Considering that a substantial part of Military Intelligence (MI) history revolves around codes and codebreaking, it’s quite fitting that the branch insignia of the MI Corps is replete with symbolism that is not readily apparent at first blush.

The insignia consists of three major elements, all colored gold: a metal dagger, point up; a heraldic sun; and a heraldic rose. Eight alternating rays stream from the sun which symbolizes Helios—the God of the Sun who could see and hear all that transpired beneath him. Four of the rays are straight: these stand for the four primary compass points which, in turn, represent the worldwide work and mission of the personnel serving in the MI branch.

An ancient symbol of secrecy, the rose surmounts the sun to reflect the fact that many of the operations assigned to MI are carried out clandestinely; the rose affirms that the circumstances surrounding the operations means that disclosure is forbidden. The petals of the rose are dark blue, a color that in heraldry indicates constant vigilance and unswerving loyalty.

Behind the rose and the sun is an unsheathed dagger—a reminder that the work performed by Soldiers and officers in the MI branch not only often involves inherent risks of physical danger, but also can lead fellow Soldiers into situations where they must use employ force in the defense of both our country and the nations who stand with us to preserve freedom.

The officers’ collar device based upon the branch insignia is 1 ¼ inches in height, while enlisted personnel wear a 1-inch disk that is engraved with the same imagery.

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