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This in turn was replaced by a gold insignia with a center device of a silver anchor within a silver circle, used from 1929 to 1968.
For a brief period starting in 1945, the Secretary of the Navy approved distinct insignia for Naval Aviation Observers with Navigation, Radar, Tactical, and Aerology specializations.
However, as military aviation developed, changes in the concept of an Airplane Observer necessitated the redesign of the Observer Badge with a corresponding change in the eligibility criteria.
On 20 February 1940 the rating was changed to that of Combat Observer, followed by redesignation as Aircraft Observer on 4 September 1942.
The original badge was based on the design of the Naval Aviator badge, but with a single wing on the left, and with the anchor surmounted by an "O" rather than a shield.
In 1927 this insignia was superseded by a new device, identical to the Naval Aviator's wings, but in silver rather than gold.
The badge was mainly awarded to gunners, spotters, and navigators on the first armed military aircraft.
In 1966 a new insignia was instituted, and by 1968 the Naval Aviation Observer Badge was replaced by the Naval Flight Officer Badge.Civil Air Patrol observers may act as the mission commander for aircrews engaged in search and rescue, homeland defense reconnaissance, or other Air Force-authorized missions, serving as the liaison between the sortie and mission base.Observers are trained in air navigation, radio communications, and other technical subjects such as aerial direction finding.However, in lieu of being totally discontinued, the criteria for the Naval Aviation Observer insignia was modified again and granted to non-pilot/non-NFO aviation mission specialists such as in-flight Meteorologists or for Naval Intelligence or Cryptology officers who regularly fly as crew on selected naval aircraft.In this form the Naval Observer Badge is still in existence, but is alternatingly referred to by both its original name and, in the case of when worn by Meteorology officers, as the Flight Meteorologist Badge.