Beginning in December 1917, all enlisted Army personnel wore the same headgear insignia on their service caps: a gold-colored disc measuring 1.5” in diameter with a rendering of the obverse side of the Greater Seal of the United States in gold-colored metal. But that changed in 1952, when U.S. Army Chief of Staff J. Lawton Collins introduced a special insignia to recognize Soldiers serving in the Infantry branch, whose enthusiasm and morale were flagging due at first to the dramatic, see-saw nature of the conflict and then to the stalemate that was engendered in part by the launch of peace talks in July 1951.

To recognize the especially heavy burden placed on combat Infantrymen during the Korean War, Collins decided on a blue disk (the Infantry branch color) to serve as a mounting for the standard enlisted Soldier’s cap and collar devices to be worn on the service and dress uniforms, along with a blue Infantry cord to be worn on the right shoulder. The primary qualification for wear of the blue Infantry insignia disk is to hold an Infantry PMOS; complete guidelines for wear of the disks and the Infantry shoulder cord can be found in paragraph 21-31(b) of DA PAM 670-1.

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