Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Office
Marine Corps Logo
Counsel for the Commandant
Headquarters Marine Corps


The USMC Trademark Licensing Office, in ongoing and continuous operations, registers trademarks, licenses commercial companies, conducts enforcement and educates trademark users worldwide to protect and enhance the Marine Corps brand in the commercial marketplace.


The USMC Trademark Licensing Program exists to regulate the usage of Marine Corps trademarks such as the Eagle, Globe and Anchor worldwide.  This website is the official online source of information for members of the public and Department of Defense seeking information about Marine Corps Trademarks.

This website contains valuable information regarding the internal and external use of Marine Corps owned trademarks. Whether you are an active duty or Reserve Marine, retiree, veteran, business owner or proud Marine Corps patron, this website is designed to provide you with important information. We've created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page that answers many questions about permissions, and appropriate use of USMC trademarks. Please take some time to read through these questions. If our FAQ does not provide you with the information you need, feel free to contact us.

Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Office
Headquarters United States Marine Corps
925 Corporate Drive, Ste 208
Stafford Virginia, 22554

Main Line: 703-784-6887

To report suspected infringement, please e-mail

Part of the proud history of the United States Marines Corps is its heraldry and uniforms.  The insignia, emblems, and uniform of the U.S. Marines are some of the most recognizable images in the country.  The following essay provides a general overview of the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor and the various forms it has taken over the last two hundred years.  The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor—the most distinct of all Marine Corps marks—has a long and storied heritage as the emblem for the Marine Corps.  It is the basis for the flag, the seal, the branch-of-service insignia, and many of the logos. 

Marine Corps Branch of Service Insignia

Distinct from the Marine Corps Emblem is the Marine Corps branch of service insignia.  The branch of service insignia is based on the Marine Corps Emblem, but it does not include the “SEMPER FIDELIS” scroll in the eagle’s beak—an eagle on top of a globe showing the Western Hemisphere, in front of a fouled anchor.  There are two types of Marine Corps branch of service insignia: the officer’s insignia and the enlisted insignia.  The officer’s insignia is made of gold- and silver-colored metal for dress insignia and is non-glossy black for service insignia—with the proportions of the insignia elements dependent on the size of the globe, which is determined by whether or not it is used on the collar, dress cap, or service cap.  The enlisted insignia is made of gold-colored metal for dress and is non-glossy black for service insignia. 

Current Officer Service Insignia Current Enlisted Service Insignia


Eagle-eyed observers will also note that the officer and enlisted insignia have different levels of geographic detail.  For example, enlisted insignia include the island of Cuba, while the officer insignia does not.  While there are many stories for why this is so—ranging from the composition of forces during the Spanish-American War to the Bay of Pigs—practical concerns generally dictated this difference.  Whereas the enlisted insignia is stamped from a single piece of metal, the officer insignia is composed of several pieces of metal and mounting a separate piece to show Cuba was found to be too difficult or not aesthetically pleasing.   There has also been a long tradition of differentiation between officer and enlisted insignia in the United States Marine Corps.  It was standard practice for individual officers to purchase their own insignia, with it not being uncommon for fine jewelers (ex. Bailey, Banks & Biddle) to manufacture insignia for United States Marines.  Regulations dating back into the early 20th and 19th centuries also left much—including the exact design, shape, and standards of the hemisphere’s geography—to the stylistic interpretation of the individual manufacturers or jewelers hired.  With insignia coming from numerous sources, this created a wide variety in the level of detail used and a distinct lack of uniformity.  Furthermore, enlisted emblems had standard samples that were available from Marine headquarters to aid manufacturers.  It was not until after the adoption of the current official seal and emblem in the 1950s that these differences and variations were codified into their now-standard forms.

Marine Corps Seal

The Marine Corps Seal consists of a bronze Marine Corps Emblem, displayed on a scarlet background.  The scarlet background is encircled by a navy blue band, inscribed with “Department of the Navy, United States Marine Corps” in gold letters, and edged in a gold rope rim.

