 which was renamed the Air Assault Badge in January 1978[16][17][18]
Recondo Badges (various designs)   Discontinued in the 1980s but a version of it live on as a special skills badge in the U.S. Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps[19]
Nuclear Reactor Operator Badges   Retired on 1 October 1990[20]
Jungle Expert Badge (ARSOUTH)   Retired in 1999 and reinvented in 2014 as the Jungle Expert Tab (USARPAC)
Reserve Recruiter Identification Badge   Replaced with the Army Recruiter Identification Badges in April 2001[21][22][23]
Medical Department Recruiter Identification Badge   Replaced with the Army Recruiter Identification Badges in June 2001[24]
Scuba Diver Badge   Replaced by the Special Operations Diver Badge on 17 September 2004[25][26][27]
National Guard Recruiter and Retention Identification Badges   Replaced with new designs on 12 May 2008[28]
Jungle Expert Tab (USARPAC)   Replaced with new design
Arctic Tab (USARAK)   Replaced with new design

U.S. Air ForceEdit

Air Force Command Flight Surgeon Badge   Replaced by Chief Flight Surgeon Badge on 1 June 1959[29]
Air Force Parachutist Badges     Replaced by Army & Air Force Parachutist Badges in 1963[29]
Air Police Badge   Replaced by Security Police Badge in November 1966[30]
Air Force Training Instructor Badges    Replaced by Air Education and Training Command Instructor Badges[29]
Gold National Excellence-In-Competition Badges[31][32]  
Gold & Silver Elementary Excellence-In-Competition Badges[32][33]  
Combat Control Team Beret Flash Replaced with new design in 1984[34]
Air Force Recruiter Badges     Replaced with new designs and additional grades/awards
Air Force Combat Crew Badge   Retired in August 1993[35]
Special Operations Weather Team Beret Flash/Crest   Replaced with Combat Weather Team Crest/Beret Flash in 2002[36]
Space and Missile Badges     Replaced by Space Operations Badges on 1 Nov 2005[37][38]
Air Force Communications and Information Badges     Replaced by Cyberspace Support Badges on 1 Jun 2010[39]
Combat Weather Team Crest/Beret Flash   Replaced by Special Operations Weather Beret Flash on 1 January 2009[36]
Air Force Honor Guard Badge   Replaced with new design
Air Force RPA Sensor Operator Badges   Replaced with Enlisted Aircrew Badges on 4 November 2016[40]
Special Operations Weather Beret Flash   Replaced with Special Reconnaissance Beret Flash in 2019[41][42]

U.S. Marine CorpsEdit

Marksmanship Competition Badges   Replaced with new designs between 1910 and 1930.[43]
Rifle Marksmanship Badges   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   Adopted by the Army and replaced by Rifle Marksmanship Badges and Basic Badge in 1937.[44][45]
Expert Team Rifleman Badge[11]  
Basic Badge   Retired in December 1968[44][45]
Military Police Badge   Replaced with a new design

U.S. Coast GuardEdit

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

U.S. NavyEdit

Sharpshooter's Badge   Replaced with Marksmanship Ribbons in 1920.[11][50][51]
Naval Aviation Observer Insignia   Replaced with new design in October 1929[52]
Expert Team Rifleman Badge[11]  
Naval Aviation Observer (Tactical) Insignia   Replaced with Naval Aviation Observer Insignia in 1947[52]
Naval Aviation Observer (Radar) Insignia   Replaced with Naval Aviation Observer Insignia in 1947[52]
Naval Aviation Observer (Navigator) Insignia   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   Replaced with new design in 1952[52]
Naval Flight Nurse Insignia   Replaced with new design in 1952[52]
Dirigible Pilot Insignia   Retired in 1978[52]
Enlisted Special Warfare Insignia   Replaced with Special Warfare Insignia
Underwater Demolition Officer Insignia   Replaced with Special Warfare Insignia in 1975
Underwater Demolition Enlisted Insignia   Replaced with Special Warfare Insignia in 1975
Scuba Officer Insignia  
Navy Reserve Merchant Marine Insignia   Replaced by Strategic Sealift Officer Warfare Insignia in June 2011[53][54]
MAA/Law Enforcement Badges   Some replaced and some discontinued in June 2011[54]
Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman Insignia   Replaced with three different skill level insignias on 19 August 2016[55]

