The concept of recognizing military personnel who have served honorably while performing their duties over a period of several years was first introduced in the U.S. military by General George Washington in 1782. In his General Orders for 7 August 1782, Washington wrote that “Honorary Badges of distinction” in the form of “narrow piece[s] of white cloth of an angular form” were to be “conferred on the veteran Noncommissioned officers and soldiers of the army who have served more than three years with bravery, fidelity and good conduct,” with soldiers who had displayed those attributes for six years being distinguished by a second “badge.”

Today, service stripes are used by all the branches of the Armed Forces except the Air Force to indicate specific periods of service rendered by enlisted personnel. In the Marine Corps, a service stripe is awarded to recognize four cumulative years of service in a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States (including Reserve components), the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, and in certain roles in the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Please refer to Section 4008 in MCO 1020.34H for complete information on service-stripe qualifications.

Enlisted Marines wear service stripes with scarlet backgrounds on both sleeves of he Dress and Service coats (but not on the Evening Dress coat optionally worn by Staff Noncommissioned Officers) at a 30-degree angle to the bottom of the sleeve. Gold stripes are worn the Blue Dress coat and green stripes are worn on the Service uniform coat, with both being issued in male and female sizes. Subsequent stripes are placed parallel to and a half-inch above the previous stripe.

Customers purchasing a new Enlisted USMC Dress or Men's or Women's Service Uniform (or just the coats alone) are given the option of having us sew on their separately purchased service stripes at the same time we hem the sleeves of their new coats.

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.