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AMERICA - MILITARY BRANCH & RANK INSIGNIA

Very shameless self promotion

Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines

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Very shameless self promotion

Unread postby gghbisa » Fri May 25, 2018 9:20 pm

I have published a series of books showing the history of US rank insignia visually.

It stated as an idea of a book of rank charts for every year since 1775. As I went along I would add graphics for clarity and in the end I went a little nuts.

Pre 1920 charts get very large and complex. By filling a page (or more than one page) of the largest format book createspace has, the charts should be as legible as possible, I hope.

Createspace also had a 400mb file size limit for book interiors. This forced me to split the book into six volumes.

They are available here:

https://www.amazon.com/Illustrated-Guid ... a+bingaman
https://www.amazon.com/Illustrated-Guid ... a+bingaman
https://www.amazon.com/Illustrated-Guid ... a+bingaman
https://www.amazon.com/Illustrated-Guid ... a+bingaman
https://www.amazon.com/Illustrated-Guid ... a+bingaman
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1719577390/re ... a+bingaman
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Re: Very shameless self promotion

Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:49 am

Uh, wow. What an ambitious project! I'd never dare attempt something that comprehensive! The number of illustrations is staggering. I look forward to having it as a handy reference guide whenever I need to check a date. The USCG, USPHS, USCGS etc. information is very hard to find and most welcome.

I am still digesting the ebooks, but, of course, a number of questions have come up. If it's covered and I just missed it, apologies.

  • When were the stars for army lieutenant general changed to all the same size? It's in 1922 regulations but may have been earlier.
  • When was the USC&GS corps device changed from a gold triangle and silver circle to all gold with the triangle outlined? The 1943 National Geographic shows the former, 1945 the latter. But I have not been able to find anything official.
  • When was WO/CWO sleeve insignia authorized for army blue mess jacket uniforms post-WW2 (IIRC grade device above gold-brown-gold stripe)?
  • I read in the book that in 1951 the band/music corps device was used by USN ship’s clerk (bandmaster), before the changes resulting from the 1954 Warrant Officer Act. Is there a citation for that? If so I have some correcting to do.
  • Under 1965 it states that army subdued insignia for warrant officers were black=silver, olive green=gold, and brown=brown. Was that an earlier variation? Because 1968 regs state black=silver, brown=gold, and olive green=brown. I have never seen an actual item in the former scheme, but plenty in the latter.
  • This is not within the scope of the book, but: Any idea when the USN band/music officer corps device (gold lyre) was dropped from the regulations in the early 2000s? I have made all sorts of inquiries and haven't been able to get an answer!

I have to note, sorry, the change of USN flag officer boards to the modern (four-star diamond and three-star triangle) patterns was in late 1919, 1913 USNUR Change No. 28, 13 Nov 1919.

You've done a job of work there, congratulations and thanks for the fine reference.

Justin
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Re: Very shameless self promotion

Unread postby gghbisa » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:37 pm

Thanks Justin. This is the first time I ever put images in a book. The 400mb limit is a real pain. I hope the graphics are legible in the ebook format, the paperback editions are a little iffy.

As for your questions:


[b]When were the stars for army lieutenant general changed to all the same size? It's in 1922 regulations but may have been earlier.[/b]


My guess is that the stars were officially changed with the new regulations in 1921. However the picture of General Bullard on wikapedia appears to show the stars at the same size. Changes to uniform regulations through May of 1918 show the different size stars.

[b]When was the USC&GS corps device changed from a gold triangle and silver circle to all gold with the triangle outlined? The 1943 National Geographic shows the former, 1945 the latter. But I have not been able to find anything official.[/b]

I haven’t been able to find anything either.


[b]When was WO/CWO sleeve insignia authorized for army blue mess jacket uniforms post-WW2 (IIRC grade device above gold-brown-gold stripe)?[/b]

September 5, 1952. My reference was Colonel Emerson’s Encyclopedia of the United States Army Insignia and Uniforms page 574. His reference is SR 600-32-10 of that date.


[b]I read in the book that in 1951 the band/music corps device was used by USN ship’s clerk (bandmaster), before the changes resulting from the 1954 Warrant Officer Act. Is there a citation for that? If so I have some correcting to do.[/b]


US Navy Uniform Regulations 1951 page 2-20

[b]Under 1965 it states that army subdued insignia for warrant officers were black=silver, olive green=gold, and brown=brown. Was that an earlier variation? Because 1968 regs state black=silver, brown=gold, and olive green=brown. I have never seen an actual item in the former scheme, but plenty in the latter.[/b]

When I was researching my first book I posted this question on the forum as I was not able to find any other information. Black for silver, olive for gold and brown for brown was the answer I got so that is what I have gone with in my books. If the other system is in regulations than it is probably correct.




[b]This is not within the scope of the book, but: Any idea when the USN band/music officer corps device (gold lyre) was dropped from the regulations in the early 2000s? I have made all sorts of inquiries and haven't been able to get an answer![/b]

I couldn’t find anything either.


