United States Army branch insignia

United States Army branch insignia

Branch insignia of the United States Army refers to one of several military emblems that may be worn on the uniform of the United States Army to denote membership in a particular area of expertise. Army branch insignia is similar to the line officer and staff devices of the United States Navy as well as to the Navy Enlisted rating badges.

Army branch insignia is separate from Army qualification badges in that qualification badges require completion of a training course or school, whereas branch insignia is issued to a service member upon assignment to a particular area of the Army.


The first use of Army branch insignia was just prior to the American Civil War in the 1850s. It was at that point that the U.S. Army begin developing a series of colored epaulets for wear by officers of various Army branches. The original collar scheme was that cavalry officers would wear yellow, artillery officers red, and infantry officers blue. General officers wore dark blue epaulets.

By the start of the 20th century, Army personnel began wearing various branch insignia on their jacket lapels. Enlisted soldiers would wear a version that is enclosed in a brass disk while officers would wear a full sized version that is not enclosed. This has continued to the modern age.

How Worn

The 21st century Army displays branch insignia on green and blue service coats; it was similarly worn on rarely-seen white service coat until that unform was suddenly declared obsolete and unauthorised. Enlisted soldiers wear the branch insignia disk on the wearer's left coat collar, opposite the "U.S." insignia disk. Commissioned and warrant officers, apart from most general officers, wear branch insignia on both lapels, beneath the "U.S." insignia on both coat collars. Most general officers wear only the "U.S." insignia on both coat collars, and no branch insignia; chaplains, judge advocates, the Chief Engineer, the Quartermaster General, "et al." are exceptions to this rule, and wear branch insignia in the same manner as typical officers.

Branch insignia is also worn by commissioned and warrant officers on the left collar of the hospital duty uniform and the arctic fatigues; rank is worn on the right collar. Chaplains wear branch insignia above the left breast pocket of Class B shirts; no other personnel wear branch insignia on Class B uniforms. Similarly, chaplains are the only soldiers who wear branch insignia on the Army Combat Uniform; chaplains also wear branch insignia on helmets and fatigue caps in the place of rank insignia.

Branch of Service Insignia

The following are the currently used branch insignia emblems of the United States Army:

Obsolete Insignia

The following insignia emblems of the United States Army which are no longer used:


External links

* [http://www.armystudyguide.com/content/Branch_Insignia/Branch_Insignia_Information/index.shtml Branch Insignia]

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