Title: Navy Marksmanship Qualification Badge of Carl T. Osburn
Accession #: NHHC 2000-158-10
Circa: Early Twentieth Century
Location: Headquarters Artifact Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command
Navy sharpshooter badges awarded to Carl T. Osburn. The badge is comprised of fifteen metal bars. The top bar has a pin back and is embossed “Sharpshooter.” Suspended from this bar are three bars bearing qualification years in the following order from top to bottom:
1907 / 1906 / 1908
1910 / 1909 / 1911
____ / 1914 / ____
Below the qualification year bars are individual marksmanship badges for each year. From top to bottom they are: (obverse / reverse)
19 Expert Pistol Shot 14 / Lieut. (JG) C.T. Osburn U.S. Navy
19 Expert Pistol Shot 13 / Lieut. (JG) C.T. Osburn U.S. Navy
Expert Pistol Shot / C.T. Osburn Ensign, U.S.N.
19 Expert Pistol Shot 13 / Lieut. (J.G.) C.T. Osburn U.S. Navy
19 Expert 07 / C.T. Osburn Midshipman, U.S.N.
19 Expert 08 / C.T. Osburn Midshipman, U.S.N.
19 Expert 09 / C.T. Osburn Midshipman, U.S.N.
19 Expert 10 / C.T. Osburn Midshipman, U.S.N.
19 Expert 11 / C.T. Osburn Ensign, U.S.N.
19 Expert 13 / C.T. Lieut. (J.G.) C.T. Osburn U.S. Navy
19 Expert 14 / C.T. Lieut. (J.G.) C.T. Osburn U.S. Navy
The obverse is embossed with the qualification. The year is etched into the metal on either side of the qualification. The reverse is engraved with the name and rank of Osburn.
Below the last bar is a bronze pendant comprised of a circular disc superimposed on a larger disc. The smaller disc contains the emblem of the US Navy, comprised of an eagle with outstretched wings, sitting atop an anchor. Ray bursts span the distance between the tips of the outstretched wings. Below the small disc, the large disc is embossed with a target superimposed over two crossed rifles. “United States Navy” appears along the lower rim of the large disc.
As a Midshipman, Osburn received an Expert in rifle marksmanship in 1907, 1908, 1909, and 1910. He earned an Expert in rifle in 1911 and an Expert in pistol shot. As a Lieutenant (Junior Grade), he received an Expert qualification in both pistol shot and rifle in 1913 and 1914. Expert is the highest qualification level.
This style of sharpshooter badge was the precursor to the marksmanship medal awarded today by the US Navy. The two pendants are nearly identical. The current medal does not have the crossed rifles. The qualifying weapon, Expert Rifleman or Expert Pistol Shot, has also been added above the target. Modern Navy marksmanship awards are suspended from ribbons.
Marksmanship medals are awarded for proficiency in service rifle and/or service pistol. While the US Marine Corps adopted the US Army’s marksmanship badges, the US Navy developed their own version. From 1910 until 1920 the Navy awarded the Navy Sharpshooter’s Badge to individuals who qualified. The ribbon device replaced the marksmanship badge beginning in 1920.