The Field Artillery insignia of two crossed cannons—field guns, to be precise—has been seen on Artillerists’ uniforms for more than 180 years. They were first mentioned as cap devices in the uniform regulations that went into effect in 1833 and 1834, described as two gilt crossed cannons beneath an eagle (earlier artillery insignias had featured an eagle perched on a cannon).

In February, 1902, Congress reorganized the Artillery branch by establishing an Artillery Corps of the Army consisting of the Field Artillery and the Coast Artillery. Nearly six years later, the two components were separated, with the Coast Artillery becoming its own corps and the Field Artillery being organized into six two-battalion regiments (each battalion had three batteries). As a result, the crossed-cannons insignia for Field Artillerists included a regimental number above the intersection of the cannons and a battery letter below. The Coast Artillery insignia featured a vertically aligned oval containing a projectile that was centered over the intersection of the cannons.

When the Coast Artillery was disestablished in 1950 and its units folded back into the Artillery branch, with all members wearing the plain, crossed cannons as an insignia. In 1958, a year after the establishment of the Army Air Defense Command within the Artillery branch, the Army added a vertically oriented missile at the intersection of the cannons. Ten years later, the Air Defense Artillery branch was created and was assigned the missile-plus-crossed-cannons insignia, while the Artillery branch—now officially renamed Field Artillery—reverted to the plain crossed-cannons insignia used today.

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