Col William Erlenbusch and MSgt Jake Kindsfather received the first two badges from the Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen Thomas White, during a ceremony in July 1958. Col Erlenbusch was the commander of the 864th Strategic Missile Squadron, the initial Jupiter unit at Huntsville, AL.
The family of the late Col William Erlenbusch presented the actual first missile badge - known then as the guided missile insignia - to Gen Lance Lord, then Commander, AF Space Command. (pictured left)
In 2005, the new Space Badge replaced the missile badge for missileers in operations. On 6 June 2008, Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen T. Michael Moseley conducted a ceremony at the Natonal Museum of the Air Force, awarding the missile badge with operations designator to 14 officers representing the ICBM wings and training and test units.
The return of the badge was a move to reemphasize the importance of the nuclear mission. Since then, missile operators wear the missile badge with operations designator. Maintainers had continued to wear the original missile badge, now called the missile maintenance badge.
The Current Six Versions of the Badge