Lapel Button for Next of Kin of Deceased Personnel was introduced by the Army in 1977. It is provided to the widow/widowers, parents, and primary next of kin of members of the armed services who lost their lives either while serving on active duty or while they were assigned to an Army Reserve or Army National Guard unit that was in a drill status at the time of their passing.
The button comprises a gold star within a circle (in memory of honorable service) that is surrounded by a four sprigs of oak representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Family members who are furnished with the Next of Kin lapel button include the widow/widower, both parents, every child (including stepchildren and adopted children), brother(s) and sister(s), and half-brother(s) and half-sister(s).
In 2014, Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno approved the wear of both the Next of Kin and Gold Star lapel pins by Soldiers on their dress uniforms.