Posted on Oct 2, 2015
Sgt Jay Jones
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I spent my time in the Marine Corps and I fully understand the USMC rank structure and what the differences are when you reach the E-8 and E-9 levels. I have asked this question of many of my U.S. Navy friends and I keep getting a variety of answers. However, I would truly like to know the difference between "Red" Chevrons vs. Gold Chevrons. What is the standard?

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LT Intelligence
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The authority to wear gold rating badges and service stripes on the dress blue and working coverall uniform is granted when a sailor completes and maintains twelve consecutive years of honorable service without any official record of bad conduct due to punitive action via non-judicial punishment or courts martial. The gold rating badges and service stripes are distinct from the Good Conduct Medal, which is awarded for three years of honorable service.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Navy_enlisted_rates
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MCPO Roger Collins
MCPO Roger Collins
4 y
Right on the mark! Now, as far as the E-8/9, I am uncertain as to what the question is. As a Senior Chief (briefly) and a Master Chief through retirement, I had man assignments that were jobs filled by JOs before me and when on Submarines, Other than watch standing positions and Leading Division Chief, not much difference. Oh, on the boats, they loved to assign JO collateral duties to top ranking Chiefs. As I recall, I had about a dozen up to the point I retired. if I missed your question, let me know.
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Sgt Jay Jones
Sgt Jay Jones
4 y
MCPO Roger Collins, the difference I was speaking too concerned my complete understanding of the E8/E9 ranks within the Marine Corps. Thank you so much for helping me understand a question I have had for over 40 years.
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1stSgt Operations Manager
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Good conduct or over twelve years of honorable service, I believe.
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Sgt Jay Jones
Sgt Jay Jones
4 y
Thank you 1stSgt Jim S. I also see your statement is supported by LTJG Drew Beckham and PO3 Steven Sherrill. Thank you gentlemen for clearing that up for me.
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1stSgt Operations Manager
1stSgt (Join to see)
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My wife was in the Navy. We met when I was on restriction.
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PO1 Operations Administrator
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4 y
Correct. 12 consecutive years with no NJP.
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CPO Michael Callegri
CPO Michael Callegri
>1 y
That also includes no negative evaluations.
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PO3 Steven Sherrill
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Red versus gold is two fold. First it is length of service. Second it is conduct. If you have been in trouble, you stay in red. No trouble, you graduate to gold when you hit the time. It doesn't require being an E-7, E-8, or an E-9. When I was in, I saw a couple of E-5s who had the gold chevrons. That is the exception not the rule. Generally it is going to be someone who is E-6 and above. It is simply because someone not advancing is not likely to stay in the service long enough to advance to the gold chevrons.
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MCPO Roger Collins
MCPO Roger Collins
4 y
Probably a lot less with the "up or out" philosophy in place now.
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PO1 Glenn Boucher
PO1 Glenn Boucher
4 y
Back in the 80's I saw plenty of E-5's wearing gold due to the stagnant rank advancement. Some people stay because the just love the military and their jobs they are doing. We all desire advancement and again I saw plenty of E-5's retiring at 20 years.
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PO1 Information Systems Technician
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Sgt Jay Jones MCPO Roger Collins PO3 Steven Sherrill PO1 Glenn Boucher

While I was stationed at NCTS for LIMDU we had an IT2(E5) that had been in for 17 years... He was very much the exception and had just barely met the "Grandfather" clause that kept E5s in past their HYT of 14 yeasr due to previous service with the National Guard... He was a Gold Chevron wearing E5... Definitely one of the only >12yrs E5s that'll actually wear Gold. I've personally met quite a few E5s that won't switch to their Gold Chevrons after 12 years due to the fact that they only have 2 years left in the Navy if they don't pick up E6 and the Gold Chevrons are like 4x the price. If/when they pick up E6 though, they just switch to Gold right away when they're frocked... I guess it's become one of those "jinxes" that if you make the switch before E6, you won't make E6 at all...


On the flipside, we had a ETCM(E9) that lost his Gold Chevrons due to Nonjudicial Punishment and stayed in long enough to earn them back lol
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MCPO Roger Collins
MCPO Roger Collins
4 y
Two of the best Enginemen that I ever knew had drinking problems and never saw the gold stipe in their careers. One an E-5 (later busted down to EN3) and A WWII EN1, At my best as an E-5 Engineman (and I was very good) couldn't come up their level of knowledge. While I understand the need for professionalism, we are canning some people with irreplaceable skills, rather than getting them treatment they so need.
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