Port Security Badge

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Port Security Pin
Port Security Pin

The Port Security Badge is a military badge of the United States Coast Guard.

The decoration is presented to service members who complete initial port security training in harbor defense operations and who completes service for a period of twenty-four months with a Port Security Unit (PSU) stationed in the United States, or in a six-month deployed status with an overseas PSU. The awardee must also attend one CONUS and one OCONUS exercise or deployment. The CONUS deployment may be waived based on service and an OCONUS deployment.

The pin is earned by only a small number of Coast Guard members (approx. 1%), and is primarily a Coast Guard Reserve decoration. A member not only has to be assigned to one of the eight PSU units in the Coast Guard, but must also deploy overseas with the unit. He or she must also complete a comprehensive task list known as the personnel qualification standard. A few of the topics on the checklist include safety, security, supply, communications, first aid, engineering and electronics support. The PQS has a large focus on Expeditionary skills because PSUs are expected to be deployable anywhere in the world in the matter of hours as a self-sustained unit. PSU-301 stationed in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, PSU-305 stationed in Fort Eustis, Virginia, PSU-308 stationed in Kiln, Mississippi, PSU-307 stationed in St. Petersburg, Florida, PSU-312 stationed in San Francisco, California, PSU-313 “the mighty 313” stationed in Everett, Washington and PSU-311 stationed in San Pedro, California also require that an eligible member pass an oral board examination staffed by senior members of the unit.

The Port Security Badge is issued in two grades, gold for officers and silver for enlisted. The badge itself consists of two seahorses, riding on waves, facing back to back with the Coast Guard shield between them. The seahorses represent mobility and the shield represents Coast Guard authority. The trident extends upward from the Coast Guard shield, symbolizing maritime defense and victory.

The design for the pin was developed in 1991 by Reserve Coast Guardsman Terry D. Jelcick while sitting on his bunk at Batar Camp, Dammam, Saudi Arabia in the evenings after work. Terry is now retired and is a former member of Port Security Unit 312 based in San Francisco California.

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