Although the Special Warfare or SEAL breast insignia used as the basis for the SEAL belt buckle is issued in gold to both Officers and enlisted Sailors who have earned the Special Warfare qualification, the gold buckle is authorized for wear only by Officers and CPOs. This is in keeping with Article 3603.6, which specifies silver belt buckles for Sailors in rates of E-6 or below; the same article authorizes decorative buckles such as this one as optional wear items.

Nicknamed “The Budweiser” because of a passing resemblance to the famous Anheuser-Busch logo, the Special Warfare or SEAL insignia was approved in October 1970. At first glance, the symbolism of the various elements seems obvious in light of the Sea-Air-Land designation of the Navy’s Special Warfare units: Trident for naval power, a flintlock pistol and saber for ground combat, an eagle denoting airborne capabilities, and of course the fouled anchor representing the Navy itself.

But several graduates of the Navy’s Special Warfare school recount an explanation of the insignia by Lieutenant Commander Roger Ballantine that goes into a little more detail. While the anchor stands for the Navy, said Ballantine, it “is an old anchor” to remind Special Warfare personnel of the storied tradition of the Naval Combat Demolition Units and Underwater Demolition Teams. The trident represents a SEAL’s connection to the sea, which according to Ballantine “is the [environment] in which SEALs find themselves most comfortable.” Land actions are represented by the pistol, which he noted “is cocked and ready to fire and should serve as a constant reminder” that SEALs should be ready for battle at all times. And while the eagle denotes the capability of SEALs to be inserted swiftly from the air, it also reminds them that they “fly higher than any other force”—but this eagle’s head is “lowered to remind each of us that humility is the true measure of a warrior's strength.”

If you're purchasing the Special Warfare Officer and CPO belt buckle, you might also be interested in adding the Special Warfare Operator breast insignia, collar device (for Warrant Officers), ball cap device, and lapel pin to your shopping cart.

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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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