UNITED STATES JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF IDENTIFICATION BADGE

Although there was a de facto version of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in operation during World War II, the organization was not established officially until the passage of the National Security Act of 1947. In addition to a Chairman and Vice Chairman, the JCS includes the Chiefs of Staff of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau. Despite the National Guard’s representation, the badge’s imagery employs just four swords, symbolizing the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.

Acting upon a recommendation by the Personnel Directorate of the JCS that the organization should have an identification badge, the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry created a device that was approved on April 2, 1963. The JCS released Memorandum of Policy 142 the next day authorizing the badge to be awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces assigned to the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (OJCS). Since that time, the rules defining who may wear the badge have been expanded to incorporate military personnel who are assigned to agencies that directly support the OJCS and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Interestingly, the design that the Institute of Heraldry created for the Identification badge has been used as the JCS seal for many years, but it has never been officially designated to be used in this role. However, the badge was patented on December 1, 1964, and it is used on the covers of all files, publications, and plans of the JCS.
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