These Warrant Officer shoulder straps are manufactured in Brown, the color traditionally used to represent Warrant Officers during the 80-plus years that the cadre was considered a distinct branch. In 2004, the Army announced that Warrant Officer were required to wear the insignia and colors of the branch in which they were assigned, making these straps and other branch-related insignia and accouterments obsolete.

Although the Army’s first warrant officers were appointed in the Army Mine Planter Service in 1918, their heritage goes back to the creation of headquarters clerks in 1896. Twenty years later, legislation inspired by a Judge Advocate General review transformed these clerk positions from  civilian to military positions, namely the Army Field Clerk and Quartermaster Corps Field Clerk. As Soldiers, these Clerks needed uniforms and insignia so they would be recognized as such when serving in a war zone—precisely what happened in 1917 with the U.S. entry into World War I. The clerks were given an insignia featuring two crossed quill pens.

Following the war, Congress established the rank of Warrant Officers in 1920, and these clerks were transferred to the newly established position. Following the passage of that legislation, the War Department issued General Orders No. 65, specifying that Warrant Officers would not be given permanent appointment to branches, but instead serve as “Warrant Officers of the Army at large.” Warrant Officers could be moved from one branch of the Army to another or from one job to another at any time—a characteristic that made them unique. While changes in the appointment of Warrant Officers made the more and more closely associated with a specific branch, they retained this unique capability, and in many ways resembled a “corps” all their own.

Although this mystique was wiped away with the 2004 change in regulations, Warrant Officers have been increasingly recognized as one of the most valuable assets in today’s streamlined force.

Pre-2004 Warrant Officer Branch Items
Standard (Nylon)

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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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