U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS CHAINED BUTTONS

When the U.S. Army introduced its general service buttons emblazoned with the coat of arms of the United States in 1902, it made one exception regarding their wear: Corps of Engineers personnel.

Officially constituted in 1802 and stationed at what is now the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Corps had within just a few short years designed its own buttons with a unique insignia featuring a fortification with embrasures, a rising sun, ocean waves, and an eagle grasping a scroll with the word “ESSAYONS”—French for “Let Us Try”—inscribed upon it. Although the “Essayons” buttons were first mentioned in a diary entry detailing events of 1814, the buttons were likely being worn even prior to that date, and it was out of respect for this rich tradition that the Army decided to allow Corps members to continue to wear the buttons.
 
Per Army regulations, these paired Essayons buttons for the male and female Blue or White Mess uniforms are joined by a 1-1/2-inch gold-colored chain and are worn in the upper buttonholes. Buttons for male jackets are 25-ligne in diameter, while buttons for the female jackets are 20-ligne.
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