This image is the emblem of one of the operation departments of the Foreign Intelligence of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. Due to the high secrecy of the modern structure of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), it is hard to determine the reference of the emblem to any particular department.
The image of the owl with a sword appeared on the medal devoted to the 50th anniversary of Spetsnaz GRU.
The owl is a bird for which there are no secrets even under cover of night. Perhaps it was chosen as the symbol the Intelligence service due to its excellent eyesight and ear, as well as the ability to vigilantly monitor the surroundings. The unsheathed sword symbolises readiness for the armed struggle.
The lapel pin is to be fastened to the lapel of a full-dress uniform with a special clip called “butterfly fitting”. Thanks to the fine needle the fastening does not leave traces or pierces on clothes, does not damage the product.
Lapel pins appeared under the reign of the Emperor Nicholas II when the miniature replicas of medals and orders were fastened to the tail coat or full-dress uniform. Such pins were primarily jewellery made of precious metals.
Today lapel pins are widely used as an element of corporate style. They can represent the company symbolism and be decorated with gems or commemorative dates.
Army lapel pins are attached to the lapel of full-dress uniform and define a serviceman’s belonging to a particular type of corps, or division.