United States Marines carried swagger sticks in the 19th and 20st century.
A swagger stick is a short stick or riding crop usually carried by a uniformed person as a symbol of authority. A swagger stick is shorter than a staff or cane, and is usually made from rattan.
Originally, it was a functional implement used to direct military drill and maneuvers, or to administer physical punishment. In the Roman army, short vine wood staffs were carried and used for corporal punishment by Centurions (often career soldiers), not by higher officers (often from the socio-political elite). Nowadays it is more often a traditional visual attribute. Swagger sticks are most familiarly carried by military officers or more senior non-commissioned officers. They are also often carried by officers in police and paramilitary forces.
In the British Army and other militaries following the Commonwealth traditions, commissioned officers carry swagger sticks when in formal uniform as a symbol of rank. Warrant Officers and Senior NCOs carry longer pace sticks or regimental sticks instead, although a Regimental Sergeant Major may be seen sporting a swagger stick. British swagger sticks are often topped with a silver cap, bearing regimental insignia. A swagger stick remains an essential part of an officer's equipment, and they are supplied by traditional British military tailors such as Gieves & Hawkes and Goldings. Cavalry officers will often carry a riding crop rather than a swagger stick, in deference to their mounted traditions.
Homer Litzenberg holding a swagger stick in his official portrait in the late 1950s
* US Army General George S. Patton carried a swagger stick throughout World War II; however his contained a concealed blade, similar to a Victorian gentlemen's sword cane.