A badge is a device, patch, or accoutrement which is presented or displayed to annotate some feat of service, a special accomplishment, as a symbol of authority (ex: police), or as a simple means of identification. They are also used in advertising and publicity. Badges have become highly collectable in UK, for example, the Badge Collectors’ Circle has been going since 1980. Even today, pin button badges are extremely popular.
In the military, badges are often used to denote qualifications received through military training. Similarly, scouting organizations use them to show group membership and rank.
Military badges of the United States are devices of personal recognition that are granted to service members of the United States armed forces to denote personal accomplishment, qualifications, and participation in designated military campaigns or other activities. Personal recognition is granted to service members by a number of awards and decorations. Together with military decorations, such badges are displayed outwardly on military uniforms. Each of the five military services maintains a separate series of badges which may be awarded to service members. Various regulations exist on how badges are displayed, how many may be worn at one time, and whether or not such badges may be worn on the uniform of more than one branch of service.