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Thread: US Army Sword Qualification Badge

  1. #1
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    US Army Sword Qualification Badge

    CIRCA 1922 - 1940, ARMY, EXPERT QUALIFICATION BADGE, WITH SWORD BAR, PINBACK.

    This US Army Expert Qualification Badge is a pin back, hallmarked "STERLING" with a functional rotating catch. Suspended from the qualification badge are four qualification bars:

    SWORD; Hallmarked "T"

    PISTOL-D; Hallmarked "STERLING"

    RIFLE; No Hallmark

    PISTOL-M; Hallmarked "STERLING"

    The "SWORD" bar was used between April 1922 - November 1940.

    The "Swordsman" badge was awarded in its original form from its inception on January 15, 1914, until September 1, 1922.

    In 1922, Change 5 to Army Regulation 600-35, (Specifications for the Uniform), altered the form of the Swordsman Badge from the previously distinct design to that of a suspended bar with the word "SWORD" across its face. The bar was provided with attachments so it could be hung from the basic qualification badge.

    Two grades of swordsman skill were authorized in the 1922 Regulation: Swordsman, and 1st Class Swordsman. The grade distinctions in the awards were indicated by the design of the basic badges, from which the "SWORD" bar was suspended. The Swordsman bar was suspended from a white metal badge of "a cross patee" while the 1st Class Swordsman bar was suspended from a white metal badge of "a cross patee, with the representation of a target placed on the center thereof."

    A third and higher class of swordsman achievement was created when AR 600-35 was republished on December 31, 1926. The new badge was titled "Expert Swordsman". It was also of the badge and suspended-bar design. The Expert Swordsman badge was made of white metal in the form of "a cross patee, with the representation of a target placed on the center thereof and encircled by a wreath." The bar was the same as that for the other two classes of the badge, the word "SWORD" appearing on the face of the piece.

    The designation of the intermediate badge, which had been called "1st Class Swordsman" under the 1922 Regulation Change was altered in the December 31, 1926 republication of AR 600-35. Under the new regulation this award was called "Excellent Swordsman". Its design, however, did remain as prescribed in the earlier regulation.

    Reference to all three Swordsman Badges was dropped from AR 600-35 in the November 10, 1941 publication. It would therefore seem apparent that a large number of the badges with "SWORD" bars should have been issued over the nineteen years issue was authorized. The earlier badge is that of a pin displaying a sword and the word "SWORDSMAN", which was in use only eight years and not nearly on as wide a basis, they would be of comparative rarity among the U.S. Army badges.
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    Last edited by George Wheeler; 06-19-2022 at 08:23 AM.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  2. #2
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    Here is a photograph of the US Army qualification badge in wear by a General Officer of the US Constabulary. This is the longest ladder badge, with the most qualification bars, that I have seen in wear. Clearly this officer was proud of his mastery of his weaponry.

    Also, a couple of shots of the lower grade badges including a wartime expediency lead badge. The lead badge is still within regulation as a white metal badge.
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    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  3. #3
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    I've never seen a lead badge before. Interesting!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the comment Sean. The lead badge seems to be cast rather than die struck. Here is a close view of the lead bars. Also, another interesting edged weapon related "BAYONET" qualification badge with a PX marking on the reverse.

    I too find some of the small details on these qualification badges interesting.
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    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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