The Marine Corps Seal was based on a revised version of the Marine Corps Emblem, which substituted an American bald eagle for the previously-used crested eagle.  On June 22, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order that approved the use of the design, which had been requested by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr.

Unlike the Marine Corps Emblem (the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor), the Marine Corps Seal is reserved FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY.


Marine Corps Emblem – The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor

In its over 200 years of existence, the Marine Corps has used several different emblems and official insignia, yet no design has had greater staying power than the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor (EGA).  Eagles and anchors have been used in Marine Corps insignia since the turn of the nineteenth century. 


For example, in 1804, the buttons of Marine uniforms displayed a fouled anchor with an eagle perched atop it and surrounded by thirteen six-pointed stars.  At a later point, the stars were changed to the current five-pointed version, though the original form can still be seen in the logo of numerous organizations, including the Marine Corps History Division.

USMC Uniform Button, c. 1806-1850s 
Photo Courtesy of the National Museum of the Marine Corps
This device, an eagle and fouled anchor with thirteen stars, represents the oldest military insignia in continuous use in the United States. 



Another milestone in the development of Marine Corps insignia worth noting is the enlisted Marine cap insignia for the early nineteenth century, particularly the period encompassing the War of 1812.   This device, which would have been made of brass and displayed on the front of a black shako cap, was similar to devices used by the Army during this period.

Image of “Cap Plate, Enlisted 1804-1812 (Reproduction)”
Photo courtesy of the National Museum of the Marine Corps


The Marine Corps version featured an eagle grasping a ribbon in its beak, with the word “FORTITUDINE” (meaning “with courage”) emblazoned on the ribbon.  An eagle with outstretched wings was perched on a fouled anchor, surrounded by various implements of war: flags, drums, a mortar, cannon balls, and cannon.  At the bottom of the emblem, one found the word “MARINES”.

1850s – 1890s

A variety of emblems would be used in the early nineteenth century: laurels and wreaths emblazoned with the letters “U.S.M.”, along with other styles of eagles, anchors, and wreaths.  By the time of the United States Civil War (1861-1865), the Marine Corps insignia had evolved into a light infantry horn and a letter “M” inside of the horn ring.  In formal settings, the horn was placed on a field of stars and stripes and surrounded by laurel.   

Officer’s Full-Dress Cap Ornament, 1859-1876[?]) USMC Full Dress Insignia, c. 1860s.
Photo courtesy of the National Museum of the Marine Corps


After the U.S. Civil War, it was decided by the 7th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Brigadier General Jacob Zeilin (1806-1880), that the Marines needed a more distinctive—more unique—insignia than the horn and “M”.  The horn and “M” was similar to the insignia used by other organizations, such as units of the U.S. Army.  With this new design, Commandant Zeilin drew upon the history of the Marine Corps and the influential legacy of the British Royal Marines: “…a Corps of over two hundred years eminently distinguished for its service on land as well as for its legitimate duty with the Navy.” (Decorations and Medals, 11) The emblem created included: a crested eagle, a view of the Western hemisphere, and a fouled anchor.  Drawing on the tradition of the British Royal Marines and the United States Marine Corps of serving on land and sea (“Per Mare, Per Terram”), the emblem is rich in symbolism.  The eagle and the globe represented the global reach and projection of the power represented by the Marine Corps.  The fouled anchor displayed the naval tradition of the Marine Corps and the ships on which it served.

Enlisted undress cap ornament 1876-1892
Enlisted fatigue cap ornament, 1876-1881
as illustrated in the 1875 Uniform Regulations
Enlisted black helmet Corps device, 1892-1904. 
Type (1) consisting of a slightly different pattern from Type (2)
and containing on the back of the device a screw post fitted
with a milled nut for securing it to the helmet.
USMC Black Helmet Enlisted Insignia, c. 1892-1904
Photo courtesy of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
USMC Eagle, Globe, and Anchor Epaulette, c. 1868.
Photo courtesy of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.


