The White House Communications Agency (WHCA)
|Type of Activity||Communications support for the White House|
|Date of Activity||
mar 1942 to Present
The White House Communications Agency (WHCA), originally known as the White House Signal Detachment (WHSD), was officially formed by the United States Department of War on 25 March 1942. The WHSD was created to provide normal and emergency communications requirements in support of the President. The mission of the WHSD was to provide a premier communication system that would enable the President to lead the nation effectively regardless of his location worldwide, and in any emergency. In 1954 WHSD was reorganized and renamed the White House Army Signal Agency (WHASA). In 1961 WHASA was discontinued and reestablished as the White House Communications Agency (WHCA).
The award was established in 1964 and is a badge of the United States military issued to service members who serve as full-time military staff to the President of the United States. Such personnel are stationed at the White House and should not be confused with the senior military officers of the United States Department of Defense who advise the President but are not assigned as direct Presidential aides. Each badge is stamped with a unique serial number which, when issued, associates that badge with a specific individual.
Executive Order 10879 of June 1, 1960 was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower establishing a White House Service Badge. President Lyndon B. Johnson retired the White House Service Badge and issued a separate Presidential Service Badge by signing Executive Order 11174 on Sept.1,1964.
Typical recipients include: Military aides to the President appointed from each of the services (pay-grade O-4 or higher) who, among other duties, rotate being the so-called "Emergency War Officer" with "The Football", a briefcase containing nuclear decision-making tools kept within ready access of the president at all times, White House military public affairs officers, Servicemembers assigned to the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), which supports Presidential communications worldwide, Servicemembers assigned to the White House Transportation Agency (WHTA), which provides motor vehicle transportation to the White House as directed by the White House Military Office, Marine Helicopter Squadron 1 (HMX-1) "Marine One" flight crew, (Previously awarded to the Executive Flight Detachment: “Army One”) Navy Seabees who run (Camp David Naval Support Facility, Thurmont) Marines assigned to the Marine Security Company at Camp David.
The Presidential Service Badge is awarded after at least one year of satisfactory service "to any member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty in the White House Office or to military units and support facilities under the administration of the Military Assistant to the President by the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of the Air Force, or, when the Coast Guard is not operating as a service in the Navy, the Secretary of Transportation, upon recommendation of the Military Assistant to the President". The Presidential Service Badge is recorded in the awardee's military service records and is authorized for wear as a permanent decoration.
Recipients are the only Americans authorized to wear the "Presidential Seal or Coat of Arms" on their uniforms and civilian clothes.