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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, "badges" are categorized as breast insignia (usually worn immediately above and below ribbons) and identification badges (usually worn at breast pocket level). Breast insignia are further divided between command and warfare and other qualification.
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 and authorized marksmanship awards according to the language in Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 5.
The modern day United States Navy currently maintains the following breast insignia and badges:
The Command at Sea insignia is for commissioned officers between the ranks of Lieutenant (O-3) and Captain (O-6) who are in or have been in command of a ship or operational fleet air unit. The Command Ashore/Project Manager insignia is for officers who are or have been commanding officer of a naval installation, a shore-based command (to include non-deploying air commands), or in charge of a major program or project (the latter being primarily in the Naval Air Systems Command or Naval Sea Systems Command).
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 the 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.
Naval officers selected for Flag rank will permanently remove the Command at Sea and/or the Command Ashore insignia from their uniforms when they are promoted to Rear Admiral, Lower Half (O-7).
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). Only two of this class of breast insignia may be worn at one time.
Warfare and Other Qualification insignia are grouped in the following categories (in alphabetical order):
|Warfare Qualification||Other Qualification|
|1) Aviation Warfare||10) Aircrew|
|2) Explosive Ordnance Disposal Warfare||11) Integrated Undersea Surveillance System|
|3) Fleet Marine Force (FMF)||12) Officer In Charge/Petty Officer in Charge|
|4) Information Dominance||13) Parachutists|
|5) Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist||14) Reserve Merchant Marine|
|6) Special Operations||15) Submarine Patrol|
|7) Special Warfare||16) Underwater|
|8) Submarine Warfare|
|9) Surface Warfare|
"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.
Aviation Warfare insignia (usually called "wings") 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 flying officers (aka "FO's") performing weapons systems officer, electronic countermeasures officer, navigator or similar functions. There is also an astronaut version of each of these insignia, known as the Naval Astronaut and Naval Astronaut (NFO), respectively.
The Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist (EAWS) insignia is earned by sailors who demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of Naval Aviation. The EAWS designation may be earned by both enlisted Naval Aircrew and non-flying enlisted support personnel in Naval Aviation. EAWS status does not require any sort of actual flight experience or flight status in a flight crew capacity.
A similar breast insignia, the Naval Aircrew insignia, is under a separate category and considered as an "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 Naval Aircrew insignia.
Other insignia for qualification in specialized areas exists for Flight Surgeons, Flight Nurses, Experimental Psychologists/Physiologists, Observers/Flight Meteorologists, and Supply Corps personnel. With the exception of the Naval Aviation Supply Corps insignia, all of the above insignia require the wearer to be, or have been, on some sort of flight status in naval aircraft. Naval Aviation Supply Corps qualification does not require any sort of actual flight experience or flight status in a flight crew capacity.
In December 2009, the first of the new Professional Aviation Maintenance Officer (PAMO) warfare designators and insignia 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. Like the Naval Aviation Supply Corps qualification, the Professional Aircraft Maintenance Officer qualification also does not require any sort of actual flight experience or flight status in a flight crew capacity.
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.
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.
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.
The Information Dominance Warfare insignia was approved in September 2010 and is authorized for wear by members of the Information Dominance Corps who have successfully completed the qualification requirements outlined in OPNAVINST 1412.13 (for officers) and COMNAVCYBERFOR INST 1414.1 (for enlisted members). Upon implementation in September 2010, experienced Information Dominance Corps Officers in the redesignated 18xx designators were afforded the opportunity to qualify for the IDWO Insignia through completion of an online course and the submission of evidence of prior completion of prescribed requirements. All IDC Officers not being awarded the IDWO Insignia via this method are required to complete the prescribed Officer PQS. The insignia became available for purchase in October 2010.
Personnel comprising the Information Dominance Corps include the following communities: intelligence, information professional, information warfare (formerly cryptology), oceanography, meteorology and space cadre designators/NECs.
The Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist (SCWS) insignia is awarded to personnel qualified to serve in Naval Mobile Construction Battalions (NMCB) or other Naval Construction Force (Seabees) units, as well as personnel in support positions assigned to those units, such as: Navy Hospital Corpsmen [HM] and Religious Programs Specialists [RP]), in the Navy.
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). Not to be confused with Special Warfare (i.e. SEALs), Special Operations, in Navy parlance, refers to dive qualified EOD technicians.
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.
The Special Warfare insignia (aka the "SEAL Trident" or the "Budweiser Badge"), 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 insignia is the same for both officer and enlisted personnel and is one of only three breast insignia authorized for enlisted personnel that is gold in color.
The Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC - pronounced "swick") insignia is awarded to enlisted personnel who complete SWCC training and qualification, and have been designated as United States Navy SWCCs assigned to Special Boat Teams.
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.
Surface Warfare insignia are breast insignia of the surface warfare community. They are earned by 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.
The Enlisted Expeditionary Warfare Specialist badge is awarded to enlisted United States Navy personnel, and select United States Coast Guard personnel temporarily assigned to the U.S. Navy, who satisfactorily complete the required qualification course and pass a qualification board hearing. Enlisted members E-5 and above shall obtain the Enlisted Expeditionary Warfare (EXW) Specialist qualification while assigned to a qualifying unit. Enlisted members E-4 and below may voluntarily obtain EXW qualification while assigned to a qualifying unit and who meet eligibility requirements. The qualification was developed to provide a chance for enlisted sailors in the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) community (naval personnel serving in a maritime security or maritime combat related role) to earn a warfare qualification. Core qualification skills will include but not be limited to weapons qualification and maintenance, marksmanship, land navigation, field communications, and expeditionary camp deployment.
The design of the new pin encompasses the essence of enlisted expeditionary Sailors, presenting the bow and superstructure of a Sea Ark 34' patrol boat from Inshore Boat Units superimposed upon a crossed cutlass and M16A1 rifle. The waves represent the Navy's heritage, the cutlass represents the enlisted force, the M16A1 represents an NECC mission area and the boat, another NECC mission area. The background is the traditional waves of the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist badge.
The Aircrew insignia is issued to enlisted personnel trained to operate equipment aboard airborne aircraft. It is one of only three breast insignia awarded to enlisted personnel that is gold in color.
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: "CTT1(NAC) Jenkins" is Cryptologic Technician Technical First Class Jenkins, who is a qualified Aircrewman.
The Integrated Undersea Surveillance System insignia is awarded to those personnel who have been trained and qualified in naval sonar and undersea surveillance (SOSUS) technology.
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.
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 Navy Reserve Merchant Marine Insignia, also known as the "Golden Chicken" or "Sea 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:
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 and this insignia has not been awarded since that time.
The SSBN Deterrent Patrol insignia or "boomer pin" 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.
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.
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.
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 (see figure 2) 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.
Recruiting, Recruit Commanders, 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. (see figures 3 through 6)
Figure 3: Recruiting Command Badges
Figure 4: Recruit Division Commander Badges
Figure 5: Career Counselor Badge
Navy Uniform Regulations also allow CNO-approved Joint/Unified Command identification badges, including:
The U.S. Navy also has marksmanship competition badges that are authorized for wear on Navy uniforms for those sailors and officers who earn them. --These badges are awarded by the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), a “federally-chartered” corporation authorized to promote practice and safety with firearms and awards badges, metals, trophies, and other prizes to top competitors.-- For the Navy, the following marksmanship competition badges are authorized for wear on Navy uniforms:
The basic design of the Navy's EIC badges is the same regardless of the event where the badge was earned. To help distinguish one EIC badge from another, the word National or Fleet is etched above the word "Rifleman" or "Pistol Shot;" only the Interservice and Navy EIC Badges will lack any additional markings.
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