Though this design bears resemblance to the modern EGA, there are several differences worth noting.  First, the eagle was a crested eagle, which is not specific to the United States, rather than the American bald eagle.  Until the 1920s and 1930s, there was also wide variation in the exact shape of the eagle and the angle of its wings.  The globe showed the Western hemisphere, but over the years there was wide variation in the shape and detail shown of the continents.  The fouled anchor line was also not always uniform—with some examples wrapped several times around each fluke and others wrapped once around the shank and crown.  While the Marine Corps changed many of the details for the EGA in the twentieth century, 1868 saw the first official adoption of the EGA as the Marine Corps emblem: being used as a cap ornament.  However, to give units time to procure new insignia and emblems from manufacturers, its use was delayed until after July 1869.  The horn and “M” was also still used for officer’s epaulettes until November 1869.  In May 1875, new Uniform Regulations were issued (to be effective 1 July 1876) and codified the use of the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor as “the sole emblem of the United States Marine Corps.”


On May 28, 1925, a new, standard version of the EGA was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps Major General John A. Lejeune and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore D. Robinson.  This version, designed by Staff Sergeant Joseph H. Burnett,  featured: a side-looking eagle grasping the middle of a “SEMPER FIDELIS” banner on top of a globe, featuring the detailed view of the Western hemisphere with curved lines of latitude and longitude. 

[Illustration of 1925 EGA, from EGA] USMC Eagle, Globe, and Anchor Collar Insignia, “Droop Wing”, c. 1920s.  Photo courtesy of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.


1954 – 1955 

These years saw the final major changes to the Marine Corps emblem from its earlier forms to its current form.  On June 22, 1954, Executive Order 10538 (“Establishing a Seal for the United States Marine Corps”) was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  This order established the current Marine Corps seal, which features: the Marine Corps emblem on a scarlet background, encircled by a navy blue band, inscribed with “Department of the Navy, United States Marine Corps” in gold letters, and edged in a gold rope rim. 

The Current Emblem of the United States Marine Corps


The Marine Corps adopted the current Eagle, Globe, and Anchor (EGA) as its emblem concurrently with the Marine Corps seal.  In contrast with earlier versions, it featured an American bald eagle, with the eagle’s beak grasping the beginning (rather than the middle) of the “SEMPER FIDELIS” banner. 

Marine Corps Official Recruiting Version of the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor.


To this day, the EGA is one of the most widely-recognized symbols in the world, having been used in one form or another over a century.  While the details of its form have changed, the major elements—eagle, globe, and anchor—have not, making the EGA a “symbol of the remarkable esprit of the U.S. Marine Corps.”  The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor “has survived…with honor and acclaim and consequently it has been chosen as the basis for the emblem of amphibious forces of nations throughout the free world.”  Semper Fidelis!

For more information on the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, Marine Corps lore, and the history of Marine Corps insignia, see the following:

J. Duncan Campbell and Edgar M. Howell, American Military Insignia 1800-1851 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1963).  Available as e-book from

Col. John A. Driscoll, USMCR, The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor 1868-1968 (Washington, DC: History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, 1977)

Naval History & Heritage Command, “Navy Traditions and Customs: Nautical Terms and Phrases – Their Meaning and Origin” Accessed on 7/23/2014

Maj. Edwin North McClellan, USMC, Uniforms of the American Marines: 1775 to 1829 (Washington, D.C.: Marine Corps History and Museums Division, 1982)

Tom McLeod, “Lineage of the USMC Eagle, Globe and Anchor,”  Accessed on 7/23/2014

James G. Thompson, Decorations, Medals, Ribbons, Badges and Insignia of the United States Marine Corps: World War II to Present (Fountain Inn, SC: MOA Press, 1998)


There are several symbols and variations of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. The most popular version is the Marine Corps Emblem which is available for commercial use with a license agreement from the USMC Trademark Licensing Office. 
Unlike the Marine Corps Emblem, the Official Marine Corps Seal is not available for commercial use and is reserved exclusively for internal USMC use. Executive Order 10538 dated June 22, 1954 established the USMC seal. 
Full-Color, Eagle, Globe and Anchor; is actually a photograph taken from the officer uniform. It is a compelling visual and very recognizable. As it is a photograph, it should never be blown up to a size which causes the emblem to be pixilated. 
Additionally, there is an approved line art version of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor which is available in several approved colors. 



