Second World War Era


Enlisted, Technicians, and Noncommissioned Officers

In 1902, a board of officers decided that enlisted grades should be numbered in reversed order; "Grade 1" denoting the top NCO grade and running downward. This system remained in effect until another board of officers changed it back, in 1948.

Insignia of Enlisted Rank

Closeup of The Ruptured Duck on the uniform.
Ruptured Duck Emblem


Early Specialist Chevrons

 These unauthorized insignia were manufactured and worn between 1920 and 1942. Individual Company and Regimental commanders approved them for local wear, only. Pictured are some of the common specialty devices, but there were many more and they were also worn with no specialty devices at all.

1920-1942; Unauthorized Specialist Chevrons

The Specialists officially wore the chevrons of a Private First Class. They drew the pay of a PFC, plus Specialist Pay in relation to the level of expertise they possessed. Specialists and their extra pay were real; the insignia above were dreamed up by manufacturers. The Technicians replaced the Specialists; for the time being ...



Civil Air Patrol

On 1 Dec 1941, CAP was founded under the Office of National Civil Defense. In 1942, CAP was transfered to control of the Army Air Force and given antisubmarine and rescue patrol duties on the east coast, from Maine to Mexico and border and forest fire patrol duties along the north and south borders and the west coast. Civilian volunteers all, Senior Members and Cadet Members were approved to wear Army uniforms, but with silver CAP buttons and insignia. Senior Members served as officers and enlisted and Cadet Members served as enlisted.

Officers wore regular Army officer insignia of rank from Flight Officer to Major (Lieutenant Colonel was added in 1944) on red shoulder loops. The officer's sleeve braids and garrison cap cord were also red. By 1945, all the red trim was discontinued and chevrons reverted to normal Army colors.




Army Specialist Corps

Almost immediately after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt established the Army Specialist Corps. This uniformed Corps of civilian administrators, professionals, scientists, and technicians were brought in to quickly release military personnel for combat, to train scientific and professional Army personnel, and to act as part time or fulltime consultants to the War Department without regard to normal civil service regulations or their having to join the Army.

ASC members were approved to wear Army uniforms, but with silver-gray plastic buttons and Corps insignia. Specialists wore the chevrons of Corporal through Master Sergeant with a silver-gray tab 1/2-inch below. On the tab, the letters ASC in burgundy. Officers wore regular Army officer insignia of rank from Second Lieutenant to Major General.

The normal military courtesies, respect, and obligations were exchanged within the Corps and
between members of the Corps and personnel of the Army.



Cloth Chevrons Manufactured from 1920 to 1948


Copyright (c) RWD Ploessl

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