Thanks again!
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Re: Very shameless self promotion

Unread postby RaduLaur66 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:50 am

My questions have to with the rank insignia topic only partially:
1. When the former 4 star rank of 1866 was reactivated in 1917(as it was discontinued after Sheridan's death in 1888) why did the name change from 'General of the Army' to simply 'General'?
2. As for the General of the Army rank insignia, why Sherman decided in 1872 to change from 4 stars to US Coat of Arms within 2 stars and why the Army reverted to the old 4 star design in 1917?
3. When General of the Army was introduced in December 1945, why was it necessary, since they already had a rank which was senior to General, that is General of the Armies and a holder of it still alive (General of the Armies Joseph Pershing). It looks like the 5 star General of the Army rank is useless between General (4 star) and General of the Armies. The same goes for Fleet Admiral, since they already had the Admiral of the Navy.
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Re: Very shameless self promotion

Unread postby gghbisa » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:04 pm

The very senior ranks are not as well defined as they could be. Since only one officer held them most of the time, or later only a very few, the titles are not consistent.

[b]When the former 4 star rank of 1866 was reactivated in 1917(as it was discontinued after Sheridan's death in 1888) why did the name change from 'General of the Army' to simply ‘General'[/b]

The law creating the rank in 1866 stated it was [u]reviving[/u] the rank of General of the Army of the United States. This would mean that congress thought it was bringing back the rank created for George Washington in 1799, which was actually General of the Armies. The law itself later refers to the rank as just General. Grant was listed as a General in the Army Register and Sherman and General of the Army of the United States, but General was used on the table of organization. Even at the time nobody agreed on what the title was.

[b]As for the General of the Army rank insignia, why Sherman decided in 1872 to change from 4 stars to US Coat of Arms within 2 stars and why the Army reverted to the old 4 star design in 1917?[/b]

Sherman refused to allow any uniform changes. He liked the uniform form the Civil War and thought it should stay as it was. The army waited until he was out of the country in 1872 to make the changes. The change was too far down the road when he got back for him to undo it, but he certainly could have changed his own insignia back if he wanted to. Best guess is that the army and the country at large was not as wedded to the stars system then as it is now. The best guess on 1917 is that they wanted Pershing to have equal status with European generals and marshals so the more ornaments the better.

[b]When General of the Army was introduced in December 1945, why was it necessary, since they already had a rank which was senior to General, that is General of the Armies and a holder of it still alive (General of the Armies Joseph Pershing). It looks like the 5 star General of the Army rank is useless between General (4 star) and General of the Armies. The same goes for Fleet Admiral, since they already had the Admiral of the Navy.[/b]

This was out of respect for Pershing. It created a rank under his but equal to the European Field Marshals that were under the command of the Generals of the Army.
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Re: Very shameless self promotion

Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:09 am

gghbisa wrote:Thanks Justin. This is the first time I ever put images in a book. The 400mb limit is a real pain. I hope the graphics are legible in the ebook format, the paperback editions are a little iffy.


Well, there are so many devices, who knows, but I can zoom in on them so they are usuable.


When were the stars for army lieutenant general changed to all the same size? It's in 1922 regulations but may have been earlier.



My guess is that the stars were officially changed with the new regulations in 1921. However the picture of General Bullard on wikapedia appears to show the stars at the same size. Changes to uniform regulations through May of 1918 show the different size stars.


Yes, I meant 1921 too. AR 600-35 of 14 Oct. 1921 says
"14. Insignia for shoulder loop — Silver stars for general officers will be 1 inch in diameter." That's the earliest I can find.



When was WO/CWO sleeve insignia authorized for army blue mess jacket uniforms post-WW2 (IIRC grade device above gold-brown-gold stripe)?

September 5, 1952. My reference was Colonel Emerson’s Encyclopedia of the United States Army Insignia and Uniforms page 574. His reference is SR 600-32-10 of that date.


Well, I have that book! Thanks!

I read in the book that in 1951 the band/music corps device was used by USN ship’s clerk (bandmaster), before the changes resulting from the 1954 Warrant Officer Act. Is there a citation for that? If so I have some correcting to do.


US Navy Uniform Regulations 1951 page 2-20


In the original 1951 USNUR the corps devices end on p. 2-20 at (v), chief pay clerk and pay clerk. After the 1954 warrant officer legislation, Change 2 of 6 Feb 1956 brought devices for Aviation Operations Technician, Aviation Ordnance Technician, Aviation Maintenance Technician, Aviation Electronics Technician and Building Foreman/Construction Electrician/Equipment Foreman as well as Bandmaster, which ended at (bb). There may have been orders before that date, of course. Original page:

usn_wo_1951.png


Under 1965 it states that army subdued insignia for warrant officers were black=silver, olive green=gold, and brown=brown. Was that an earlier variation? Because 1968 regs state black=silver, brown=gold, and olive green=brown. I have never seen an actual item in the former scheme, but plenty in the latter.

When I was researching my first book I posted this question on the forum as I was not able to find any other information. Black for silver, olive for gold and brown for brown was the answer I got so that is what I have gone with in my books. If the other system is in regulations than it is probably correct.


AR 670-5 1969 Chapter 15 "Subdued Ornamentation" says

Effective 1 July 1968, "Insignia for all officers are black color with the following exceptions: major and second lieutenant are brown color; warrant officers 1 and 2 are brown with 2 and 3 olive green bands, respectively; warrant officers 3 and 4 are black with 2 and 3 olive green bands, respectively."


This is not within the scope of the book, but: Any idea when the USN band/music officer corps device (gold lyre) was dropped from the regulations in the early 2000s? I have made all sorts of inquiries and haven't been able to get an answer!

I couldn’t find anything either.


That is the last thing I need to put together a timeline of USN corps devices!

Thanks a lot,

Justin
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