The five components that make up the Armed Forces of the United States—Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard—share the same system of rank insignias for officers based upon the pay grades established the United States Congress. The single silver star used as the rank insignia for General Officers (or Admirals) at the O-7 pay grade was first introduced in the United States Army in 1780 when General George Washington issued orders that Major Generals would wear two stars on each shoulder epaulette, while Brigadier Generals would wear just one.

A silver, pin-on metal insignia is technically referred to as nonsubdued pin-on grade (or rank) insignia. The black version of the same insignia is called a subdued pin-on grade insignia. In the Army and Air Force, the large size (1 inch) of the Brigadier General’s nonsubdued rank insignia can be worn as either shoulder or cap insignia. In the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, this size is referred to as Regular.

Brigadier Generals in the Marine Corps wear the Regular size star on dress jackets, dress/service coats, the all-weather coat, tanker jacket, field coat, and the blue dress sweater. Rear Admirals, lower half in the U.S. Navy wear it on Blue and Black Jackets, the Blue All-Weather coat, and the Khaki Jacket.

Currently, the Army authorizes the wear of the Brigadier General’s silver star centered on the shoulder loops with equal distance between the outside edge of the shoulder loop and the outer edge of the shoulder loop button on the Army Green Service Uniform (AGSU) Coat, the Black or Heritage Green All-Weather Coat, and the Black or Heritage Green Windbreaker.

In the Air Force, the star is worn as shoulder rank insignia on the jacket of the Service Dress Uniform, as well as on the General Officer Lightweight Blue Jacket, Topcoat, and the All-Weather coat. Stars are worn point-to-center (or “point to V,” as the Army words it) on all these uniform components.

The 1-inch silver star Brigadier General rank insignia is also authorized for wear on berets in the Army and on the General Officer Flight Cap in the Air Force. Visit our Army headgear page to pick up a black, green, maroon, or tan beret, or head to our USAF Hats page to purchase a male or female General Officer’s Garrison Gap.

Last but not least, Army veterans and uniform collectors will be happy to learn that we still carry two items that the Brigadier General’s silver pin-on rank insignia was worn on in the past: the Class A Army Green Uniform and the Garrison Cap. The star was worn on the epaulets of the jacket, and was worn on the wearer’s left of the Garrison Gap. We still carry Enlisted, Officer, and General Officer Mil-spec versions of the classic “Army Greens” uniform, along with matching Enlisted, Officer, General, and Warrant Officer Garrison Gaps.

About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.