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AMERICA - MILITARY BRANCH & RANK INSIGNIA

us army officer's collar insignia

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us army officer's collar insignia

Unread postby damir fiskal » Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:59 pm

In late 30's and early 40's, US Army was one of very few armed forces in teh world that allowed shirts to be worn as official uniform, without coats. As I understand it, officers wore rank insignia on shoulders (officer's shirts had epaulettes, enlisted men's didn't) and US and branch insignia on the collar. Can anyone tell me when was the wearing of rank insignia on shirt shoulders discontinued? Because, at some point rank insignia moved to one side of the shirt collar (in place of US insignia). Also, I would like to know what was the official regulation regarding shirt collar insignia when shirt was worn with coat (so-called officer's pinks & greens)?Also, I noticed that ties weren always worn with the shirt, so I'd like to know the official regulations regarding that.
I would greatly appreciate any information about this! Thank you
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Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:15 am

Hi Damir,

Here's a brief outline of US army officers' insignia on the shirt, when worn as an outergarment:

1898:
Metal rank devices worn on both sides of collar.

1916:
1st Lt. through Colonel: Rank and US (USR, USV etc) on right collar, branch device on left.
2nd Lt.: Branch and US on right, branch on left.
General Officers: Rank and US, both sides.
(small sized collar devices adopted around this time)

1918:
Rank on right collar, branch on left. Generals, rank both sides.

1924:
Rank on shoulder loops, US on right collar, branch on left.

August 1942:
Rank on right collar, branch on left. Generals, rank both sides.

Also, I would like to know what was the official regulation regarding shirt collar insignia when shirt was worn with coat (so-called officer's pinks & greens)?


Collar insignia were only used if the shirt was going to be worn as the outer garment, that is, generally in warmer weather and/or in the field.

Also, I noticed that ties weren always worn with the shirt, so I'd like to know the official regulations regarding that.


I think that in WW2 the regualtions still stated that the tie should be worn if the shirt was the outer garment, but this was frequently disregarded by local commanders. Patton liked his officers to wear ties. In Europe in the winter the tie was frequently worn, but in the Pacific only only on formal occasions.

best regards,
Justin
Last edited by J.T. Broderick on Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby damir fiskal » Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:37 pm

Thank you very much. It was very helpful and very precise. I'm trying to put together a sort of handbook on Allied uniforms and insignia in WW II and don't have very much information on american forces, especialy these kinds of details. If I could bother you with another question? I know that officer's service uniform (pinks & greens) in WW II was different than that worn by enlisted men. But, I would like to know were there any official regulations about officers wearing parts of enlisted men's uniforms (i.e. shirts and/or trousers) as field uniform? Because I don't recall seeing any pictures of officers wearing pink trousers and/or pink shirts in the field.
And another question, if you don't mind. I remeber seeing two different types of NCO's insignia - first type was bright grey stripes&arcs on dark blue background and second type was more neutral brownish (OD-like) stripes&arcs on dark blue background. So, I'd like to know why two types of insignia? Are they form different time periods or maybe they were supposed to be worn on different uniforms? Thanks again! Damir Fiskal from Croatia
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Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:57 pm

damir fiskal wrote:Thank you very much. It was very helpful and very precise.


You're welcome, I'm glad it helped.

If I could bother you with another question? I know that officer's service uniform (pinks & greens) in WW II was different than that worn by enlisted men. But, I would like to know were there any official regulations about officers wearing parts of enlisted men's uniforms (i.e. shirts and/or trousers) as field uniform? Because I don't recall seeing any pictures of officers wearing pink trousers and/or pink shirts in the field.


The regulations pretty much covered service dress uniforms, what was actually worn in the field was often quite different. Officers bought most of their own clothing, and things like shirts and trousers were obtained from many different commercial sources, and could vary quite a bit. The wool shirt for officers could be a very dark shade. Wool trousers of dark brown/green (like the service coat) were also available for officers, but they could also obtain OD green shirts and trousers of the enlisted type for wear in the field.

Outer wear like field jackets and tanker jackets were the same for officers and enlisted alike. The short "Eisenhower" jacket was often worn in forward areas, these were invariably dark for officers and OD green for enlisted.

And another question, if you don't mind. I remeber seeing two different types of NCO's insignia - first type was bright grey stripes&arcs on dark blue background and second type was more neutral brownish (OD-like) stripes&arcs on dark blue background. So, I'd like to know why two types of insignia? Are they form different time periods or maybe they were supposed to be worn on different uniforms?


I am not sure of all the details, but there were a number of different types of chevrons used during the war: sewn-on cloth, embroidered and woven. I think that pre-war chevrons were OD-ish green on dark blue for the service coat, and tan on dark blue for shirt sleeves. There were a lot of variations in shade manufactured during the war. The lighter grayish-tan srtipes on dark blue became the most common, though.

best regards,
Justin
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Unread postby damir fiskal » Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:21 pm

Thank you very much. Your information is very helpful.
Thanks once more.
Damir
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Unread postby Erskine Calderon » Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:40 pm

"And another question, if you don't mind. I remeber seeing two different types of NCO's insignia - first type was bright grey stripes&arcs on dark blue background and second type was more neutral brownish (OD-like) stripes&arcs on dark blue background. So, I'd like to know why two types of insignia? Are they form different time periods or maybe they were supposed to be worn on different uniforms?"



May I also suggest:

http://www2.powercom.net/~rokats/chevchang.html
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Unread postby damir fiskal » Sat Jan 14, 2006 2:49 pm

Thanks. I saw that web-site, and I'm checking it regularly. It's very informative. Maybe you can halpe me about some other details? Do you know when did the US Army change the color of the tie in the service uniform? I beleive it was black in the begening and at some point (late 30s early 40s) it was changed to light brown/tan. And also, about sand colored tropical/summer uniform. What was the correct term for the color of that uniform? Was it also OD, or maybe kakhi or somethig else? Is it true that enlisted men only wore shirt&trousers, while officers had a matching coat (like in winter OD service uniform)?
Thanks in advance
Damir
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Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:57 am

damir fiskal wrote: Maybe you can halpe me about some other details? Do you know when did the US Army change the color of the tie in the service uniform? I beleive it was black in the begening and at some point (late 30s early 40s) it was changed to light brown/tan.


I don't know the answer to that for sure. When the open-collar coat was adopted in1926, it could be worn with a khaki shirt for the field and a white shirt for wear in garrison and for dress occasions. The white shirt was always worn with a black tie, but I don't know about the khaki shirt.

And also, about sand colored tropical/summer uniform. What was the correct term for the color of that uniform? Was it also OD, or maybe kakhi or somethig else? Is it true that enlisted men only wore shirt&trousers, while officers had a matching coat (like in winter OD service uniform)?


The color was called khaki, which in American terms usually indicates a light, sandy color, not the same as what the British call khaki.

Enlisted men in hot locations had cotton khaki coats until 1938 or 1939. At that time they began to wear the khaki shirt only, with the tie tucked between the shirt buttons. Officers had a khaki cotton version of their service coat. This was very easy to wrinkle and was not too poplular. In 1942 officers were authorized a new warm weather uniform, which was similar to the dark service coat but without the waist belt. The color was a lighter, less green shade than the khaki and was eventually known as "army tan." The cuff stripe was khaki braid. The uniform was made of a lightweight wool called tropical worsted, and the uniform became commonly known as "TW's". During the war the TW's with the coat were not worn much overseas except for formal occasions, but were sometimes worn for ordinary duty in the States. In the 1950s enlisted men were allowed to buy TW's at their own expense.

Best regards,
Justin
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