Engineer Insignias
and Traditions

Last updated:
Tuesday, August 10, 2004 9:13 AM
5th Infantry Division
The 7th Engineer Battalion has always been assigned to 5th Infantry Division as the organic Division Engineer Unit with one exception: both the Division and the 7th Engineers were inactivated in 1921, but A Company, 7th Engineers remained on active duty at Ft. Benning, GA until 1933.

The original division insignia was a red diamond, six inches vertical by four inches horizontal (across the points), with a two inch high white "5" in the center. All equipment had the diamond painted on for shipment to France, but the "5" was then removed. It is not clear if the if personnel wore a patch on their uniforms: the diamond does not appear in photos until mid 1918. From WW II on, all personnel assigned wore the "Red Diamond" patch on their left sleeve. Those who were in combat with the Division are authorized to wear the patch on the right sleeve.

The Regimental crest has the Division motto "We Will", but the origins of the motto are unknown. The crest is worn on the epaulette of the Dress green uniform by those individuals assigned to "Divisional" positions, as opposed to those assigned to subordinate units (who wear their own Battalion or regimental crests).
The Divisional Insignia is a Red Diamond, with horizontal axis 2/3 that of the vertical axis. The first diamond had a white numeral 5 centered on it, but that was removed shortly after the division arrived in France in 1918. It is not clear when the Diamond was first worn on the left sleeve. It does not show in photos until late 1918.

The size was reduced to approximately 2 inches vertical and 1-1/3 horizontal at the Divisions reactivation in 1939.

About 1968, subdued color insignia was authorized for wear on fatigue uniforms and the black diamond was adopted.

The Division Crest: the Division's motto "We Will" is inscribed below the Red Diamond. The blue swirls signify....

The origins of the motto are not known.


7th Engineer Battalion Crest

SHIELD Sable, an anchor debruised by two oars saltirewise between in fess two increscents all argent; on a chief of the last embattled a cross gules.

CREST: On a wreath of the colors (argent and sable) a fusil gules on a bridge bent argent.
Black and white were the old colors of the Engineer Corps. The anchor and oars device and the crescents are from the arms of the lst Engineers and recall the source of the cadre from which the battalion was organized in 1917. The battalion served in France during World War I with the 5th Division. The crossing of the Meuse River near Dun is indicated by the device in the chief which is not only a cross but the device of the Lords of Dun as well. The crest also symbolizes the service in France. During the difficult period between 2 and 6 November 1918 the battalion was called upon to prove itself on seven different occasions. The motto "Seven Times Tested by Fire" is a recollection of this.

The "Essayons Button" is unique in Army history and tradition. It is required wear for all engineer officers and is optional for enlisted men (and women) on the dress uniform. The button was first autorized in 1814 when each branch wore a distinctive button and the design has not changed since then. It is the only distinctive button authorized by the Army, those assigned to other branches all must wear the button with the Eagle Device of the United States.