Unit Accoutrements

Baton of Chapultepec

The baton is the Regiment’s most revered artifact. It was awarded to the Regiment by Brigadier General Persifor Smith following the Battle of Chapultepec during the Mexican War (1846-48). Tradition holds that the Regimental Drum Major charged into battle armed only with his baton. The General presented the regiment with a replacement baton made of Mexican silver and wood from the flagpole of the cathedral in Mexico City’s Plaza. The baton is currently housed in the TOG Headquarters on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

Buff Strap

The black and tan “buff strap” was authorized for the Regiment in 1921 by the War Department and is worn on the left shoulder of the dress uniform. It is a symbol of unit history dating back to the 1790s. The actual date that it was first worn is unknown. It represents a natural buff colored strip of rawhide woven into the shoulder straps of the Soldiers’ black knapsacks. The present-day buff strap continues to signify an Old Guard soldier's pride in personal appearance and precision performance that has marked the unit for 200 years.


Soldiers of TOG use the word “cockade” to mean the distinctive unit insignia worn by the Regiment. It represents a cocked hat with a cockade on it from an earlier time in the unit’s history. The insignia was officially authorized on May 6, 1959.

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