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AMERICA - MILITARY BRANCH & RANK INSIGNIA

USArmy Master Private

Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines

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USArmy Master Private

Unread postby Peter » Sun May 21, 2006 6:10 pm

Dear Forummember, Guest,

I am looking for information about the US Army Master Private also known as Private First Class Specialist First Class or First First in the Era 1920's till 1940's?
Can anybody tell me if the simple Private Specialists wore only the rockerstripes without the pointup chevrons as Privates First Class do?
All other information about this subject is very welcome?
Yours sincerely,

Peter Meijlaers
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Unread postby ChrisWI » Sun May 21, 2006 6:22 pm

This is the first I have ever heard of that rank.

http://www2.powercom.net/~rokats//armyhome.html
^ You can try looking for information at the above link.
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Unread postby Peter » Sun May 21, 2006 7:19 pm

Dear Chris,

I already know the link you pointed me. I am looking for additional information about this topic. But still thanks.
Yours sincerely,

Peter Meijlaers
Peter MEIJLAERS
Candidate Hierarchiologist
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hierarkiologio@yahoo.com
Intrests are: Scientific study of Hierarchiology, Hierarchy, Ranks, Grades, Orders, Decorations, Heraldry, etc
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Unread postby ghbisa » Mon May 22, 2006 6:11 am

According to “Chevrons” by William K. Emerson there were six grades of specialist that could be appointed from Privates or PFCs. Officially the army had done away with all special chevrons in 1920. So, by regulation the PFCs wore one chevron and the privates wore no insignia.

However insignia manufactures produced many specialist designs that soldiers purchased themselves. The most common of these were a single chevron of a PFC with one to six arcs and a specialty mark between. Since these were never sanctioned by the army there was no exact “system” to them.
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Unread postby Peter » Mon May 22, 2006 2:26 pm

Dear Ghbisa,

To be sure I understand you correct: the simple Privates had no arcs at all this in contradiction to Privates First Class who had 1 chevrons and till 6 arcs?
Yours sincerely,

Peter Meijlaers
Peter MEIJLAERS
Candidate Hierarchiologist
3900 Overpelt, Limburg, BELGIUM
hierarkiologio@yahoo.com
Intrests are: Scientific study of Hierarchiology, Hierarchy, Ranks, Grades, Orders, Decorations, Heraldry, etc
Peter
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Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Mon May 22, 2006 3:12 pm

Peter wrote:Dear Ghbisa,

To be sure I understand you correct: the simple Privates had no arcs at all this in contradiction to Privates First Class who had 1 chevrons and till 6 arcs?


Peter,

Officially, all privates first class wore one chevron. However, PFC's could also be specialists and draw additional pay based on technical qualifications. A "First and First" was a Private First Class who had First Class Specialist qualification and pay. There was no provision to show specialist qualification on the uniform, but it was not uncommon for specialists to wear the insignia described above, one chevron with one to six rockers below. These were never offical, however, they were privately purchased non-regulation insignia.

Specialist qualifications were not recognized by official insignia until the Technician grades of 1942.

I have never heard of the term "Master Private."

best regards,
Justin
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USArmy Master Private

Unread postby jidavis » Mon May 22, 2006 3:58 pm

Does anyone know of what the the US enlisted chevron insignia looked like from 1920 to 1930 or have a picture of one?
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Re: USArmy Master Private

Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Mon May 22, 2006 5:54 pm

jidavis wrote:Does anyone know of what the the US enlisted chevron insignia looked like from 1920 to 1930 or have a picture of one?


Basically the same as the beginning of World War II, with no Tech grades and two rockers for First Sergeant. If I remember correctly, the most common chevrons were cut from OD cloth similar to the coat and sewn on a dark blue or black background. If Ghbisa has the Emerson "Chevrons" book (I wish I had!) he can probably give a better answer.

best regards,
Justin
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Unread postby ChrisWI » Mon May 22, 2006 10:10 pm

Peter wrote:Dear Ghbisa,

To be sure I understand you correct: the simple Privates had no arcs at all this in contradiction to Privates First Class who had 1 chevrons and till 6 arcs?
Yours sincerely,

Peter Meijlaers

Judging from the above discription I think he might be reffering to the Specialist of which we had Spec 1 through I belive 9 until the mid 1980s when we revered to just one rank of Specialist with the insignia of a Spec 4. I might be wrong with the #s.
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Unread postby ghbisa » Tue May 23, 2006 7:42 am

Justin explained it better than I did but just to recap the official insignia was:

Private First Class: one chevron
Private: nothing.
no other insignia was authorized.


