The British Army has traditionally used plain metal cap badges, originally in brass or white metal and later in staybrite anodised aluminium and the use of coloured enamel has not been adopted by the British military. This is not necessarily the case with other nation in the Commonwealth and today we are looking at a Canadian cap badge for the Royal Canadian Logistics Service:
When the Canadian Armed forces were merged together, the Candian Logistics Service was formed form the logistical personnel in the Army, RCN and RCAF. A new badge was needed for the service and the following account of its design by Captain Pierre Beauchamp is informative:
The Logistics Branch badge was concieved following the unification of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in February of 1968. By November of that same year, badge design studies were underway between the DEVIL program manager (the CF accounting system at that time) and the two major entities which would share the new badge design: the Canadian Forces Supply System and the Canadian Forces Logistics System. The requirement was for a new badge which would contain three elements:
1. A bilingual branch title;
2. A reference to the three former services which would make up the new [Logistics] system; and
3. Have a distinctive Canadian reference.
However, by February 1969, the exact future composition of a new Logistics Branch was still undetermined and it was suggested that the creation of the Branch badge should be put on hold. On 6 May 1969, five badge design proposals were submitted by the Logistics Branch Working Group to the Director of Ceremonial (DHH predecessor).
It would be August 1972 before a design was finally approved The official heraldic description was:
Description: Within a wreath of maple leaves Or a torteau charged in centre with two interlaced chain links in saltire Or, and edged with a riband azure which is itself edged and inscribed with the words SERVITIUM NULLI SECUNDUS, both Or. Below upon a scroll, the title in English and French sable. The whole ensigned by the Royal Crown proper.
Significance: The two interlaced chain links denote the strength in the support provided to the operational element of the Canadian Forces by the united Logistics discipline.
Motto: “SERVITIUM NULLI SECUNDUS” (Service Second to None).
To return to our example, it is also worth looking at the slider on the rear which is of rather different design to that normally seen on British badges- the slider is made of thinner, but more flexible metal and has a circular tip to it:
Here a member of the Canadian Logistics Service can be seen wearing the badge as part of his dress uniform:
Known to the rest of us as the ‘crossed paperclips’ 😉
The rounded end on a cap badge clip helps stop it from working it’s way through a beret, where it just slots into a slit in the fabric and can, if cut too low, be long enough to poke through eventually. Different cap badges are different sizes so the cut in the beret is made depending on where that particular one sits and although there’s a reinforced backing in front of the beret to stiffen it a little and prevent sagging, nobody thought to do the bottom of the channel for the clip. We wear our berets a bit differently than most of the UK units.
This wasn’t much of a concern after switching to the embroidered badges that were sewn on but a lot of people still wear the metal ones because they look better.
The rounded end also makes it easier to slip into the metal channel on the back of a forage cap band and help stop the edge of the badge digging into the visor although again, some badges are considerably larger or smaller than others and sit differently so the rounded end can be broken off easily if necessary to shorten the clip for a better fit and help centre it on the band.