The badge was first created in 1949 and was referred to as the "National Military Establishment Identification Badge." In 1950, the badge was renamed as "Department of Defense Identification Badge." On December 20, 1962 the badge was given its current name.
It is issued as a permanent decoration and is to be worn for the remainder of an individual's military career, provided that a service member served at least one year (two years for Reserve personnel not on active duty) in or in support of OSD. Personnel who are awarded the badge include all military personnel, when they are assigned on a permanent basis to any of the following organizational elements: