Types of Marine Corps Swords

Posted by Devin on 11/1/2013 to U.S. Military Swords
Military sword enthusiasts know that there are essentially two varieties of Marine Corps swords: those awarded to commissioned officers and those earned by non-commissioned officers. If you are purchasing a sword for an active Marine, you must abide by the specifications set forth by the Marine Corps. For the most part, this means purchasing the weapon from an approved manufacturer that is certified and contracted by the Corps.

Otherwise known as a Mameluke sword, the sword worn by commissioned officers in the Corps is a somewhat flashier model than that carried by the enlisted officers. The grip and curved pommel of an officer's sword are of a single piece, adorned by golden star rivets. The cross guard is also gold. The slightly curved, sabre-style blade bears an etching with a Marine theme for around two-thirds of its length. The swords come with reflective steel scabbards decorated by gold fittings.

The most obvious difference between an NCO's sword and an officer's is the style of the guard. Enlisted officers' swords have a full hand guard that curves from the cross guard to meet the pommel. The grips are enameled and wire-wrapped. As with the officer sword, an NCO's sword bears gold detailing. The slightly curved blade is similarly etched in a Marine theme, though the specific design differs. NCO swords come with black lacquered scabbards. 

Make absolutely sure that you are purchasing a sword approved for use if you intend your purchase for an active Marine. Look for the word "certified" in the sword's listing. Swords listed as "authentic" are typically genuine replicas that very closely approximate a certified weapon, but which are nevertheless not appropriate for use.