A gold color metal and enamel device 1 3/16 inches (3.02 cm) in height overall consisting of a scarlet geometrical figure of four equal convex sides, one point up bearing a gold pile issuing from the upper point and terminating at the center; overall, beneath a scarlet crown and between two gold crowns, one to the right and one to the left, a black hawk with eye, lower leg, foot and talons gold, the wings spread and extending slightly beyond the upper sides of the background, and on his breast a white disc charged with two horizontal blue bands.
The black hawk identifies the Brigade with the 86th Infantry Division whose nickname was "Black Hawk Division." The two blue bands on the white disc represent the two organizations: The Infantry Division and Training Division. Taken from the flag of Chicago where the Headquarters was previously located, they also suggest the waters of Lake Michigan. The three crowns of the Magi are taken from the coat of arms of Cologne, Germany near which the Division first held positions in the combat area during World War II; they refer to participation in the Central European Campaign. The four-sided equilateral background symbolizes equity and order; it alludes to the organization's management and control function.
The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 86th US Army Reserve Command on 28 April 1970. It was redesignated effective 16 September 2010, for the 86th Training Brigade with the description and symbolism updated. The insignia was redesignated effective 18 September 2010, for the 86th Training Division with the symbolism updated.