U.S. ARMY PERSONNEL IN DOD AND JOINT ACTIVITIES UNIT CREST

The Distinctive Unit Insignia, or unit crest, for Army personnel assigned to the Department of Defense or in a joint activity was established in May 1993. Because the success of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm was largely due to the successful joint operations carried out involving the four primary branches of the Armed Forces of the United States, an increasing number of strategists in the U.S. military began to advocate for more and more joint activities, thus creating a real need for such an insignia.

One of the most thorough proponents of joint operations in the early 1990s was United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Strain. In an article published (appropriately enough) in Joint Force Quarterly in the Spring of 1993, Strain proclaimed that “no single weapon or force reaches its full potential unless employed with complementary capabilities” of the other services. General Colin Powell, serving as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, was also a major advocate for joint operations; his philosophy of joint operations is found throughout Joint Publication 1, Joint Warfare of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The unit crest for Army personnel at the DoD or in joint activities features what The Institute of Heraldry describes as a “stylized gold star burst,” though it appears to be a gold disc partitioned into 17 sections. A medium blue scroll featuring the motto, “Supporting Defense,” is above the disc while the bottom is encircle by two sprigs of laurel, a sign of achievement and success.

If you’re purchasing this unit crest, you might also be interested in the associated Shoulder Sleeve Insignia (commonly called a “unit patch”) and the Combat Service Identification Badge, or CSIB, worn on the Army Service Uniform.
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