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?
Posted >1 y ago
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.
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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