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This question contains spoilers

Several times throughout American Sniper, when a US soldier is buried other servicemen push a brass badge into the casket of the deceased solider.

Chris Kyle's casket

What are the badges? What is the meaning and significance behind this?

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The badges are the badges SEALs (aka: Special Warfare Insignia or SEAL Trident) earn when they graduate from BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) and become full fledged SEALs. To nail them into the coffin by hand is a complete sign of respect to a fallen comrade.

Navy Seal Badge

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Those badges are Special Warfare insignia, also known informally as the "SEAL pin". In real life, at Medal of Honor recipient Michael Monsoor's funeral, the attending SEALs pounded their pins into his coffin. It's unclear how widespread a SEAL practice this really was/is, but the media and movie attention it's gotten seems to have made it more widespread.

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It is my understanding that the number of tridents (or badges) pounded into a coffin is only up to the number of SEALs in attendance. The biggest reason Chris Kyle had hundreds was because he was as much a celebrity as he was a Hero so MANY SEALs flew in to honor him. Any SEAL with fewer doesn't mean he was less thought of, I'm sure EVERY SEAL is in attenance of a fallen comrade's funeral if only in heart and spirit. I believe each coffin would have 100's if they all had the time to attend in person.

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I think it means the number of kills. Since Mark had approximately that many and Kyle's coffin was covered I'm assuming a hundred sixty-eight badges.

  • Welcome to Movies and TV SE. Please improve your answer by adding a source or something, so we can prove your answer is right and accept it for future use. This to me, seems more like something that should go in the comments section. You need 50 rep to post a comment so try asking questions, answering questions, and editing posts to up your rep. – New-To-IT Feb 17 '15 at 15:35
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It is done purely as a sign of respect. The only thing the number of tridents really reflects is how many seals were there.

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Body counts only matter for public relations, psychiatric treatment, or Hollywood. A SEAL goes to great effort to win his SEAL badge, remember the Movie? Twice individual SEALs are shown placing their personal badge of exceptional achievement on the coffin of a SEAL at the graveside. How could this be anything but a very personal statement of deep respect by the individual SEALs who placed their own badges on the coffin of a fallen shipmate SEAL? Don't they each seem to be showing "This was my shipmate, a worthy SEAL, who deserves even my own badge of honor"?

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They probably do it for honor because when Mark dies he only got about 7-10 pins whereas Chris Kyle was awarded more way more. Though when at the scene of Mark's funeral there was only a few people were at his funeral but more at Kyle's.

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    This doesn't really add anything beyond what the current answers already say. – Andrew Martin Feb 12 '15 at 15:46
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Might it not maybe be that the SEALs who were in battle or who were saved by the deceased, pounds their pins into the coffin? idk just a guess.

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    Welcome to Movies and TV SE. Please improve your answer by adding a source or something, so we can prove your answer is right and accept it for future use. This to me, seems more like something that should go in the comments section. You need 50 rep to post a comment so try asking questions, answering questions, and editing posts to up your rep. – JohnP May 11 '15 at 21:48
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It is out of honor when mark died he was awarded about 8 when Chris Kyle "American Sniper" was awarded around 386 badges the badges symbolizes respect he was awarded so many because many other shoulders saw him as a leader or "legend" when mark was the adverge solider so not to many people knew him as well as Chris

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protected by Napoleon Wilson Aug 6 '15 at 8:56

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