A gold color metal and enamel device 1 3/16 inches (3.02 cm) in height overall consisting of a scarlet broad arrow, the stem charged with a stylized gold missile emitting three vapor trails and each blade bearing a conventional gold radar and radiation symbol, in front of a white thunderhead, all above a gold convex motto scroll lined scarlet, the ends folded back obliquely at the outer edges and parallel with the bottom edges of the blades of the broad arrow and terminating at the stem, bearing the inscription "ALERT ABOVE ALL" in scarlet letters.
The missile and radar and radiation symbols were suggested by the authorized shoulder sleeve insignia of the US Army Air Defense Command. The arrow, an ancient missile weapon, is also a symbol of prowess and martial readiness and a talisman against evil (enemy attack) alluded to by the thunderhead symbolical of danger threatening and destruction, thunder in itself being an awakener and thus a reminder of the necessity for constant vigilance. The arrow also simulates the letter "A" and refers to the motto "Alert Above All." In conjunction with the red area of the motto scroll, it simulates the Greek letter delta ("D"), the "A" and "D" together alluding to Air Defense.
The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 21 May 1969. It was rescinded/cancelled on 20 January 1975.