Since it was established in 1915, the United States Coast Guard has awarded a service stripe, commonly referred to as a hashmark, to enlisted personnel in recognition of a certain number of years of service.

Service stripes are issued to junior enlisted Guardsmen (E-4 to E-6) in scarlet and navy blue, with scarlet worn on the left sleeve of all uniforms except the Dinner Dress White Jacket. Chief Petty Officers, including the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, are issued gold stripes.

Originally, a service stripe was awarded for every three years of service; this was presumably in the Coast Guard alone since the 1930 USCG uniform manual amended the requirement to read, “There shall be one service stripe for each four years of active service in the Coast Guard, Navy, or the Naval Reserve.”

Today, the four-year service requirement is still in effect, but now encompasses service in any of the Armed Forces of the United States, including the National Guard, or any combination of the services. The four years need not be served consecutively. Also, gold stripes were at one time issued only to enlisted personnel who had been awarded three consecutive Good Conduct badges, a tradition still followed by the U.S. Navy.

About us

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.


100% secure payment

Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.