U.S. ARMY CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER 4 (CW4) SHOULDER MARKS

Although Army Regulations refer to them as shoulder marks, the slide-on shoulder insignia worn by a Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CW4) are also commonly referred to as “epaulettes” or “epaulets,” a nod to the name used by George Washington for the shoulder attachments introduced in the Revolutionary War as a method of identifying officers.

CW4 shoulder marks are authorized for wear on garments typically worn when no other method of displaying insignia is available. These include the long- and short-sleeved uniform shirts worn with the Army Service Uniform (Class B variants), the Maternity shirt, and sweaters (both the “Wooly Pully” and the Cardigan).

At The Salute Uniforms, we offer CW4 epaulettes or shoulder marks in Large (4.25 inches long) and Small (one inch shorter) sizes because not all manufacturers of Army garments produce shoulder loops of the same length. Based on these lengths and the length of the shoulder loops on the garment on which the insignia will be worn, you should be able to choose the one that fits according to Army specifications (shoulder-loop buttons or Velcro pads should be visible when wearing the shoulder mark).
 
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One of the more interesting events in the nearly 100-year history of Army Warrant Officers was the establishment of the Flight Officer rank in the Army Air Forces during World War II. The massive expansion of the Army’s aerial forces meant the need for pilots, navigators, flight engineers bombardiers, and glider pilots few almost exponentially, with demand far greater than could be met by commissioned officers (who were required to have a college degree). To fill the gap, the rank of Flight Officer in the same grade as Warrant Officer, Junior Grade. Among those promoted to the new rank were enlisted personnel and aviation cadets who for various reasons could meet all the requirements necessary for commissioning as a Pilot.

The new rank caused considerable confusion. In the book Project 9: The Birth of the Air Commandos of World War II, author Dennis Okerstrom related the story of an enlisted Soldier who, having completed glider training and being promoted to Staff Sergeant, was promoted to Flight Officer. When he asked his base commander about the rank, the commander said he “had no idea what that rank was but though it was similar to a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force.” One interesting aspect regarding the creation of the rank was that all Soldiers who graduated from Glider Pilot School would be automatically promoted to Flight Officer.

Although Flight Officers are rarely mentioned in discussion involving the Army Air Forces in World War II, the rank did leave behind at least one unforgettable figure. Although Chuck Yeager lacked the requirements to enter pilot training when he enlisted in the Army in September 1941, the new Flight Officer rank and associated training program opened the way for Yeager to begin a military career that would span over 30 years and make him one of the most well-known of all of America’s flying aces.
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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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105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263. Tel: 1-844-937-2588