The Army Ring is a symbol of brotherhood and honor that has been worn by both the military and their civilian counterparts since its beginning. The United States Military Academy cadets started the tradition of wearing unisex class rings around the neck in 1835. The first rings to be engraved with names were made for cadets by the junior officers of the academy. The graduated officer was allowed to purchase the ring that was engraved with his monogram. This was a gesture of good luck for the cadet and was a tradition that would continue until the early years of World War II.
The military rings engraved with personal logos of soldiers and the names of their commands have been a part of the tradition of military jewelry for over three decades. Until the modern era of watches and jewelry, this type of ring was the only item in the inventory that the wearer personalized. Although most armies have taken steps to have their commanding officer wear cufflinks, there is still a high preference for army rings. This is because the ring is a functional item that the wearer must wear daily. In many cases, it is the only piece of jewelry that is visible when a soldier is in action.
As the centuries have progressed, the use of signet rings as a form of identification has been adapted into several other styles of military rings. Early examples of these types of rings include the arbor, field, and cross-shaped ring. In addition, early examples of these types of rings had the names of the wearer and unit inscribed in the metal. Signet rings were often used as a means of showing rank in the military.
The majority of army rings have solid bands. This can vary from full circle solid bands to those with decorative escapes. Most of these rings can be seen to have an engraving of some kind. Some examples of these types of military service rings include eagles, anchors, crusaders, eagles with wings outstretched, anchors with crowns on top, and crosses on top of them.
In addition to the traditional signet ring styles, custom-made army rings are now available for other reasons. Some people in the military choose to wear these types of rings to identify their unit. These special deployment rings may also be worn as a means of alerting someone of their presence in a combat situation.