|Various Aiguillettes from 1941 U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations||Undress Aiguillette for Aide to the Vice President, |
Secretary of the Navy or an Admiral
Aiguillettes are a vestige of the days when soldiers wore breast plates. The cords and the terminal needle-like end were used to bind the front and back pieces together. In the 17th and 18th Century when body armor was disappearing, the aiguillette was retained generally as a badge of office for a ranking officer's aide de camp. The U.S. Army and Navy did not use aiguillettes to any degree until the late 19th Century. Aside from being an insignia for an aide, aiguillette like cords were awarded to American soldiers by the French and Belgium governments as the Fourragére.
The U.S. Navy used two types of aiguillettes during World War Two. The typical aiguillettes were worn for dress and a series of cords worn around the shoulder for undress or service.
Dress aiguillettes worn by the personal naval aide to the President of the United States were made of gold cording and worn on the right side of the uniform. Other aides wore theirs on the left side and had cords of blue and gold. They were also worn by naval attachés. Similar aiguillettes with red and gold cords were worn by officers of the U.S. Marine Corps. Dress aiguillettes were worn on occasions of ceremony and social occasions. They also could be worn on an overcoat.
Undress or service aiguillettes were more practical for routine wear when on duty. They also were more indicative of the assignment of the aide.
|Title||Color||Side Worn||Number of Cords|
|Aide to President||Gold||Right||Four|
|Aide to Vice President|
Secretary of Navy
|Blue and Gold||Left||Four|
|Assistant Secretary of Navy|
|Blue and Gold||Left||Three|
|Blue and Gold||Left||Two|