Red, White & Blue Classic: A Grand Prix Extra

I’ve been wanting to have a special piece made for Deborah, Elizabeth and Tara. A piece that sets them apart. Heirlooms only become heirlooms if they are special, and are handed down generation to generation within a family. Most definitely, it could not be equestrian or horse related. Sure, it is their passion, but those pieces generally look alike. What separates one piece from another is price. The craftsmanship, a lot to be desired.

Andrea, Laurie and I talked about a special piece when we were together last Christmas. The daughters were curious about our whispering discussion. We often changed the subject, or stopped talking completely, when one came in earshot. They told us we could go back to our conspiring when they got what they wanted in the kitchen. I asked both Andrea and Laurie is there a piece in their jewelry box the daughters seem to covet. Both said yes. “It is the half-size replica of your Trident.”

14K white gold Trident Badge replica (Andrea)

“Not a ring, or studs, or a pendant?” I asked. The answer was no. They already have Hawaiian Heirloom rings with matching pendant. “And, you’ve already lavished them with diamond studs, which they seem to wear everyday.”

After the Eleven Days in April, the project was moved ahead. I contacted the jeweler who made the half-size replicas to see if he could make quarter-size or third-size replicas. I said you would lose too much detail if they were the size of lapel pins. He agreed, saying the quarter-size should work. “It’ll fit nicely on a lapel yet have detail and be unique in appearance.” While meeting a Memorial Day deadline would have been difficult, Fourth of July would be much easier.

Before heading back to RMV on Sunday afternoon, I presented the replicas to Deborah, Elizabeth and Tara. “Wear them well. The Trident says you are the best. You have earned them with your courage, your strength of character.”

They loved them. They wore them with pride.

About the Trident

It is the most difficult badge to earn. It is given upon completion of the Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition course (BUD/S) and SEAL Qualification Training. The 65-week course is known for its physical demands and high washout rate (85%). The academic portion of the course is equally demanding.

Prior to 1970, a silver Trident was awarded to enlisted personnel while a gold Trident was awarded to officers. The distinction was eliminated to recognize enlisted personnel and officers train side by side without concern for rank. The gold Trident is now awarded to both enlisted personnel and officers.

To distinguish between authentic military heraldry and replicas, replicas must be smaller in size and different in composition and heft. The Trident replicas made for Andrea and Laurie are half the size of my Trident. Further, the Trident replicas are made with 14K white gold. The Trident replicas made for Deborah, Elizabeth and Tara are quarter the size of my Trident, and are made with 14K white gold. All five replicas are very striking pieces.

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