A Lieutenant Colonel’s rank insignia is displayed on the sleeves of the Blue Mess and White Mess jackets, centered in the space created by the lower curves of the sleeve knot (trefoil) and the sleeve braid.

Please select the type of uniform for which you’re purchasing Lieutenant Colonel sleeve insignia by choosing the appropriate fabric color in the selection box to the right, then indicate which style insignia you prefer. Sew-on insignia are just that—they are sewn directly onto the sleeves of the coat. The level of detail necessary for a professional appearance means this is a job best handled by a tailor or someone with significant sewing experience. Clutch back insignia, on the other hand, are attached to the sleeve with a pin that is secured with a metal backing (clutch) that holds the pin securely in place. The advantages of clutch back insignia are obvious: attaching them can be done in seconds without need of a professional sewer, and replacing them doesn’t require you to remove stitches that hold sew-on insignia in place.

The oak leaf was first introduced by the Army as a rank insignia in 1836—but unfortunately it was assigned to both Lieutenant Colonels (O-5) and Majors (O-4). Placed on the shoulder strap of the frock coat, the color of the oak leaf, silver or gold, was determined by the color of the border of the strap, a convoluted system that resulted in the use of both gold and silver leaves for both of these officer ranks.

After fifteen years of confusion, the 1851 Army regulations specified that the oak leaves of the shoulder straps of Lieutenant Colonels would be silver and for Majors would be gold. According to The Institute of Heraldry, the reason that silver was chosen for Lieutenant Colonels had nothing to do with the heraldic value associated with either color, but rather the simple fact that there were more Lieutenant Colonels with silver leaves at the time the decision was made. In 1872, the gold oak leaf Majors’ shoulder straps of the frock coats was authorized for wear on dress uniforms, which set the precedent to make the 2LT insignia (authorized in 1917) gold rather than silver.

More Army Lieutenant Colonel Insignias

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.


100% secure payment

Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.