Joint Service BadgesEdit

The National Match Team ("Dogs of War") Badge   Replaced with bronze, silver, and gold medals in 1919.[9]
White House Service Badge   Replaced by the Presidential Service Badge on 1 September 1964[56]
Vice Presidential Service Badge   Replaced with new design on 19 July 1976[45][57]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac The Mark of an Eagle, Air Force Magazine, by TSgt Harold L. Craven, dated October 1963, last accessed 14 October 2019
  2. ^ Distinguished Bomber and Aerial Gunner Badges, U. S. Army Insignia, William K. Emerson, last accessed 14 October 2019
  3. ^ U.S. Army Air Corps - Between The Wars, Aviation Wings and Badges of World War II, last accessed 25 January 2013
  4. ^ Marksman Buttons, Weapons Badges, U.S. Army Insignia, by William K. Emerson, last accessed 19 May 2013
  5. ^ Marksmanship Prizes, 1881-1902, Weapons Badges, U.S. Army Insignia, by William K. Emerson, last accessed 24 April 2014
  6. ^ U.S. Army Artillery Qualification Badges, 1891-1913, U. S. Army Insignia, William K. Emerson, last accessed 25 January 2013
  7. ^ Weapons Qualification Archived 2014-05-25 at the Wayback Machine, U.S. Army Badges, The Institute of Heraldry, last accessed 22 April 2014
  8. ^ a b U.S. Army Weapons Qualification Badges and Certificates, 1880-1921, U. S. Army Insignia, William K. Emerson, last accessed 25 January 2013
  9. ^ a b c d 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
  10. ^ 1941 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America (page 1,506), last accessed 24 April 2014
  11. ^ a b c d National Geographic Magazine, October 1943, published October 1943, last accessed 24 April 2014
  12. ^ Army Shooting Prizes, Post 1916, U.S. Army Insignia, William K. Emerson, last accessed 14 October 2019
  13. ^ A Short History of the Distinguished Shooter Program, by Hap Rocketto, dated 19 April 2014, last accessed 1 March 2018
  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. ^ Headquarters & Headquarters Company 1965 - 1971, Captain's Page, jumpingmustangs.com, last accessed 12 October 2020
  17. ^ History of the 101st (Post-Vietnam), airassault.bizhosting.com, by Charles S. Bloodworth, last accessed 12 October 2020
  18. ^ Qualification Badges, Air Assault Badge, U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry, dated 18 January 1978, last accessed 16 October 2020
  19. ^ USACC Regulation 670-1, U.S. Army Cadet Command Uniform Wear and Appearance, Department of the Army, 1 February 2020, last accessed 13 April 2020
  20. ^ Nuclear Reactor Operator Badges, Qualification Badges, The Institute of Heraldry, last accessed 13 January 2013
  21. ^ Reserve Recruiter, 1971-2001, by William K. Emerson, last accessed 29 December 2014
  22. ^ U.S. Army Regulation 600-8-22, Military Awards, U.S. Army, updated 25 June 2015, last accessed 1 March 2018
  23. ^ U.S. Army Reserve Recruiter Badge, Identification Badges, The Institute of Heraldry, last accessed 22 April 2014
  24. ^ Army Medical Department Recruiter Archived 2014-12-29 at the Wayback Machine, by William K. Emerson, last accessed 29 December 2014
  25. ^ Diver Badges, Qualification Badges, The Institute of Heraldry, last accessed 22 April 2014
  26. ^ Army Regulation 600-8-22 Military Awards (24 June 2013).
  27. ^ AR611-75, Management of Army Divers; dated 20 July 2007; retrieved 27 August 2011
  28. ^ Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Identification Badges, Identification Badges, The Institute of Heraldry, last accessed 22 April 2014
  29. ^ a b c U.S. Air Force Obsolete Insignia, last accessed 14 October 2019
  30. ^ History of the Air Force Security Badge„ 25th Infantry Division Shotgun Program website, last accessed 1 April 2014
  31. ^ Box, Presentation, Badge, National Rifleman, United States Air Force and Box, Presentation, Badge, National Pistol, United States Air Force, Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, last accessed 8 September 2018
