Presidential Service Badges

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wikicollecting

2015-06-26 10:44:53

The Presidential Service Badge is a badge awarded to military personnel for service to the President of the United States.

Background

In June 1960 the White House Service Badge (WHSB) was created, and awarded to military personnel stationed at the White House or other presidential support locations including Air Force One and Camp David. These badges were worn for the duration of the detachment, and returned upon its completion.

In June 1964 Lyndon B. Johnson created the new Presidential Service Badge (PSB), which replaced the WHSB. Personnel awarded the WHSB when the new PBB was introduced were allowed to keep them rather than returning them.

Presidential Service Badges are currently awarded to:

“any member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty in the White House Office or to military units and support facilities under the administration of the Military Assistant to the President by the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of the Air Force, or, when the Coast Guard is not operating as a service in the Navy, the Secretary of Homeland Security, upon recommendation of the Military Assistant to the President".

Each badge is numbered, and issued alongside a miniature lapel version and a certificate.

Collector’s guide

The most valuable and sought-after badges are the early White House Service Badges issued from 1960 until 1964. They were not permanent awards, and were worn by personnel whilst serving at the White House. Upon completing their assignment they would return the badges, but were issued an official certificate.

These earliest badges feature gold edging and white enamel background, with a satin silver Eagle in the centre. They measure 2 ¼”, with a thickness of 0.164”, and are not numbered on the reverse. Several different manufacturers produced the badge during their four-year span, with many badges not featuring a maker’s mark on the reverse. The earliest badges were made by Balfour, and are stamped with ‘Balfour 1-B’.

The later Presidential Service Badges, issued from June 1964 onwards, feature gold edging and a blue enamel background with 50 gold stars around the edge and a silver Eagle in the centre.

Each of these badges features a unique serial number, which directly relates to the corresponding member of personnel it was awarded to.

The most valuable and sought-after of these badges are the lowest serial-numbered examples – such as those with three and four figures.

How much are Presidential Service badges worth?

White House Service Badges are difficult to find, and rarely appear at auction. Those which do can sell for upwards of $2,000, or more if accompanied by their original certificates. WHSB certificates can sell on their own for around $20 - $50 on auction sites such as eBay.

Presidential Service Badges have become more common in recent years with the advent of online auctions, but good early sets sold along with the matching lapel pin and the award certificate can sell for up to $2,000 depending on the serial number.

Later badges can sell on their own for around $50 - $150, with later certificates usually selling for $10 - $20.

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