A gold color metal and enamel device 1 3/16 inches (3.02 cm) in height overall consisting of a modified delineation of the Great South Gate in Seoul, Korea, the upper portion of the gate scarlet with gold ridge poles and details below a scarlet arc scroll lined white, the lower tips of the arc and the folded back ends showing the white reverse side touching and conjoined with the gold upper outer ridge poles, surmounted by a Korean taeguk, extending over and below the arc, between eight gold five pointed stars, four stars to either side; the lower or stone wall portion of the gate white with gold mortar interstices, base and archivolt (or wider outline or trim defining archway), the archway in perspective with black side walls and gold inner (or further) entrance, a white roadway passing through the archway and extending beyond the outer (or nearer) entrance, the extended part bearing throughout a black wavy horizontal bar, all above a convex and undulating scarlet scroll inscribed "BUILD STRONG AND SURE" in gold letters, the extended portion of the roadway terminating at the upper edge of the scroll and the ends of the scroll curving upward and terminating at the wall sides of the gate. The internal areas between arc and roof at top and roadway, stone wall and motto scroll are pierced.
The colors scarlet and white are used for the Corps of Engineers. The black wavy bar alludes to the Rhine River and participation in the Rhineland Campaign, World War II. The Korean taeguk and the Great South Gat in Seoul, Korea (initially the main entrance through a great wall which once surrounded the city) refer to the Korean War, the eight stars alluding to the eight Korean campaigns in which the organization participated. The scarlet arc refers to the Meritorious Unit Commendation awarded for this Korean service, and the Korean taeguk and the two folded back reverse white ends of the arc allude to the two awards of the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, one for "Korea, 1950-1952," and one for "Rebuilding of Seoul." This is further symbolized by the Great South Gate which was built in 1396, and refers indirectly to the organization's mission as stated in the motto "BUILD STRONG AND SURE."
The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 23 February 1972.