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What do the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard all have in common? They are all branches of the U.S. Military, but did you know that they all wear pins on their lapels to represent their rank within their unit/branch? In this article we are going to provide you with more information on lapel pins, as well as a bit about the different branches of the U.S. Military.

When someone wears a lapel pin, it is typically to support a company, brand, organization or cause. Officers in the U.S. Military, on the other hand, will wear a lapel pin to represent a rank or unit. During the Civil War, the military had soldiers wear a brass pin with their unit number on it. This was a way for everyone to tell the different units apart. It was also used to try and build loyalty among the members of each unit.

By the time World War I came around, the lapel pin process had changed. Instead of having everyone wear one, they were given out to individuals for exemplary service in the field of battle. Lapel pins have now become status symbols in the U.S. Military, each telling a different story about the person who possesses them.

Right now the Medal of Honor is the highest military honor, and it is awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. The Medal of Honor is presented by the President of the United States in a ceremony at the White House as a way to show the utmost gratitude from the American people. March 25th is "National Medal of Honor Day". There are three versions of the Medal of Honor, one for each military department: Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, and Department of the Air Force. Members of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard are eligible to receive the Navy version.

Below is some information for each of the branches of the military:



  • Oldest branch of the US military.
  • The Army was established in 1775 by the Continental Congress as a unified army for the colonies to fight Great Britain.
  • The Army is considered the ground military of the U.S. military.
  • Currently has over 546,000 personnel on active duty.



  • The Navy was established in 1775 when the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution creating the Continental Navy.
  • They are considered the defender of the seas.
  • The motto of the U.S. Navy is "Honor, Courage, Commitment".
  • Currently has over 323,000 personnel on active duty.


Air Force:

  • The Air Force was established in 1947, and is the most recent branch of the U.S. military.
  • Their main purpose is to support the security of the U.S. through air and space.
  • Currently has over 332,000 personnel on active duty.



  • The Marines is the second smallest branch of the U.S. Military.
  • They do not have their own medical corp. You will not see jobs for medics, nurses and other medical personnel.
  • Currently has over 195,000 personnel on active duty.


Coast Guard:

  • They are the smallest branch and the most forgotten of the five.
  • Originally established in 1790.
  • Currently has over 42,000 personnel on active duty with over 1,800 boats available.


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