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Example of U.S. Marine Corps Badges, from top to bottom: Military Scuba Diver Insignia, Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia, Marine Corps Annual Rifle Squad Combat Practice Competition Badge (Gold), Marine Corps Rifle Expert Badge (with multiple awards clasp), and Marine Corps Pistol Expert Badge (with multiple award clasp).

Insignia and badges of the United States Marine Corps are military "badges" issued by the United States Department of the Navy to Marines who achieve certain qualifications and accomplishments while serving on both active and reserve duty in the United States Marine Corps.

As described in Chapters 4 and 5 of Marine Corps Uniform Regulations,[1] "badges" are categorized as breast insignia (worn immediately above ribbons/medals),[2] identification badges (usually worn at breast pocket level),[3] and marksmanship badges (worn immediately below ribbons).[4]

For the purpose of this article, the term "badge" shall be used exclusively to describe identification badges and marksmanship badges,[3] and the term "insignia" shall be used for other worn accouterments,[5] according to the language in Marine Corps Uniform Regulations.

The modern day United States Marine Corps currently maintains the following breast insignia and identification badges:

Breast Insignia

Breast insignia on combat utility uniform with slanted pockets

As per Marine Corps Assignment, Classification and Travel Systems Manual (ACTS MANUAL) MCO P1000.6,[6] Marines wear the appropriate breast insignia for qualification or designation in aviation, parachutist, explosive ordnance disposal, and diving.[7]

Authorized breast insignia are worn on the left breast of all service and dress coats. They may optionally be worn on khaki shirts when the shirt is the outermost garment, utility coats or maternity work uniform coats. Miniature versions exist for evening dress jackets.[8]

When worn alone, it is worn in the same position a single ribbon would be worn. When worn with ribbons, medals, or marksmanship badges, it is positioned 18 in (0.32 cm) above such awards. On combat utility uniform coats with slanted pockets, it is worn above a horizontal line tangent to the highest point of the pocket or "U.S. MARINES" service tape.[9]

No more than two USMC-approved breast insignia shall be worn at any one time. When two insignia are worn they are ordered from top to bottom in the following order with 18 in (0.32 cm) separation in between: diver, EOD, parachutist, aviation. A Marine with more than one insignia within the parachutist, EOD and diver groups may only wear the senior insignia of the group. Marines may wear two insignia from the aviation group.[8]

Aviation Insignia

USMC Aviation Insignia

U.S. Naval Astronaut Badge
Naval Astronaut Insignia
U.S. Naval Astronaut (NFO) Badge
Naval Astronaut (NFO) Insignia

Aviation Insignia are breast insignia which are issued to Marines who are qualified or designated to perform duties related to operation and support of Marine aircraft.

Officer insignia include the Naval Aviator insignia for pilots and the Naval Flight Officer insignia for non-piloting officers. There is also an astronaut version of each of these insignia, known as the Naval Astronaut and Naval Astronaut (NFO), respectively.

The Marine Aerial Navigator insignia is issued to enlisted personnel qualified to act as navigators aboard Marine aircraft; the Naval Aviation Observer insignia is issued to flight support personnel; and the Aircrew insignia is issued to enlisted personnel designated to operate equipment aboard airborne aircraft.

Parachutist Insignia

Two degrees of parachutists

The Parachutist Insignia, also known as "lead sleds", is awarded to personnel upon successful completion of the Basic Airborne Course at the Army Airborne School. The basic insignia is issued for completion of basic parachutist training, five qualifying jumps. The Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist breast insignia, also known as "gold wings" are issued after five additional qualifying jumps.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Insignia

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Insignia come in 3 Levels of Seniority: Basic, Senior and Master

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Breast Insignia, also known as the "Crab", is awarded to personnel who have successfully completed training at the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal (NAVSCOLEOD), Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Personnel are trained to deal with the render-safe and disposal of conventional and unconventional munitions ranging from unserviceable small arms ammunition, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), to chemical/biological and nuclear munitions.

Diver Insignia

U.S. Marine Corps Diving Insignia

Diver Insignia are issued to personnel who are qualified divers and is given in several degrees. The first degree of diver 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, Master Diver, and Diving Medical Technician for medical personnel who have qualified as both divers and medical response personnel to medical emergencies underwater.

Combatant diver insignia is issued to graduates of the Combatant Diver Course, who are typically in the recon community. This badge features a Dräger LAR-V rebreather and low-profile diving mask.[10]

Marksmanship Badges

Marine Corps marksmanship qualification badges are suspended beneath a bar reading the type of weapon and qualification received. The badge is also different in appearance, depending on which weapon qualification has been obtained. For a marksmanship qualification badge to be obtained, a service member must obtain a passing score and will receive a qualification level depending on the score obtained. Once a qualification has been obtained, and the marksmanship badge issued, the badge may be worn for the remainder of a military career, or until a different level of qualification (higher or lower) is achieved.[4]

In addition to the standard marksmanship badges, the Marine Corps has numerous marksmanship competition badges that are authorized for wear on the Marine Corps uniform. These badges are awarded alongside trophies that are present to the top performing Marines at Marine Corps sponsored marksmanship competitions. These badges are warn alongside the standard Marine Corps marksmanship qualification badges.[4]

U.S. Marine Corps marksmanship qualification badges

Example images of some of the U.S. Marine Corps's marksmanship competition badges.

Identification Badges

Other accoutrements

See also


  1. "MCO P1020.34, Marine Corps Uniform Regulations". United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 8 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  2. "Uniform Regulations, Chapter 4, Paragraph 4002". United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 2 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Uniform Regulations, Chapter 4, Paragraph 4007". United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 2 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Uniform Regulations, Chapter 5, Paragraph 5501". United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  5. "Uniform Regulations, Chapter 4, Insignia and Regulations for Wear". United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 2 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  6. "Assignment, Classification and Travel Systems Manual MCO P1000.6" (PDF). United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 17 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  7. "Uniform Regulations, Chapter 4, Figure 4-4". United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Uniform Regulations, Chapter 4, Subparagraph 4002.3". United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 2 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  9. "Uniform Regulations, Chapter 4, Figure 4-15". United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  10. USMC Uniform Regulations, January 21, 2009

External links

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