While Junior Enlisted Soldier (Specialists and below) wear nonsubdued pin-on grade insignia on the collars of several garments, NCOs like the E-6 Staff Sergeant wear them only on the collars of the Medical Assistant Smock. Culinary Staff Sergeants wear them centered 1/4-inch above the nameplate of the Garrison Culinary Smock, and all Staff Sergeants wear them centered on the shoulder loops of the Heritage Green All-Weather Coat and Heritage Green Windbreaker.

The subdued version of this pin-on insignia is identical in design to its shiny counterpart but is rendered in a dull, flat-black finish. These are worn centered top to bottom and left to right on the front of the Patrol Cap and the Sun Hat (boonie). They are also authorized for wear on the camouflage cover and helmet liner of the Army Combat helmet, where it is worn  centered on the front of the Helmet 2.5 inches above the helmet’s bottom rim.

Subdued (black) pin-on insignia is authorized for wear on uniforms on which the subdued sew-on rank insignia is attached using hook-and-loop fasteners (Velcro), namely Utility uniforms and the ECWCS jacket. It’s centered on the hook-and-loop face pad found or, in the case of the ECWCS jacket, centered on the front tab.

Staff Sergeants (E-6) typically hold one of four types of positions in the U.S. Army. Probably the most common is as squad leader in charge of two teams that are each headed by a Sergeant (E-5), reporting to the Platoon Sergeant (a Sergeant First Class E-7) and Platoon Leader (a junior officer such as a Second Lieutenant).  In instances where a platoon lacks a Sergeant First Class, a promotable Staff Sergeant could take on the job of Platoon Sergeant (which is a duty assignment, not a rank). Another possibility is serving on staff at the Company or Battalion level, and of course Staff Sergeants can be tapped to serve in either the training or recruiting arenas as a Drill Sergeant, an Instructor, or a Recruiter.

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