Nonsubdued (silver) pin-on rank insignia for Colonels is worn the shoulder loops of the windbreaker (black) and all-weather coat (also black). A similar design is used for the rank insignia authorized for wear on the black beret and the special berets that are organizational issue items (Tan, Maroon, Green). Click here to purchase Colonel's rank insignia for berets.

When on on the shoulder loops of the windbreaker or all-weather coat, these are placed so that the eagle’s head is facing frontward—a design requirement that originally was handled by simply reversing the direction of the eagle’s gaze on one of the insignia. In doing this, however, the eagle on one of the devices would be looking in the direction of the talon clutching the laurel branch, while the other would be looking in the direction of the talon holding the arrows. This discrepancy was soon noticed, and the eagle facing the arrows was dubbed the “war eagle.”

After 25 years, however, the reign of the war eagle was brought to an end when the insignia was redesigned so that the laurel branch was held in the eagle’s left talon on the insignia placed on the wearer’s left shoulder (and vice-versa). Now, the arrows were always to the rear of the insignia, and the eagle would always be looking toward the laurel branch, presumably symbolizing a peaceful solution.

Today, the “war eagle” Colonel’s coat rank insignia are collector’s items that range in price from $40 to $125 or more per pair depending upon the condition. The demand for them is strong enough to even justify someone manufacturing reproductions, but it’s unlikely anyone who truly understands what made the original “war eagle” insignias unique would pay even a nominal price for an unabashed replica.

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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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105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.