Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
United States Aviator Badge
A United States Aviator Badge refers to three types of aviation badges issued by the United States military, those being for Army, Air Force, and Naval aviation. The first United States Aviator Badges were issued to members of the Army Air Corps during the First World War. The badges were issued in three degrees, being that of enlisted, junior officer, and senior officer. The Army Air Corps also issued a badge for balloon pilots, known as the Aeronaut Badge.
During the Second World War, with the rise of the Army Air Force, a second series of aviator badges were issued to include a design that has survived to the modern day. The Army Air Corps Pilot Badge was issued in three degrees: Pilot, Senior Pilot, and Command Pilot and this badge was the predecessor for the modern United States Air Force Pilot Badge. The Enlisted Aviator Badge was eliminated, since the new pilot corps was comprised entirely of officers.
After the creation of the Air Force as a separate service, U.S. Army aviation continued to a large enough degree which warranted a new badge intended for Army Aviators. The result was the creation of the Army Aviator Badge which is a modified version of the U.S. Air Force Pilot Badge.
The aviator badge currently used in the United States Navy has remained unchanged since it was first issued on 13 November 1917. The Naval Aviator Badge is earned by all U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Marine Corps pilots upon graduation from advanced flight schooling.
In the modern military, Army and Air Force Aviator Badges are issued in the degrees of Basic, Senior, and Master. The degrees are denoted by a star and wreath above the badge. The Naval Aviator Badge is issued in a single degree.
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