The Secretary of Defense is the cabinet-level head of the Department of Defense, which was originally created as the National Military Establishment (NME) by the National Security Act of 1947 on July 26, 1947. The NME began operation on September 18, 1947, the same day the Department of War was effectively dissolved when it was split into the Department of the Army and the Department of the Air Force. The NME was retitled the Department of Defense on August 10, 1949.

Originally approved by Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson as the NME Identification Badge one day after he assumed office on March 28, 1949, the badge was redesignated the Department of Defense Identification Badge on August 28, 1950. It was re-established and redesignated as the Officer of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Identification Badge on December 20, 1962; its wear was authorized for service of not less than a year beginning on January 13, 1961.

Authorization for the establishment of the badge is found in Title 10, Section 1125 of the United States Code. Its purpose is to provide identification of military staff members while they are on assignment to OSD; after reassignment, the badge serves as an indicator that the wearer satisfactorily carried out their duties while on the staff of the Secretary of Defense.

Current regulations specify that Service members who complete one year of duty with the OSD (this includes Reserve Components serving a statutory tour) are entitled to permanent possession of the badge. The Service members must be assigned to the permanent staff with the office of a OSD Principal Staff Assistant in an authorized billet that counts toward the OSD personnel ceiling. Also eligible to keep the badge permanently are Service members who served temporary assignments approved by the Director of Administration and Management for at least one year.

Several agencies were previously authorized to wear the OSD badge, but a November, 2013 Department of Defense directive that only staff members in agencies included in the Office of the Secretary of Defense were eligible. However, Service member that were in-processed to those organizations at the time of the instruction retained eligibility.

About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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