Despite being second only to Infantry as the oldest basic branch in the United States Army, the Quartermaster Corps did not have an officially approved insignia until 1895. In fact, it could be argued the “Corps” did not even have an insignia at that time, since it would not be redesignated from a Department to a Corps until seventeen years alter in 1912.

When the insignia was approved in 1895, it featured an eagle’s head was resting on one wing; it was altered after World War I to the current design, with the eagle’s head upright but turned to one side. The wagon wheel, symbolizing the transportation duties that rested with the Quartermaster Corps since the time of the Revolutionary War, has 13 spokes to represent the original Thirteen Colonies.

Superimposed over the wagon wheel are a key and a sword. The sword, always emblematic of military strength and might, reminds us that the ultimate goal of the Quartermaster Corps is to ensure the readiness of our nation’s military to fight to protect the country and citizens. The key, on the other hand, reflects the storekeeping duties that fell under the purview of Quartermaster personnel and serves as visual reminder of how vital they are to the Army’s mission.

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