Graphics are available upon request and approval from the Trademark Licensing Office. However, we are not a graphics shop. If you need graphics and are employed by the DoD please contact your local graphics shop.

Government insignia are protected by a variety of statutes and regulations (some of them specific to particular agencies) and are also afforded protections by trademark law. In the case of the Marine Corps, 10 U.S.C. § 7881 offers specific protection to the Marine Corps Seal, emblem, name, and initials “U.S.M.C.,” and requires written permission prior to the use of these brands on commercial products.  Recognizing the value of armed service brands, in 2004, Congress also authorized DoD agencies to license their trademarks for use on products, allowing that licensing royalties be used to cover program costs, as well as for morale, welfare and recreation activities for Marines (See 10 U.S.C. 2260).

The Eagle, Globe and Anchor is the universally recognized symbol of the United States Marine Corps.

The Eagle Globe and Anchor, Seal, initials (USMC) and name are the exclusive property of the United States Marine Corps.  Permission to use them for commercial retail and advertising (free or paid) is required.

The use of Marine Corps trademarks for commercial purposes, including reproduction on merchandise, is expressly prohibited unless the producer completes a license agreement with the Marine Corps.  Use is governed by the terms of the agreement.

Federal law, as well as Department of Defense and Marine Corps policy and regulations, prohibit the use of official Marine Corps markings and symbols in ways that imply endorsement of a private sector entity or activity (See 10 U.S.C. 7881, 32 CFR 765.14, and MCO 5030.3B).


To access a list of the official Marine Corps Licensees click here. This list includes companies that hold official U.S. Marine Corps licenses and are in compliance with the terms of their license agreements.

The best way for consumers to support the U.S. Marine Corps when they're purchasing merchandise is to buy only from companies holding official licenses.

Elements of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor date back to 1776. Today’s Eagle, Globe and Anchor represents the many different aspects of the Corps’ lasting heritage and limitless future. These guidelines ensure the EGA is used in a consistent manner. While not comprehensive, this guidance covers many situations.

Department of Defense employees and their immediate families have an implied permission to use the Eagle, Globe and Anchor on personal products such as t-shirts, cakes, and banners. These items must be intended for personal and may not be sold or used in advertising or potential endorsements. Use of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor must adhere to guidelines at this site. Designs must still be approved by the Trademark Licensing Office.

Commanders may use the EGA on “perishable” products and those involving limited expense, such as printed materials, clothing, coins, etc. Commanders retain discretion to decide how the EGA is used in their organizations consistent with these guidelines.

This guide educates all non-Federal entities and individuals on the use of official seals and other protected logos, insignia and marks of the DoD and Military Services. While intended to inform all NFEs about how these marks may or may not be used, this guide is focused particularly toward leaders and key staff of national veteran service organizations, institutions of higher education and military service organizations.

This guide helps clarify which USMC marks require licensing and in which instances licensing is not required. This list is subject to periodic updates. If you have any questions regarding this guide, please feel free to contact us for clarification.

This guide aids individuals in the proper designing of products bearing USMC trademarks. Part of protecting these historic marks is ensuring they are used correctly and in good taste. The use of USMC trademarks for commercial purposes and in advertising free or paid is not authorized without the written consent of the USMC Trademark Licensing Office.

The Eagle Globe and Anchor, along with hundreds of additional registered trademarks and hundreds more common law trademarks, is the exclusive property of the United States Marine Corps.

The use of Marine Corps trademarks for commercial purposes, including reproduction on merchandise, is expressly prohibited unless the producer completes a license agreement with the Marine Corps. Use is governed by the terms of the agreement.

To better serve our community and streamline the licensing process, we offer an online application process which will determine the applicant’s eligibility and classification for licensing.

READ THIS FIRST: Our Qualification Standards, the objective baseline standards by which the Marine Corps determines eligibility for licensing, must be read before applying and can be found here.

Please follow this link and answer the questions to determine what type of licensing is right for your business. Complete all information requests in order to be considered.

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please call 703-784-6887 or e-mail

U.S. Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Program