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 NAVPERS 15665I, "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 identification badges:
The Command at Sea insignia is eligible to 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, except in full dress when 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 .
Warfare and Other Qualification insignia are grouped in the following categories (in alphabetical order) :
|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|
|8) 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 only one insignia from any single category listed above.
Listed below are all the Warfare and Other Qualification insignia within each category.
Surface Warfare insignia are breast insignia of the surface warfare community which 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.
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.
The Special Warfare insignia (aka "SEAL Trident"), or its more popular nickname, "The Budweiser", 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.) .
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, refer 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.
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 .
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.
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.
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 Ordinance 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 idential 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 Chaplain version of the officers' badge (not shown) does not include the crossed rifles and has an entirely gold anodized finish.
The Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist (SCWS) insignia is awarded to personnel qualified to serve in Construction Battalions (CB or Seabees), or other construction units, in the Navy.
The Aircrew insignia is issued to enlisted personnel trained to operate equipment aboard airborne aircraft.
Navy aircrew assigned to Navy aircraft place "(AC)" after their rating to indicate this skill. Navy aircrew assigned to Marine Corps combat aircraft place "(CAC)" after their rating. Example: "AW1(AC) Jenkins" is Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 1st Class Jenkins, who is Navy Aircrew-qualified.
The Integrated Undersea Surveillance System insignia is awarded to those personnel who have been trained and qualified in naval sonar and undersea surveillance 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 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.
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 Navy Reserve Merchant Marine Insignia, 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 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