The 14th of June marks two things, one: Flag Day, and two: the birth of the U.S. Army. It was first when it comes to our military powers, becoming a cohesive organization before the navy and coast guard, and obviously, long before the air force. The original Army was more of a ragtag bunch of patriots though, defending our shifting borders from the British during the American Revolutionary War. And once the war was won, they were promptly divided up based on home state, because the concept of having a national standing army was a concept that actually frightened new Americans, having dealt with the British army’s rule for so many centuries.
But come the 19th century the U.S. Army was a force to be reckoned with, and with this cohesion came equally cohesive rules of law, uniforms and rankings. This was the birth of American military pins; insignia that indicated status and feats of heroism. We’re all familiar with the purple star, and other pieces like Sgt. First Class or Four Star General, but there are so many more unique pieces out there. For example, the Army has its own Veterinary Corps., complete with caduceus and entwined “V” insignia. Military pins are an industry in themselves.
And at 238 years old, there are a LOT of military pins out there. Everything from “Regular Army” to “Army Interpreter”, and everything in between. All of these distinctions mean years of hard work, study and application before the title and the pin are bestowed upon their recipients, and are a mark of pride and honor. And with over 1 million active and reserve members of the Army out there today, that’s a lot of honor, praise and military pins to go around.
So while it’s a little bit late, Happy Birthday, Army!