Military metal art

Navy Submarine dolphins wall art

Navy Submarine Dolphins Wall Art

What is the History and Significance of Navy Submarine Warfare Pin?

The Navy Submarine Warfare Pin  is one of the Navy’s three primary enlisted warfare pins, along with the Surface Warfare Badge and the Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist badge.

The Navy Submarine Warfare insignia, also known as the “Submarine Dolphins” pin, is a badge of honor for US Navy officers and sailors that have been qualified in submarines. It signifies that a prospective commanding officer has been trained to operate a submarine.

This article will explore the history of how the insignia came to be, discuss its significance, and explain the process by which enlisted sailors are tested for qualification. Additionally, we’ll cover some unique uses for the insignia today, including turning it into precision metal wall art for Navy Veterans.

The History of Navy Submarine Warfare Pin

The Navy Submarine Warfare Pin was first discussed in June of 1923, when Captain E.J. King, Commander of Submarine Division Three, suggested to the Secretary of the Navy (Bureau of Navigation) that a specific device be adopted for qualified submariners.

He then submitted a pen-and-ink drawing of his own, depicting a shield fastened to the beam ends of a submarine, with dolphins forward and behind the conning tower. Over the following months, the Bureau of Navigation sought additional ideas from various sources. A few depicted submarines and dolphins together, and others featured a shield design, while still others utilized a submarine as part of their motif.

The Bureau of Navigation approached a Philadelphia firm, Bailey, Banks, and Biddle that had previously worked for the Navy in the area of Naval Academy class rings to create a distinctive badge.

The firm submitted two designs, which were combined into a single design. This was sculpted in clay in bas-relief. It depicted a submarine at sea, with bow planes rigged for diving and dolphins positioned horizontally, their heads resting on the upper edge of the bow planes. A similar design is still used today: a dolphin flanking the bow and conning tower of a submarine while submerged.

In March of 1924, the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation urged that the design be adopted. Theodore Roosevelt Jr., Acting Secretary of the Navy, agreed with the suggestion.

Some other significant moments for the Navy Submarine Warfare Pin include:

  • 1941: Uniform regulations were changed so that a service member may wear the sub emblem throughout his career, as long as it has been authorized.
  • 1943: Enlisted men who are qualified and promoted to commissioned or warrant ranks are allowed to wear the “enlisted” insignia on the left breast until they qualify as submarine officers. At this time, this insignia would be replaced by the officers’ submarine pin,” according to changes in the Uniform Regulations.
  • Mid-1947: The embroidered insignia moved from the service member’s sleeve to the left breast pocket.
  • 1950: The embroidered insignia for commissioned officers (in addition to the pin-on device) and a bronze or silver plated pin-on insignia for enlisted service members (in addition to the embroidered emblem) were authorized.
  • 2012: The three first female officers were issued their submariner’s dolphins, making history as the first women to do so.

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US Navy Submarine dolphins metal wall art

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The Significance and Process of Receiving the Submarine Warfare Pin

A prospective submarine sailor would first go through a few days of indoctrination. They are given a Qualification Card, a qualification deadline, and a Sea Dad (also known as a “command sponsor”). The Sea Dad monitors the non-qual’s progress throughout the qualification process and their adaptation to life aboard the vessel

The qualifications process aboard the boat uses:

  • Publications
  • Training videos, and
  • Hands-on training with qualified personnel,

Non-qual’s must show they are worth it through qualification. They must learn all of the main ship’s systems and components, how to draw them, how to demonstrate that they function, and how to combat any potential casualty from fire, water, or poison in the air on every vessel level during this time.

The main focus is on the operation of:

  • Damage control
  • Atmosphere control
  • Weapons
  • Mechanical
  • Hydraulic
  • Pneumatic
  • Electrical, and
  • Electronic systems on that particular submarine.

This is done so that when the boat goes under, every crew member can be relied on to know what to do in an emergency. If the “non-qual” fulfills this responsibility, he will become qualified, receive the Navy’s submarine warfare pin, and join the crew as a complete member.

