The Army first introduced crossed rifles or muskets as the insignia for Infantry Officers and Soldiers in November, 1875; the design was chosen to make the branch insignia conform to the pattern set by the Artillery (crossed cannons) and Cavalry (crossed swords). With the introduction of the M1903 Springfield rifle in 1903, the Army decided to change the design of the Infantry insignia to reflect the new and improved weaponry its soldiers were carrying.

But while the Army was undoubtedly happy with the acquisition of the Springfield rifle—it continued to be used even after it was officially replaced by the M1 Garand in 1937—the paradigm of changing insignia to reflect evolving technology rather than branch heritage was clearly going to lead to anything but a “uniform” identifier for Infantry personnel. The solution was offered by Major General Charles Farnsworth, who organized and served as the first commander of the U.S. Army Infantry School.

Farnsworth proposed that crossed muskets should be still be employed for the insignia, but beginning in 1922 they would be the 1795 Springfield Armory musket. The choice was made because the 1795 Springfield Armory was the first official United States shoulder arm, manufactured with interchangeable parts to facilitate refitting and repair in the field. Although minor changes in the size of the collar devices have been made since it was first issued in 1924, the design itself has remained unchanged.

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