Lieutenant Colonels are authorized to wear non-subdued pin-on rank insignia centered on the flash of the black beret or any of the berets (Maroon, Tan, and Green) that are organizational issue items for Airborne, Ranger, or Special Forces units respectively. Since 2018 and the introduction of the Army Green Service Uniform (AGSU), Lieutenant Colonels wear the pin-on insignia on the left side of the Garrison Cap on the "curtain" with the insignia centered vertically. Prior to 2001, Lieutenant Colonels wore their pin-on metal rank insignia in the same manner on the Garrison Cap issued with the Green Army Service Uniform. The old Green Army Service Uniform was discontinued on 30 September 2015.


Lieutenant Colonels are appointed to a wide variety of staff positions, and they are also assigned as Executive Officers for large units such as Brigade Combat Teams or Task Forces. But often they are appointed command of battalions, with a Major serving as their Executive officer and a Command Sergeant Major acting as the unit’s primary Noncommissioned Officer and Senior Enlisted Adviser. With somewhere between three to five companies of troops and a headquarters staff, a battalion can range in size from 300 to over 1,000 soldiers.

Many Lieutenant Colonels continue up the career ladder, advancing to Colonel and even to General Officer status, but those who decide to transition back into civilian life after serving at this grade have a wealth of leadership experience and knowledge at their disposal. More than a few have used it to move into the political arena on both sides of the aisle. Retired Lieutenant Colonels who successfully sought public office at the Federal level include Scott Brown (Massachusetts Senator), Alan West (Florida Congressman), Tammy Duckworth (Illinois Congresswoman), Joni Ernst (Iowa Senator), and John Shimkus (Illinois Congressman), to name a few.

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