When you consider military lapel pins, you usually picture the classic pin gleaming with the emblem of a particular branch of the American military.
Whatever you're imagining, chances are good that it's based on real U.S. military procedures. The American military employs hundreds of different sorts of pins, ranging from ceremonial pins to rank pins. Continue reading to find out more about the many kinds of military pins and what they imply if you want to commemorate someone with one.
The pins that show each branch of the American armed forces are arguably the most well-known type. This custom dates back to the Civil War when soldiers were compelled to wear lapel pins with their unit numbers on them. Because there were so many soldiers in certain regiments, the only way they could be identified was by the numbers on their pins.
This evolved through time into a custom that currently emphasizes devotion and commitment to a specific unit or branch. Not just veterans, but even their family members, now wear lapel pins with Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard insignia meanings. Taking the time to consult military members or specialists can help you create and acquire the proper pins to represent your chosen military branch.
Other types of pins are designed to recognize men and women in specific situations. Some examples include Operation Enduring Freedom pins, which were awarded to soldiers participating in the Global War on Terrorism; the Purple Heart pin, which was awarded to soldiers who were wounded or killed after 1917; and prisoner of war (POW) or missing in action (MIA) pins awarded to family members of fallen soldiers. Medal hat pins are often used to commemorate noteworthy events or achievements by groups or individuals throughout US military history.
Some military pins are also extremely symbolic. A promotion in the military—or advancing through the ranks—is accompanied by a pinning ceremony in which family members gather to witness a member of the military get a pin. Pinning ceremonies are a significant way for military men and women from all branches of the United States Armed Forces to be recognized. Famous examples are the highly sought-after Army infantry ranks of major or colonel, as well as the Prop and Wings pin awarded to Air Force cadets. You can even hold a unique pinning ceremony for a veteran in your town, demonstrating your gratitude by paying attention to the details and presenting them with a military pin created just for them.
Of course, if you just want to show your admiration for the sacrifices our troops make every day, a simple American flag design will suffice! An eagle or fireworks would also be appropriate for many joyous occasions and would convey the same idea. However, don't skimp on quality or attention to detail. Give your lapel pin the time and attention it deserves to develop the perfect design to show your support for our military.
Whether you know someone or not, showing pride, being thankful, and honoring those who serve are all vital ways to keep the spotlight on our brave military. Making these pins will honor their sacrifice and remind them of why they served. Honor, remember, and demonstrate your patriotism.
Check out the history of military pins to understand even more about military lapel pins and their meanings.