The Scottish–American Military Society (SAMS)

Scottish-American Military Society Spotlight

Also known as SAMS or SAMS-OWN, the Scottish-American Military Society celebrated their 41st year this past April. A group of U.S. Military veterans originally conceived SAMS at the famous Highland Games, held stateside at their Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina location. There was a general agreement that some sort of formal organization should exist for the small but active community of the U.S. Military veterans that also belonged to the Scottish diaspora. Thus, SAMS-OWN was born! Their mission statement:

“To preserve and promote Scottish and American Armed Forces customs, traditions, and heritage”

They accomplish this by organizing and participating in events and maintaining an active web presence and community. From participating in National Tartan Day to providing scholarships for (J)ROTC members and piping students, SAMS encourages the perpetuation of Scottish culture and knowledge of Scottish-American Military history. In 2008, SAMS was granted a corporate-style coat of arms, pictured below. This is a rare occurrence for an American organization- particularly one so relatively small- and speaks to the successes SAMS has had through the hard work of their members. 


SAMS-OWN official coat of arms. Motto reads "But for freedom for that alone"


What about “SAMS-OWN”?

In addition to being an acronym, SAMS is also a reference to Uncle Sam. The famous American military recruitment poster serves as inspiration for the meaning of SAMS’ longer name.

How To Participate:

SAMS is open to current and former members of any branch of the U.S. armed forces, as well as their spouses. If you are interested in the work they do, you can find their full website here.  Their site has all the information someone learning about Scottish-American Military history could ever want. It includes links to external resources if you are conducting your own research into your history. Most exciting of all, they publish a quarterly journal called “The Patriot”. Excerpts of the patriot can be found on their site. There is even an archive of user-submitted Scottish recipes. The Patriot has been circulating since the year after SAMS was founded.

We at The Celtic Croft are honored to be able to spotlight SAMS-OWN in time for Memorial Day 2022. Thank you for your service! You can find their homepage here. If you or a loved one are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and you are looking to commemorate their service in a way that is uniquely Scottish, you can find our military collection here.


U.S. Army Pewter Cap Badge/Brooch on US Army tartan
U.S. Army Pewter Cap Badge on a U.S. Army tartan
Air Force, Army, Celtic history, Coast Guard, holidays, Marines, military, Navy, sams
Celtic Wedding Bands to Symbolize Your Love
All About the Pride of LGBT Tartan

Related Articles

Fellow Scotsman? Check out some of our products!