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AR 670-1 Chapter 21-8: Other grade insignia

a. Shoulder marks.

(1) Officers. Shoulder marks for officers are black with a 1/8-inch yellow stripe below the embroidered grade insignia (see fig 21–57).

(2) Enlisted personnel. Shoulder marks for enlisted personnel are black with grade insignia embroidered 5/8 inch from the lower end of the shoulder mark (see fig 25–58).

(3) Sizes. Shoulder marks come in two sizes to accommodate differences in the manufacturing of shoulder loops on shirts and sweaters. All personnel may wear either size of the shoulder marks. The shoulder mark fits the shoulder loop properly when the hook-and-loop attachments or buttons are completely exposed, enabling exact alignment of the hook-and-loop attachments or fastening of buttons.


(a) Large. The large shoulder mark is 2 1/8 inches wide at the base and 4 1/4 inches in length, tapering to 1 3/4 inches wide at the top.

(b) Small. The small shoulder mark is 2 1/8 inches wide at the base and 3 1/4 inches in length, tapering to 1–25/32 inches wide at the top.

(4) How worn. Shoulder marks are worn by all personnel in the rank of corporal and above on the shoulder loops of the service uniform shirts, the maternity shirt, the black unisex cardigan, and the black pullover cardigan. Noncommissioned officers wear shoulder marks on the all-weather coat and the windbreaker. When the tunic is worn, pregnant
Soldiers will button the shoulder loop of the maternity shirt over the top of the tunic shoulder piece, so the shoulder mark is visible.

b. Shoulder straps (officer personnel only).

(1) Sizes. Shoulder straps are made in large and small sizes.

(a) Male. The shoulder strap is 1 5/8 inches wide and 4 inches long.

(b) Female. The shoulder strap is 1 5/8 inches wide and 3 1/2 inches long.

(2) Design. For general officers, the background is blue-black velvet. For all other officers, the background is a rayon-grosgrain ribbon of the first-named color of the officer’s basic branch. The strap has an 11/32-inch gold-colored border, surrounded on the inside and outside by a single strand in gold jaceron. If the officer’s branch has two colors, the second branch color is used as a 1/8-inch inside border, in lieu of gold jaceron. Insignia and borders are rayon
embroidered or bullion and jaceron (see fig 21–59).

(3) Insignia. Grade insignia for officers is embroidered on the shoulder straps in the following designs:

(a) General officers. The insignia is the appropriate number of silver-colored stars, each 5/8 inch in diameter. All stars are worn with one point facing the neck. Stars on the shoulder straps are placed point to point.

(b) Colonel. The insignia is a silver-colored spread eagle, 5/8 inch in height with 1 1/4 inches between the tips of the wings. Shoulder straps are made in pairs; on each strap, the eagle is centered with the head facing forward.

(c) Lieutenant colonel. The insignia is a silver-colored oak leaf, 5/8 inch in length and 5/8 inch in width, positioned on each end of the shoulder strap.

(d) Major. The insignia is a gold-colored oak leaf, 5/8 inch in length and 5/8 inch in width, positioned on each end of the shoulder strap.

(e) Captain. The insignia is two silver-colored bars, each 1/4 inch in width and 5/8 inch in length, parallel to the ends of the strap, 3/16 of an inch apart and 3/16 of an inch from the inside border, positioned at each end of the shoulder strap.

(f) First lieutenant. The insignia is one, silver-colored bar, 1/4 inch in width and 5/8 inch in length, parallel to the ends of the strap and 3/16 of an inch from the inside border, positioned at each end of the shoulder strap.

(g) Second lieutenant. The insignia is one, gold-colored bar, 1/4 inch in width and 5/8 inch in length, parallel to the ends of the strap and 3/16 of an inch from the inside border, positioned at each end of the shoulder strap.

(h) Chief warrant officer 5. The insignia is a silver-colored bar, 1/4 inch in width and 3/4 inch in length, with one black line in the center of the insignia.

(i) Chief warrant officer 4. The insignia is a silver-colored bar, 1/4 inch in width and 3/4 inch in length, with four black squares centered on the bar, positioned parallel to, and at each end, of the shoulder strap.

(j) Chief warrant officer 3. The insignia is a silver-colored bar, 1/4 inch in width and 3/4 inch in length, with three black squares centered on the bar, positioned parallel to, and at each end of the shoulder strap.

(k) Chief warrant officer 2. The insignia is a silver-colored bar, 1/4 inch in width and 3/4 inch in length, with two black squares centered on the bar, positioned parallel to, and at each end, of the shoulder strap.

(l) Warrant officer 1. The insignia is a silver-colored bar, 1/4 inch in width and 3/4 inch in length, with one black square centered on the bar, positioned parallel to, and at each end, of the shoulder strap.

(4) How worn. On each shoulder, the shoulder strap is sewn, snapped, or hooked to the coat of the Army blue uniform, centered lengthwise on the outside shoulder seam.

c. Shoulder boards (female officers). Shoulder boards are worn by female officers (in the ranks of colonel and below) the old version of the white mess uniform jackets (see fig 21–60). The shoulder board is 4–11/16 inches long and 2 inches wide at the outer end. The background is wool facing cloth, in silk or synthetic grosgrain or in satin cloth, of the first-named color of the officer’s basic branch. The shoulder board has a gold or gold-colored nylon, rayon, or synthetic metallic gold band 3/8 inch wide, placed 1/16 inch from the outer edge of each side of the board. If the officer’s branch has two colors, the second-named color is used as a 1/8-inch border placed against the inside edge of each gold band. The grade insignia is embroidered in gold or silver bullion or synthetic metallic yarn and is centered 5/8 inch from the lower edge of the shoulder board. Detachable shoulder boards are worn on each shoulder with the
square end of the shoulder board positioned on the outside shoulder seam.

Note. Enlisted females may not wear the older version of the white mess uniform.

d. Rank insignia tabs. Subdued cloth rank insignia tabs are optional purchase items for wear on the ECWCS (GoreTex®) parka. Tabs are 1 1/2 inches wide by 2 inches long, on a camouflage background, and are sewn closed. The rank insignia tabs slip over the front tab of the parka.