When shoulder straps were first introduced for wear on the coats of members of the Army Chaplain Corps, they were used as an insignia of branch rather than rank. The February, 1880 War Department regulations stated that the strap was to be “black velvet, with a shepherd’s crook of frosted silver on the center of the strap,” and it was worn on a nine-button, black frock coat; before the strap was introduced, the black frock coat served as an insignia unto itself. The shepherd’s crook on the shoulder strap was changed to a silver cross in 1898.

Beginning in 1902, Chaplains wore the sack coat along with the appropriate branch insignia—Infantry, Cavalry, Coast Artillery, or Field Artillery—with a small cross just below it. As before, the shoulder strap was not used to display rank on the white and khaki uniforms, but was instead adorned with a plain metal Latin cross. In 1907, regulations were changed to specify the cross be bronze for the service uniform and silver for the white.

Starting in 1914, officers in the Chaplain Corps wore rank insignia on their shoulder straps, but in early 1918 they switched back to silver crosses. This continued until 1926, with crosses replacing rank insignia on every part of the Chaplain uniform (including sleeve insignia on overcoats). This move reflected the shared view of General John J. Pershing and AEF Chief of Chaplains Charles Brent that a display might hamper the lines of communication between soldiers and Chaplains. Their policy was disestablished in 1926 by Colonel John T. Axton, the United States Army’s first Chief of Chaplains.

Important : The Bullion shoulder straps are custom hand embroidered per order and would take about 10 business days to be ready. As such, past 24 hours of placing the order, the bullion shoulder straps are no longer cancelable.

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.