The crossed golden anchors that serve as the specialty mark for Boatswain Chief Warrant Officers (CWOs) is one of the oldest specialty marks in the Coast Guard, approved in 1916 for Boatswain Warrant Officers and extended to include Chiefs in 1920. But its provenance is even older than that: two anchors crossed at the shank was the specialty mark for Boatswain in the Revenue Cutter Service, one of the two organizations that were merged to form the Coast Guard in 2016.

Designed to be worn on primarily on white Dress and Service uniforms in lieu of the sleeve ornamentation employed on Blue uniforms, Coast Guard shoulder boards are manufactured in two styles: the Hard version is designed with a hasp to be inserted through shoulder loops, while Enhanced boards have an open-ended elastic strap on the bottom through which a shoulder epaulette may be inserted. Both styles are manufactured in Regular and 3/4 sizes, allowing Officers to choose the size that provides them with the best fit.

Hard shoulder boards are worn on the male and female versions of the Dinner Dress White Jacket (with the eponymous uniform) and the Service Dress White Coat (with the white variants of the Dinner Dress, Full Dress, and Service Dress uniforms.) Enhanced shoulder boards are worn on shirts authorized for the Service Dress Blue “Bravo” and Tropical Blue uniforms, as well as on the Wooly-Pully and Cardigan Sweaters (except with the Winter Dress Blue uniform).

Either the Hard or Enhanced shoulder boards may be worn on the Bridge Coat depending upon its constructions (Hard board for shoulder loops, Enhanced for epaulettes). Regulations also permit Hard shoulder boards to be worn on the discontinued Reefer Coat so long as the coat remains serviceable.

Related Items
Boatswain CWO Collar Device
Boatswain CWO Sleeve Device

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