Submarine Insignia History

Nelson Institute of Marine Research

Santa Barbara, California

Submarine Insignia Has Distinguished Background

Award Silver Dolphins ONLY to those who have walked in the Enlisted Submariner's shoes.

Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) Breast Pin Awarded

  • An FBM Submarine breast pin is awarded to personnel in the ship's companies of the silent service missile fleet.


  • Successor to the Submarine Combat Patrol Insignia awarded for submarine patrols during World War II, the device is known as the FBM Patrol Pin, although its official designation is SSBN Deterrent Patrol Insignia.


  • The new insignia is considered to be in the same category and will be worn in the same manner as the SCPI. However, only one of the two may be worn by those individuals who qualify for both. The choice is the individual's.


  • Design of the SSBN pin shows a silver LAFAYETTE class submarine with superimposed Polaris missile and electron rings with signify the armament and nuclear powered characteristics of the FBM Deterrent Force. A scroll beneath the submarine will hold stars, one bronze star for each 'successful' patrol after the first or a silver star for five 'successful' patrols. Successful patrols will be so designated by fleet commanders.


  • Awards are being made retroactive to the first FBM patrol of USS George Washington (SSBN 598) which was completed on 21 January 1961. At that time GEORGE WASHINGTON had set a new record for submarine submergence: 66 days, 10 hours. Since then SSBN's have completed more than 2000 patrols.


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