Badges of rank, qualification, and achievement can play significant, it not always explicit, roles in military culture. In late 1917 the British War Office instituted a new award, overseas service chevrons, to recognize service abroad for all ranks and branches of the Empire’s expeditionary forces. This article considers evolving Canadian attitudes toward the chevrons throughout 1918 and in the postwar years. Rather than boost the morale of rank and file soldiers in the Canadian Corps, the chevrons appear to have caused much resentment. Some front liners believed that the award should somehow be distinguish between combat and non-combat service. After the war, however, veterans who had once rejected the chevrons reclaimed them as unique symbols of their long years on the Western front.
Iarocci, Andrew "Side-Steppers and Original-Firsts: The Overseas Chevron Controversy and Canadian Identity in the Great War." Canadian Military History 20, 3 (2011)