  32. ^ a b Air Force Instruction 34-271, Air Force Shooting Program and Excellence-in-Competition, Department of the Air Force, dated 30 August 2018, last accessed 14 October 2019
  33. ^ Badge, Non-National Rifleman, United States Air Force, Badge, Pistol, Non-National United States Air Force, Badge, Rifleman, Non-National, United States Air Force, and Box, Presentation, Badge, Pistol, Non-National, United States Air Force; Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum; last accessed 8 September 2018
  34. ^ Lee-Jackson Militaria, Air Control & Support Units–Combat Control Team, Flash/Qualification Badge, ljmilitaria.com, last accessed 19 July 2020
  35. ^ History of Combat Service Insignia Archived 2012-02-19 at the Wayback Machine; 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
  36. ^ a b Air Force Weather, Our Heritage 1937 to 2012, prepared by TSgt C. A. Ravenstein (Historical Division, AW3DI, Hq AWS), dated 22 January 2012, last accessed 14 March 2020
  37. ^ New space badge wear begins today, Air Force Space Command, dated 1 November 2005, last accessed 20 January 2013
  38. ^ Space badge renamed, new guidance issued, U.S. Air Force News, by Master Sgt. Kevin Williams, dated 11 December 2013, last accessed 31 December 2013
  39. ^ New cyberspace support career field stood up Nov. 1, Air Force News Service, dated 5 November 2009, last accessed 20 January 2013
  40. ^ AFI11-402_AFGM2016-01: Air Force Guidance Memorandum to AFI 11-402, Aviation and Parachutist Service, Aeronautical Ratings and Aviation Badges Archived 2016-12-01 at the Wayback Machine U.S. Air Force, dated 4 November 2016, last accessed 30 November 2016
  41. ^ Spec ops weathermen get name change, new mission to better fight great powers, AirForceTimes, by Kyle Rempfer, dated 13 May 2019, last accessed 16 September 2019
  42. ^ New USAF Special Warfare Symbol, soldiersystems.net, dated 3 July 2019, last accessed 11 December 2019
  43. ^ USMC Shooting Prizes, Weapons Badges, U.S. Army Insignia, by William K. Emerson, last accessed 19 May 2013
  44. ^ a b c 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
  45. ^ a b c d Complete Guide to United States Marine Corps Medals, Badges and Insignia World War II to Present, Medals of America, last accessed 17 January 2013
  46. ^ Air Station St. Augustine, Florida, U.S. Coast Guard, last modified 2 August 2012, last accessed 9 May 2014
  47. ^ U.S. Coast Guard Uniform Regulation COMDTINST M1020.6F, Department of Homeland Security, dated February 2009, last accessed 27 January 2013
  48. ^ a b c U.S. Coast Guard Uniform Regulation COMDTINST M1020.6G, Department of Homeland Security, dated March 2012, last accessed 27 January 2013
  49. ^ a b U.S. Coast Guard Uniform Regulation COMDTINST M1020.6J Archived 2018-09-10 at the Wayback Machine, Department of Homeland Security, dated 2 August 2018, last accessed 10 September 2018
  50. ^ Uniform Regulations United States Navy, 1913, Navy Department, dated 1913, last accessed 2 February 2013
  51. ^ Navy Expert Rifle Medal, MilitaryVetsPX.com, last accessed 2 February 2013
  52. ^ a b c d e f g Evolution of Naval Wings, Naval History and Heritage Command, last accessed 17 January 2013
  53. ^ ‘Sea chicken’ pin to be replaced, NavyTimes, by Sam Fellman, dated 2 July 2011, accessed 27 December 2012
  54. ^ a b U.S. Navy Uniform Board Update Archived 2012-12-24 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 19 August 2012
  55. ^ Uniform Policy Update, NAVADMIN 174/16 Archived 2016-09-09 at the Wayback Machine, CNO Washington DC, dated 4 August 2016, last accessed 11 September 2016
  56. ^ 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
  57. ^ Executive Order 11926--The Vice Presidential Service Badge, National Archives, Federal Register, dated 19 July 1976, last accessed 21 January 2013