The United States Maritime Service was established in 1938 and was responsible for training of seamen to serve in the United States Merchant Marine and U.S. Army Transport Service (which morphed into the Transportation Corps in 1942). Over the course of World War II, the U.S. Maritime Service trained nearly a quarter of a million mariners to serve on board the vessels that delivered supplies across the Atlantic and Pacific. It is difficult to overestimate how vital a role the Maritime Service played in bringing the newly created Merchant Marine up to full steam in such a short period of time. While the war might have been won without a centralized Merchant Marine, it undoubtedly would have been much longer and bloodier.

Unfortunately, the Maritime Service did not publish an “official” uniform manual detailing the service’s uniforms and its components; the only guidance came in the form of a very short Officers’ Handbook published in 1943. The Maritime Service was largely dismantled in 1954; today, it is responsible for the mariner trainer conducted at the United States Merchant Marine Academy and six state-run mariner-licensing institutions.

The original design of the buttons of U.S. Maritime Service uniforms featured a fouled anchor placed over a badgelike shield; encircling the design were the words “United States Maritime Service.” It was replaced by this insignia, which retains the badge and fouled anchors but also includes the laurel wreath that the Officer’s Handbook says identifies an insignia as being of the Maritime Service.

Select 36-ligne buttons for the jacket’s front panel closure buttons and 25-ligne for pocket buttons.
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About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.