Marine Corps Sergeant Majors wear two types of pin-on metal insignia: 22K gold-plated metal or stamped black metal/plastic (our black insignia are manufactured with metal). The pin-on Sergeant Major insignia are worn on three classes of uniforms/ensembles—dress, utility/organizational, and specialized outerwear—with gold pin-on chevrons reserved solely for wear on the epaulettes of the Blue Dress Sweater (Blue Dress “C” uniform).

Black pin-on insignia are worn in pairs on collars of coats (All-Weather, Maternity Working, Utility) and organizational clothing (aviation uniforms, coveralls, etc.), and a single black insignia is centered on a pad found on the zipper flap of the Extended Cold Weather Clothing System parka.

Detailed guidance on placement of both gold and black pin-on insignia is found Section 4404.3 of Marine Corps Order 1020.34H99, most recently updated in May 2018.

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The Marine Corps rank of Sergeant Major was created when the service was reconstituted by Congress on 11 July 1798 with legislation that specified that the service’s Commandant was authorized to assemble a staff that included a Sergeant Major, a Quartermaster Sergeant, a drum major, and a fife major should the Corps ever be asked to serve with Army forces. The rank remained in the highest Marine Corps pay grade for nearly 150 years, but shortly after World War II it was folded into the rank of Master Sergeant.

In 1954, the Corps announced it was reviving the rank, and appropriately enough it eventually placed Sergeant Major in its highest grade alongside Master Gunnery Sergeant, a technical position just behind Sergeant Major in Staff NCO seniority. With similar responsibilities (but at a greater level) to a First Sergeant, the Sergeant Major insignia employs the three rockers/three chevron design of the First Sergeant, but replaces the lozenge with a five-pointed star.

More USMC Sergeant Major Insignia/Devices
Sergeant Major Sew-On Chevrons
Sergeant Major Scarlet and Gold Tie Tack

Staff Noncommissioned Officer Accouterments
SNCO Cuff Links
SNCO Chain-Link Buttons for Evening Dress Jacket
SNCO Waist Plate

More USMC Enlisted Insignia/Devices
Enlisted Dress Cap Insignia 
Enlisted Service / Garrison Cap Insignia

Enlisted Dress Uniform Collar Device
Enlisted Service Uniform Collar Device
Enlisted Gold Tie Tack
Enlisted / NCO Cuff Links
Service Stripes

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.


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