Historical Changes to U.S. Army Chevrons


The changes are illustrated with the appropriate insignia of rank for a Sergeant of Dragoons / Cavalry, when possible.
Sleeve insignia in approximately the same scale.
1815






left arm only-
above elbow
 
1821


both arms-
below elbow
  
1830

right arm only-
below elbow
  
1833





both arms-
above elbow
  
1847




both arms-
above elbow
   
Introduction of decorative wing-style epaulettes and fringe on shoulders of uniforms necessitated rank on sleeves.
War Dept General Order (WDGO) changing NCO chevrons and including chevrons for officers
( Lt  > Col ). 
WDGO changing NCO chevrons to stripe from seam to seam.
WDGO changing stripes back to chevrons, but now pointing down.
WDGO changing regulations.
Reason unclear.





1851

both arms-
above elbow
1872



both arms-

above elbow
  
1884



both arms-
above elbow


1898



both arms-
above elbow

1898





both arms-
above elbow
WDGO changing regulations.
Reason unclear.
Change in manufacture, chevrons outlined on material by heavy chain stitching. Introduction of dress uniform gold lace chevrons lined with branch color. Developed for wear on khaki field uniform jackets. Half-size chevrons for wear on blue field shirt as an outer garment in hot tropical climates.





1900




both arms-
above elbow

1902




both arms-
above elbow


1902




both arms-
above elbow
 

1904




both arms until 1917,
then right arm only-
above elbow

1920
   
 



both arms-
above elbow
   

Improvement of small chevrons for the blue field shirt sleeves. WDGO changing regulations.
Reason unclear.
USMA Band trim
permanently changed to white
Introduction of olive drab overcoat, service coat, and brown fatigue coat.

Simplification of the many dozens of insignia down to seven pay grades.

 

OD for blouses,
Khaki for shirts.

 

1948

  

both arms-
above elbow
 

1951



both arms-

above elbow
 

1955/56



both arms-
above elbow
 

1958




both arms-
above elbow
 

1966



both arms-
above elbow
 

Postwar cost cutting prompted
the two-inch wide chevrons, eliminated three-chevron insignia and Staff Sgt. grade.

Small chevrons discarded,
back to three-inch.

Change to new
Army Green uniform.

[Wearout date 2014]

Seven pay grades were expanded to nine
(added SSG & SGM).

Need for subdued chevrons in Vietnam.


  1968



both arms-
above elbow


2006/07




both arms-
above elbow


   
 

US Army Band
Ceremonial uniform

Change from Army Green to blue Army Service Uniform    


Insignia Other than Sleeve in their approximate scale.
1968


  

both collars
 
1972




both lapels
 
1975




both lapels &
both collars

 
1981

both shoulders
 
1991




both collars
 
Rolling sleeves in hot climate necessitated subdued insignia move to the collars.
Black metal insignia hard to see on Army Green overcoat collars. White plastic backings added.
Brass replaced the black & white two-piece combination chevrons.
Shoulder marks introduced to stop metal pins from shredding dress shirt collars, for Corporals and above.
Added desert subdued.






2004




single Velcro-backed "patch" at front center
of blouse

 
2005




single Velcro-backed "patch" at front center of blouse
 



New Army Combat Uniforms (ACU) of digitized camouflage patterns.  First used subdued cloth insignia, later cloth with the digitized pattern.



 



Copyright Date on Graphic (c) RWD Ploessl

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