The Coat of Arms for the Quartermaster Corps was authorized by the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry effective 16 June 1994. A Coat of Arms has always been an object of pride which symbolizes the past deeds of the unit it represents. The coat of arms appears on the breast of a displayed eagle on the regimental flag.
Prior to approval of the Coat of Arms, the Quartermaster regimental flag consisted of the branch insignia centered above a designation scroll on a buff background with blue fringe.
Symbolism of the Quartermaster Coat of Arms
During the Middle Ages symbols were first embroidered on a surcoat worn over knights’ armor, this is where the name “Coat of Arms” came from. This was done so that men could recognize each other as friend or foe on the field of battle. A complete Coat of Arms consists of a shield, a crest and a motto.
The shield is the most important part of the Arms. The charges on the shield depict the most important events in the history of a unit.
The Quartermaster Shield is Buff the primary color traditionally associated with the Quartermaster Corps. The dark Blue chevron represents valor and alludes to the fact that the Quartermaster Corps is the foundation of logistics. The Spartan Helmet and short sword symbolize the Corps’ warrior spirit–warriors supporting warriors. The shock of wheat superimposed over the spray of arrows represents the diversity of vital supplies that the Quartermaster Corps provides. The arrows symbolize the defensive mission of the Corps. The wheat symbolizes the life-giving sustenance the Corps provides all soldiers. The key and quill represent the Quartermaster’s control of the military supplies and attests to the sound business practices and professionalism of the Corps.
Displayed above the shield, the crest was originally placed on top of the helmets of chieftains so that their followers might readily distinguish them in battle. The crest is always placed upon a wreath of six skeins or twists consisting of the principal medal and color of the shield. The Quartermaster wreath is gold and buff. This wreath represents the piece of cloth which the knight twisted around the top of his helmet to attach the crest.
The crest in this Coat of Arms is the traditional Quartermaster Corps branch insignia with the eagle in a slightly different configuration known historically as the “Regimental Eagle.” It is identical to the Quartermaster Corps Regimental insignia that each Quartermaster Soldier wears on his or her dress uniform. The eagle symbolizes our nation; the wagon wheel is symbolic of transportation and delivery of supplies. The stars and spokes of the wheel symbolize the original colonies. The sword, indicative of the military forces, and the key, alluding to storekeeping functions, symbolize the control of the military supplies by the Quartermaster Corps. The wreath signifies honor and achievement.
Mottoes are more ancient than coats of arms, many originating as war cries. The Quartermaster Corps’ official motto, adopted in 1994 is “Supporting Victory”.