The proud tradition of wearing military rings dates back to 1835, started by the cadets of the United States Military Academy.
Originally it was worn on the left hand but more recently it has become common to wear it on the right. This is probably because the left ring finger is also reserved for a wedding band.
West Point was the first American school to have class rings and even boasts a Ring Weekend. This is when senior cadets are awarded their West Point class ring, and occurs shortly after the start of their senior year. The occasion includes a formal dinner and a dance (a “hop” in cadet speak) followed by a ceremony.
The seniors, or Firsties are then swarmed upon by the plebes reciting the “Ring Poop”!
“Oh my Gosh, sir/ma'am! What a beautiful ring! What a crass mass of brass and glass! What a bold mold of rolled gold! What a cool jewel you got from your school! See how it sparkles and shines? It must have cost you a fortune! May I touch it, may I touch it please, sir/ma'am?”
The cadets would design their rings several months in advance. Just like how you can create your ring today, they would choose the size, metal type, the stone and customize each ring to their individual specifications.
This also gave birth to the term “ringknocker”. This custom is where some graduates would gently rap their ring on a hard surface to signal their status to any other graduates within ear shot.
Now, almost two centuries later, the tradition is alive and stronger than ever. A military ring is a tangible way to “wear your pride”. Not only for officers but for all enlisted ranks. Your ring tells the story of your military career and becomes a treasured piece to hand down through the generations.