Site hosted by Build your free website today!

American Military Patches, Other Insignia and Decorations of World War Two by Dr. Howard G. Lanham c.2001

Other Insignia Not Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

Second World War

U.S. Army Grade Insignia

Part Two: Field, Company Officers and Warrant Officers

Field Officers

Colonel Lt. Colonel Major
Colonel Lieutenant Colonel Major

Company Officers

Captain First Lt. Second Lt.
Captain First Lieutenant Second Lieutenant

Warrant Officers

Chief Warrant Officer Warrant Officer Flight Officer
Chief Warrant Officer Warrant Officer Flight Officer

One unusual feature of U.S. Army grade insignia is that the lower ranking officer often wears an insignia that is made of a more noble metal. For example, the first lieutenant and major wear gold, while the second lieutenant and lieutenant colonel wear only silver. This departure from heraldry dates back to the time that officers wore epaulettes. These were gold in color and had silver rank insignia to contrast. Majors had larger bullions (fringe) than second lieutenants, but neither had any grade device only a plain epaulette as the lowest ranking officer in their category. When shoulder straps were systematized in 1851 the silver leaf was kept for the lieutenant colonel and the major was given a gold leaf. The second lieutenant insignia followed this precedent when it was introduced in 1917.

Back to Other Insignia
Index to Site
Back to Home Page