United States Army Alaska (USARAK) Pamphlet 600-2
28 November 2012
Shoulder Sleeve Insignia
A circular disk of a blue background upon which is superimposed a polar bear’s head surmounted with a gold star. It represents the Army as guardian of the far north depicted by the polar bear, which, according to myth, is guardian of the North Star, represented by a yellow star. Figure 1 below shows the insignia.
United States Army Distinctive Insignia
Description. A gold metal and enamel device that is 13/16 of an inch in height overall, consisting of a blue (ultramarine), enamel background, arched at the top and bearing a five-pointed gold star, the field bordered by a band of gold rays (each beveled), in the base two, white, enamel mountain peaks (one on each side), in the center issuing from the base the crest of a totem pole consisting of an eagle’s head in proper colors facing to the right. The device is shown in Figure 2.
Symbolism. The single star on the blue background stands for the North Star, which also appears on the Alaska State flag. The gold rays forming an archway symbolize the mission of the United States Army Alaska as the first line of defense in North America and also alludes to the Northern Lights. The totem pole and the snow-covered peaks are symbolic of Alaska. The American eagle as depicted by the Alaskan Indian with penetrating eyesight and exceptional hearing alludes to the alertness and protection offered by the United States Army Alaska.