UNIFORMS, INSIGNIA, AND AWARDS
Upon completion of this chapter, you should be able to do the following:
Identify the differences between flag officers,
line officers, and staff corps officers.
Identify the uniforms and corps devices worn
by naval officers.
Identify the different types of aiguillettes and
those personnel authorized to wear them.
Describe the use of mourning badges.
Identify midshipmens and officer candidates
Describe the differences between rates and
ratings for enlisted personnel.
Identify the various breast insignia worn by
Define the terms associated with naval medals
Determine the order of precedence for
wearing various naval medals and awards and
the manner in which they are worn.
Describe various uniform modifications that
may be authorized by your prescribing
Identify the Navys facility for ordering
uniforms through the mail.
5 Sep. 1776 Navy adopts its first uniform.
1 Jul. 1933 Navy Clothing Depot, Brooklyn,
Every naval officer should be an authority on
the grades, ratings, and insignia of the Navy. An
officer should also be able to recognize and
know the meaning of the insignia worn by other
branches of the armed forces.
Because Navy ways might be new to you,
many questions probably have crossed your mind.
For example, at times you may have thought,
What is that officers rank? What does that
petty officers insignia mean? What does that
collar device stand for?
This chapter describes the types of uniforms
and corps/grade devices of naval officers and
midshipmen. It also describes the uniforms, rating
insignia, and distinguishing marks of enlisted
personnel in the Navy. Included are comparisons
of rank, rate, and grade insignia of all service
As in other branches of the armed services,
officers of the Navy have precedence according
to their grade. Within their grade, officers have
precedence according to their date of appointment
to that grade. Officers are junior to those with
a higher grade. Within grades, officers are junior
to those with an appointment date prior to theirs.
Although the word rank is often used inter-
changeably with grade, this is incorrect. Officers
hold a grade (captain, commander, etc.); they
outrank a junior, or they rank from the date of
appointment to their grade (date of rank).