In the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard, the sleeve rank insignia for a Rear Admiral (lower half) is a single, 2-inch wide stripe made of gold lacing. Our lacing set for the Rear Admiral (LH) features a 30-inch strip of the gold lacing, a more-than-adequate supply to sew an encircling stripe on each sleeve of a dress-uniform jacket.
Additionally, Navy Rear Admirals of the Line wear a five-pointed gold star a quarter-inch above the stripe with a single ray pointing down, while Rear Admirals in Staff Corps wear the Corps device in the same location; both types of devices are centered between the front and rear creases of the sleeve. Admirals in the Coast Guard, which does not divide Officers into Line/Staff, wear the Coast Guard Sleeve Device in similar fashion, and Coast Guard CWOs also wear a secondary sleeve device denoting their specialties.

Although the rank of Rear Admiral was established in 1862, it was not until 1986 that the “lower half” component was added to the title of Navy Officers in the O-7 grade. The distinction was the result of a multi-year squabble between the Navy and other branches of the Armed Forces that had started because, following the elimination of the intermediate, one-star Officer grade of Commodore after World War II, both one- and two-star Navy Officers were called “Rear Admiral”—and they both wore two stars. With the passage of the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act in 1982, the one-star, O-7 Rear Admirals became Commodore Admirals, which was changed to simply Commodores the next year.
But while the solution made it plain what grade each Navy Flag Officer was in, the change did not sit well with O-7 “Commodores,” mainly because for 30-plus years the term had been relegated to an honorific reserved for retired Navy Captains and was hardly suitable for active-duty Flag Officers. Finally, with the November 1985 passage of the Defense Authorization Bill for FY 1986, O-7 Navy Officers were once again Rear Admirals—but with the two words added to make their actual grade plainly known to all, even though they are addressed simply as “Rear Admiral.”

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.