Posted on Nov 13, 2015
LTC Stephen F.
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Fatigue, battledress and other work and combat uniforms had subdued rank most of the time. Some ranks are very distinctive such as Captain [double bars], Colonel [eagle], and General Officer [black star or multiple]. However 1st LT and Warrant Officer looked very close and sometimes Majors and Lieutenant Colonels looked very close especially in the rain, snow, etc.
When I was a private in the 1970s I couldn't tell sometimes if a LT or a Chief Warrant Officer was approaching me. I would salute usually and wasn't sure at that time if I was supposed to salute Warrant Officers.
Did you have trouble recognizing officer rank?
Posted in these groups: Rank RankCf1cbe80 Troops
Edited >1 y ago
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Responses: 130
CPO Ed Hoover
37
37
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Never had that problem ,in the Navy, til now. Previously, officers wore their rank on their collars, enlisted on their sleeve. Now we want to be like the army and marines, and go with these stupid, camo unis, and put a tiny rank designator in the middle of the chest. If its a female, ya gotta look straight her breasts, to determine her rank. Stupid as hell. Stay with collar ranks.
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Cpl Douglas Loven
Cpl Douglas Loven
>1 y
I did watch a Marine SgtMaj salute a private once whom i was escorting around when he was checking into our unit. The private had his back turned and given he was in service Alphas he looked like an officer. Private looked at me with a o fuck what do i do look. Salute back ya dip shit. You don't want the SgtMaj of your unit to look stupid and I don't want to have to hide your body. We all sorta had a laugh afterwards but it was dicey for about a minute.
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SSG Scott Parkhurst
SSG Scott Parkhurst
>1 y
When I first got in with the woodland uniform I did. But then the ACU's and newer uniforms it got much easier to recognize the ranks.
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1SG Charles Hunter
1SG Charles Hunter
3 mo
Never could understand why the Navy wants to wear camouflage aboard ship. Who are you hiding from?
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SPC Nancy Greene
SPC Nancy Greene
1 mo
I definitely agree with you CPO Ed Hoover! The placement of rank center chest is ridiculous and bordering on sexual harassment, imho
I am ‘old school’ and we wore subdued rank on our collars when wearing BDU’S! Stateside, I worked in Class B’s in a Personnel Office, so recognizing rank wasn’t an issue. This was in the 80’s
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Capt Mark Strobl
35
35
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Need to add "CPO's, MCPO's, and SCPO's" to this list. In khakis and working blues, I've saluted many-a-Chief Petty Officer. Nothing like hearing "Carry On, Sir" as they returned my salutation. But that's OK... these leaders rate a salute anyway. As we often heard, "When in doubt, whip it out."
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SSgt Ron Lindsey
SSgt Ron Lindsey
>1 y
On operations with the Marines in Nam, Senior NCO and Officers wore their rank on the under side of their collar if at all. No one wanted to become a target for a sniper 'of opportunity'. But again, we enlisted knew who were the NCO and officers of our unit.
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CPO Mark Robinson
CPO Mark Robinson
>1 y
The blue cammies were easy to figure out since the collar devices were pretty much the same as the old days but the greens totally threw me off. I thought everyone I met was an E-1 until I met one with scrambled eggs on his hat brim and so I had to ask him what his rate is and he showed me the eagle right smack in the middle of his chest. He was a good sport about it and shook my hand and thanked me for my service. Being a veteran somehow brings out mutual respect for one another.
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Sgt John Mizell
Sgt John Mizell
2 y
5fc5b393
I was on base in Calif. , I saw this guy started coming toward me in civilian clothes , he moved his hand up to his head, so I brought mine up , he said how are you doing son, my name is Richard Nixon
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SPC Nancy Greene
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SGM Erik Marquez
29
29
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Army, never an issue. Navy, Marine  salute um all and smile...was just easier then having to stare, think and take a stab at getting it wrong...LOL
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PV2 Glenn E Moody
PV2 Glenn E Moody
3 y
yes I was at a graduation at Parris Island in my class A Dress uniform with my blue Infantry cord And the yellow ARMY color guard cord the cover I had on was the officer style back when I went to boot camp it was 1982 at that time it was changing of uniform from O.D. Green to BDU's uniform rule at the time was if you had it you could still ware it some still had the Kaki with my discharge rank 1 stripe PVT. 2 back to the Island I got more salute's I asked why are you Saluting me the reply was when doubt whip one out the uniform makes me look like an officer or a veteran we Salute all veteran's no matter the rank now at my Veterans meetings I hang with officers the General said all rank is left at the door. I get treated the same as the General dose.
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SFC Michael Duncan
SFC Michael Duncan
>1 y
I was in Korea during the 80's, I worked for 2nd ID HQs, and was on a mission to give a PT test to ERDE called unit. I was unloading equipment from a vehicle when I noticed two soldier's walking across a street about 120 meters away. I went back to what I was doing and in a few minutes two officers stopped me and asked if I saluted officers I had not seen their approach. I responded with a salute and answered yes always, they responded that they had seen me watching them cross the street. I was a senior SFC at the time they were a 1st and 2nd "louies" I told them that I was taught to salute at about 6 paces away. Also that I could not see their rank at that distance, we were in BDU's. I then told them that I would correct my behavior, called the detail to attention and saluted. I seen them later taking the PT test I graded them both, and smiled they didn't look happy!!! They passed.. I could have seen their rank with binos, they could have seen mine with sleeve rank!!
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