The chevrons used form 1920 to World War II were much simpler than the almost 200 different ranks used in World War I. There were just seven pay grades:
Grade One: Master Sergeant - Three Chevrons and three arcs.
Grade Two: First Sergeant - Three Chevrons and two, yes two, arcs with a lozenge between.
also in Grade Two: Technical Sergeant - Three Chevrons and two arcs.
Grade Three: Staff Sergeant - Three Chevrons and one arc.
Grade Four: Sergeant - Three Chevrons.
Grade Five: Corporal - Two Chevrons.
Grade Six: Private First Class - One Chevron.
Grade Seven: Private - Nothing.
Specialists First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Class could be assigned form grades six or seven.

The chevrons themselves were point up 3 1/8 inches wide in same basic style the army still uses.
From 1920 until 1933 the chevrons were made of cut out pieces of olive drab wool sewn on a dark blue background. In 1933 the army authorized olive drab embroidery to replace the cut out wool. According to Emerson, from 1933 to 1948 the army changed its mind how the chevrons should be made several times going back and forth between cut out and embroidery. In practice this meant both styles were used throughout the period.
In 1936 the army allowed Khaki chevrons on a blue background to be worn on khaki uniforms, both cut out and embroidery were used.
Dress blue uniforms came back in to use in 1926 and were equipped with branch colored chevrons on a blue background.
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Unread postby damir fiskal » Tue May 23, 2006 1:48 pm

ghbisa wrote:Dress blue uniforms came back in to use in 1926 and were equipped with branch colored chevrons on a blue background.


It's a little bit offtopic, but anyway...

I didn't know about re-introduction of dress blue uniforms in 1926. i thought that the Army had all dress and other blue uniforms discontinued when USA entered the first world war in 1917. and that the only uniform was "Service Dress" OD uniform (a multi-purpose uniform for all the occasions).

How did those 1926. dress blue uniforms look? Was there a civilian open-collar coat with shirt and tie (like today's dress blue uniform) or maybe a high-collar coat (tunic) or something else?

Do you have any links or some other source you can recomend?

Thanks
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Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Tue May 23, 2006 11:54 pm

I didn't know about re-introduction of dress blue uniforms in 1926. i thought that the Army had all dress and other blue uniforms discontinued when USA entered the first world war in 1917. and that the only uniform was "Service Dress" OD uniform (a multi-purpose uniform for all the occasions).

How did those 1926. dress blue uniforms look? Was there a civilian open-collar coat with shirt and tie (like today's dress blue uniform) or maybe a high-collar coat (tunic) or something else?


The blue uniforms authorized in the late '20s (some sources say 1929) were the same ones from before WW1. They were brought back on an optional basis for officers and enlisted men, though enlisted men in a few units with special cermonial duties were issued the uniform. It was very rarely worn. For enlisted men, it was the 1902 pattern:

Dark blue, single-breasted coat with six gold buttons and standing collar, no outside pockets. Three small gold buttons on the back side of the cuff. Branch-color trim around the top and bottom of the collar, shoulder loops and cuffs. Collar insignia on discs (bright US and officer-type branch insignia were worn on both sides before the war). Branch colored chevrons and service stripes. Branch-colored cords were worn across the chest before WW1 for full dress. In the '20s these were not authorized but were frequently worn anyway. A tan leather belt could be worn outside the coat.

Light blue trousers with branch-color stripes for corporals (.5 inch wide), sergeants (1.25 inch) and musicians (double stripes, each .5 inch).

Dark blue visored cap with branch colors on band and US coat of arms badge on disc.

In 1936 new dress blue uniforms were authorized, with open lapels and no outside pockets, worn with white shirt, stiff collar and black tie. Enlisted coats had branch color trim around the coat collar (not lapels, though), shoulder loops and cuffs.

Officers had either branch-colored shoulder loops or gold cord shoulder knots, and could add a gold-trimmed belt depending on the occasion. Branch-colored cuff bands with gold trim, similar to those on today's Army Blue, were also introduced. In 1937 the shoulder loops were abolished and replaced with the traditional rectangular shoulder straps, and pockets were added to the coat.

Trousers were the same as before for officer and enlisted. These uniforms were abandoned when the war began, and were replaced with the more familiar Army Blue uniforms in 1956.

best regards,
Justin
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Unread postby damir fiskal » Wed May 24, 2006 1:24 am

Thank your very much Justin, on your very usefull info.

Also looking forward to seeing new updates on your excellent US Navy site.

Best regards

Damir
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Unread postby ghbisa » Wed May 24, 2006 6:32 am

I can recommend two books.

The Horse Soldier Volume 4 by Randy Steffen ISBN 08066114525
This book includes a reproduction of an article in the January 1929 Cavalry Journal describing the return of the blue uniforms and a complete reproduction of AR 600-38, Dress Uniforms for Officers and Warrant Officers, dated August 17, 1938.

Encyclopedia of United States Army Insignia and Uniforms by William K. Emerson ISBN 0806126221.
This book has a brief description of the 1930’s dress uniforms (along with almost every other uniform the army has ever worn) and a picture of the open collar enlisted uniform.
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Unread postby Erskine Calderon » Wed May 24, 2006 5:53 pm

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