The Sam Browne belt is named after Sir Samuel James Browne, VC. In the Australian Army a Sam Browne belt is worn by officers and Warrant Officers Class One on ceremonial occasions.
Browne began his service in India in April 1849 as Second in Command of the 2nd Regiment of Punjab Cavalry, the unit which later took his name (22nd Sam Browne’s Cavalry).
On 31 August 1858, at Seerporah, Browne single-handedly silenced a field gun which had blocked the advance. During the fighting he received two sword cuts, one on the knee, and the other on the left shoulder which cut off his arm.
Dress regulations for British Officers of the 2nd Punjabis required members to wear their waist belts under their tunics. Browne found this ungainly with his left arm missing, and devised an external belt. The belt was supported on the left-hand (sword) side by a shoulder strap and had two shoulder pieces when a pistol was added.
Armoured, Aviation and Nursing Corps officers and Warrant Officers wear a black Sam Browne. All other Corps wear brown leather.