All Chapters incorporate into their traditions the custom of awarding badges of distinction to Marines who perform various acts of courage or leadership. Whether the honors are painted on or carved onto their armor, they are highly respected icons coveted by all Space Marines.

Purity Seal

The Purity Seal is often awarded to Marines who show themselves to be "morally pure" by their words and deeds. Also, before a campaign, the Chapter`s Chaplains will mark certain individuals with litanies. Each seal has a different blessing or invocation from one of the Chapters Chaplains and is often replaced with a more permanent electrum casting of the seal.

Imperial Laurel

The Imperial Laurel is awarded to Marines who perform "acts of valor leading to great victory" or "an act of extreme bravery". It is often sculpted onto the helmet or worn as a crown, the Wreathed Skull is another common design variation. The Codex Astartes states that all Company Standards be carried into battle by warriors who have proven themselves, so all bearers must first wear the Laurels.

Terminator Honors

The Crux Terminatus, or Terminator Honor Badge is given to Marines who have been trained in the use of Termonator Armor. Sergeants and officers wear variations of the badge to signify their rank.

Skull and Motto

In Imperial iconery, the skull is incorporated into many devices. The Skull and Motto is one example. It is used when the other specified honor badges would be inappropriate, and often the motto is simply one word. The badge can be found on shoulder pads, banners, leg armor, and even vehicles.


The Imperialis was originally the campaign badge used by loyal Marine Chapters during the Horus Heresy. Over time it has evolved into the "honor of righteous victory". It's most commonly seen carved into Marine chest armor, but can also be found on banners or atop their poles.

Iron Skull

The Iron Skull is the Codex insignia for Sergeants, and is displayed on the helmet and/or shoulder pad of the Marine as a sign of rank. Generally accepted convention is that a red skull device is used to represent it.

Iron Halo

The Iron Halo is awarded to marines that show "exceptional initiative". It is the Codex insignia for Squad leaders, and is displayed on the helmet and/or shoulder pad of the Marine as a sign of rank.

Prime Helix

The Prime Helix is the symbol of the Apothacarion, worn by Medics. The design represents the Gene-seed DNA, and the color represents the sacrifice that every Marine is willing to make.

Machina Opus

The Machina Opus is the symbol of a Tech-Priest Adept, worn by Techmarines. Once earned, its bearer is granted free passage through the Ring of Iron to the workshops in the Martian Hive.

Distinctive Army Badge

Sometimes Space Marines bear Distinctive Badges of armies they have fought battles for. Especially when these armies have held strategic points and fought pitched battles. Distinctive Army Badge commonly displayed on leg armor.