To become eligible to wear “dolphins,” prospective submariners must complete a lengthy qualification procedure that lasts around one year and covers all of the submarine’s systems. Much of this depends on the boat you are working on, as different submarines have different classes of emergency systems that need to be learned. Also, the more time they spend at sea, the faster a sailor will become qualified.

After the qualification courses, the prospective sailor would go through the “Qual Board.” During the board, the sailor may be asked to sketch and describe any of the systems that he has studied throughout the qualification process. The examinee is then dismissed and evaluated by the board’s members. If the check results are positive, they will be sent to the commandant of the submarine for consideration as a potential submariner.

What Is the Significance of the Navy Submarine Warfare Pin Turned Into Metal Art?

The Navy submarine warfare pin is not just an insignia but a significant milestone of dedication and perseverance for any individual who has joined the US Navy Submarine force. It is so common to become emotional or teary-eyed when seeing this insignia because of its meaning.  It is an insignia that has been worn by officers and enlisted alike who have proudly served the US Navy Submarine force.

Seeing the insignia brings back memories of days spent onboard a submarine for Navy Veterans. Various veteran-owned businesses are creating gifts for fellow veterans by turning the insignia into metal art. This includes the submarine dolphin’s insignia turned into pins, metal decals, and more.

The significance of recreating this pin, especially as a gift for a Navy Veteran, is that it is a reminder of the significant time spent in service there.

here are some sample of personalized military products. Some unique creations using the insignia.



US Navy Metal Wall Art

Large metal works of art such as metal wall hangings and plaques. This is a very fitting gift for not only Navy Veterans who served on submarines but also those who served in the past and will continue to serve in the future. It would make a great addition to any home or office. US Navy metal wall art is a great gift for any officer or veteran.

Custom metal art serves not only as decoration but also as a tribute and remembrance to the veteran’s service and sacrifices. It is a great way to display pride in your country while creating an artistic focal point in any room of your home or office.

Large metal art pieces such as metal wall hangings can serve as beautiful decor pieces, while also commemorating veterans who have served our great nation. Metal wall art and custom metal accessories tend to be very popular among military veterans and family members of veterans.

Military Metal Art

There are a number of different types of metal accessories that can also be made into pieces that honor Navy Submarine crew members. There are a number of different types of metal accessories that can also be made into pieces that honor Navy Submarine crew members. The Submarine Dolphins pin is available in multiple colors, including:

  • Black on silver
  • Silver on black
  • Blue on silver
  • Gold on gold
  • Gold on blue
  • Silver on red
  • White and blue, and
  • Silver to gold.

The pin is available in multiple sizes: Small (7×24), Medium (9×36), Large(13×48)


The Submarine Warfare insignia is a badge of honor for US Navy officers and sailors qualified in submarines. These badges are earned by completing rigorous training, which requires dedication to oneself as well as to others.

Recreating the Submarine Warfare Pin as a gift is something that offers a piece of history and captures a veteran’s specific time spent serving our great country. If you are looking for a way to remember your time spent in the service or as a special gift for someone who did, consider having one of these pins turned into metal art!

Metal art hub is a precision metal art fabricator located in El Paso Texas, and retailer of metal home decor and military metal art. They create custom metal art for installation in homes, offices, and businesses, including:

  • Wall art
  • Custom gifts
  • Gates
  • Grills
  • Signs and more

They are available for your design, collaboration or to help you create the perfect custom metal wall decor or sign. Test Depth Customs on Instagram is veteran-owned, specializing in military metal art, including creating the submarine dolphins out of metal. They customize military and first responder items and personalize them for free.


  • Navy.Mil: Submarine Warfare Insignia
  • History. Navy.Mil: Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King
  • SNAC: Bailey, Banks, and Biddle Company
  • Archives.Gov: Records of the Bureau of Navigation
  • Submarine Sailor: Qualifying the Boat
  • US Naval Institute: Qual Boards
  • Metal Art Hub: Precision Metal Art Sculpture for Wall (Example of Metal Art Vendor)

Keywords: US navy metal wall art, military metal art, precision metal art, veteran-owned business, metal sculpture for wall, submarine dolphins.