The gold oak leaf is used as the grade insignia for officers in the O-4 pay grade. In the Navy, the rank designation at this grade is Lieutenant Commander, while in the other three branches of the Armed Forces the rank is Major. Major is the lowest Field-Grade officer rank in the Army, Air Force, and Marines, while Lieutenant Commander is the lowest of the mid-grade officer ranks in the Navy and Coast Guard.

The oak leaf worn by Majors and Lieutenant Commanders represents a tree associated with strength, endurance, longevity, and steadfastness, all adjectives that describe our nation’s military forces and the country as a whole. Every state in the nation is home to some species of oak, which was often the wood for choice for building construction, furniture manufacturing, and shipbuilding. The oaken hull of the USS Constitution, for example, proved so impervious to British cannons that it earned the frigate the nickname of “Old Ironsides.”

If any tree could be justly designated as America’s tree, it would be the oak—and in 2004 Congress made it official with the passage of a resolution naming the mighty oak as “America’s National Tree.”

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.