Major Generals display their two-star rank insignia on sweaters (Cardigan and pullover), Service uniform shirts (long- and short-sleeved), and Maternity shirts with shoulder marks that slide over the shoulder loops found on those garments. Visibility of shoulder marks is the primary consideration when placing them on uniforms: Officers wearing the Maternity tunic with the Maternity shirt, for instance, must place the tops of the tunic under the shoulder loops before sliding the shoulder marks into place.

Shoulder marks fit the loop properly when the loops’ buttons or hook-and-loop pads are totally exposed. Because of variations in the shoulder-loop manufacturing process, Army regulations required shoulder marks to be sold in two sizes so that personnel can have the best. The primary consideration when choosing between Large and Small sizes is the length: Large marks are 4.25” long and Small are an inch shorter (3.25”).

Customers ordering the Large size Major General shoulder marks are encouraged to upgrade to embroidered bullion. This metallic thread provides a crisp and clean appearance that’s not possible to achieve with standard fibers.

Within days of establishing the Army in June 1775, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution calling for the appointment of two Major Generals. Here was no case of gridlock: the very next day, June 17, Congress appointed America’s first pair of two-star Generals, Artemas Ward and Charles Lee, and then the legislative body followed up this swift decision-making by mandating the creation of two more Major General slots and immediately filling them. Philip Schuyler and Israel Putnam became, respectively, America’s third and fourth Major Generals.

Less than 30 years later, the same body that had been so eager to create the Major General rank and then fill it with able-bodied officers took a decidedly different tack: On March 16, 1802, Congress abolished the officer of Major General, leaving Brigadier Generals as the highest-ranking Army officers. But as the drums of war began to ominously sound in 1812, Congress reversed this action and again established the Major General rank.

More Army Major General Insignias

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