A fouled anchor inside a wreath of laurel leaves has been the insignia of the United States Maritime Service (USMS) since it was established in 1938 (the service was authorized to be created with the passage of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936). It borrowed heavily from the Coast Guard and Navy when devising its insignias, using sleeve stripes to indicate rank and replacing the Navy’s star with the anchor and laurel leaves to indicate a line officer.

The USMS trained the sailors who would man vessels in the United States Merchant Marine and the U.S. Army Transport Service, delivering critical supplies to warfighters in both the European and Pacific theaters of operation. By the time the war drew to a close, the USMS had trained more than a quarter of a million recruits who were effectively on the front line of action the moment the left port. And with one out of every 26 mariners killed while in the Merchant Marine, the service had a higher ratio of war-related fatalities than even the Marine Corps, which had the highest percentage of service-related deaths of any of the Armed Forces of the United States.

Today, nearly all of the tasks that once fell to the U.S. Maritime Service have been assigned to other governmental organizations. But officers in the USMS are still responsible for training new seafarers at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, as well as at other maritime academies operating at the national or state level.

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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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.