The “three up, five down” design of the rank insignia of E-9 First Sergeants and Chief Master Sergeants was introduced in 1991 (although strictly speaking First Sergeant is an assignment rather than a rank). It replaced the design that had been selected somewhat hurriedly in 1958, which added two upward-pointing chevrons to the downward-pointing three rockers and three chevrons of the E-7 Master Sergeant insignia. The diamond-shaped emblem called a lozenge that distinguishes First Sergeants was first used on Army insignias in 1847.

Rank insignia is one of just three tie tack / clasp designs that may be worn with Air Force uniforms (the Air Force symbol and “wing and star” design are the other two). Both the tack and clasp are placed midway between the necktie’s knot and the its bottom, which must cover part of the belt buckle (but may not extend beyond it).

Tie tacks and tie clasps featuring insignia of rank are authorized for wear with civilian business attire.

More E-9 First Sergeant Insignia and Devices

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