National Geographic : 1917 Oct
INSIGNIA OF UNIFORMED FORCES OF UNITED STATES 413 ing placed at half-mast the flag must al ways be raised to the top of the staff, and before it is lowered from half-mast it must likewise be hoisted to the top. WHEN A FLEET FARES FORTH TO BATTLE At the command "Clear the ship for ac tion," the battle ensigns are mastheaded and final preparations are made for bat tle, and under no circumstances is an ac tion to be commenced or a battle fought without the display of the national en sign. When an enemy's ship strikes her colors in battle, the commanding officer of the man-of-war to whom she struck is retired to continue the action with other ships of the enemy, but takes pos session of the surrendered ship as soon as possible. Striking the flag is an indication of surrender. The articles for the govern ment of the Navy of the United States require the punishment by death, or such other penalties as a court-martial may adjudge, of any person in the naval serv ice who strikes, or attempts to strike, the flag to an enemy or rebel without proper authority, or when engaged in battle treacherously yields or pusillanimously cries for quarter. THE INSIGNIA OF THE UNIFORMED FORCES OF THE UNI Presented in the six succeeding pages are the insignia of the various branches of the United States Army and Navy and of the organizations cooperating with them. By means of these il lustrations one may identify the rank and arm of the service of the wearer of practically any American uniform seen during the period of the war-information which is of especial value at this time, when the young men of America are flocking to the colors and donning the uni form of our country to help in the titanic strug gle to make the "World Safe for Democracy." By direction of the Secretaries of War and Navy, officers and men wear only the service uniform for the duration of the war, dispensing with the handsome dress uniforms which give color to elaborate peace-time social functions in all the capitals of the world. Brass buttons have generally been discarded, and in their place in the Army and Marine Corps the more subdued color of bronze is in keeping with the somber olive drab of the field uniforms, reduc ing the visibility of the forces to a minimum. In the comparatively short time we have been at war several important changes have been made and new branches and officers created. Generals Pershing and Bliss have been raised to the rank of full general-a grade vacant since the Civil War; and while no Admiral of the Navy has been appointed to succeed the late Admiral Dewey, Admirals Benson, Mayo, Caperton, and Knight have been made full ad mirals, and Admirals Sims and Coffman Vice Admirals-grades recently revived by act of Congress in order that our officers may rank with the men of the Allied Forces with whom they are cooperating. The U. S., Marine Corps, "the soldiers of the sea," operate, as usual, under the general direc tion of the Secretary of the Navy. The pri vates of this fighting force wear caps as a part of their field uniform while on board ship. On land they follow the style set by the army and wear the field service hat, with the difference, however, that they wear no colored cord, but STATES have their metal corps device fastened to the crown. At the front they, as well as the men of the army, are wearing the shrapnel helmet. During times of peace the U. S . Coast Guard, acting under the Treasury Department, polices the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards, and its cut ters are the foes of smugglers and other law breakers. It also performs life-saving service on these shores, enforces the sealing laws in northern waters, and patrols the sea lanes of commerce for icebergs and derelicts. In time of war the Coast Guard automatically becomes a branch of the navy. The U. S. Public Health Service is an es pecially important organization in war times, and its men in uniform are performing a valu able service in safeguarding the health of sol diers at home by creating the best sanitary con ditions in the territory surrounding the great encampments. Many patriotic societies are cooperating with the military forces to lessen the soldier's hard ships, and chief among these is the American Red Cross, which is facing an enormous task in caring for the sick and wounded, besides fur nishing numerous comforts for the men in the field. This great organization is vastly in creased in personnel, and a field uniform, with appropriate insignia, has been recently adopted for its officials abroad, the essentials of which are shown on page 419. With the forces in the field, both in this country and abroad, are hundreds of men who are dispensing the hospitality of the Y. M. C . A. and the Knights of Columbus, and are looking out for the welfare of the soldiers in every manner their ingenuity can devise. These men are distinguished by insignia worn on semi military uniforms (see page 419). NoTE.-The Italian airplane insignia, painted on wings of machines, are like the French, No. 240, on page 319, except that the centers are green.