U.S. NAVY CWO SHIP REPAIR TECHNICIAN COLLAR DEVICE

According to the U. S. Navy Uniform Regulations, 1951 (NAVPERS 15665, Rev-51), the corps device for a Warrant Officer or Chief Warrant Officer Ship Repair Technician—a carpenter’s square embroidered in gold, with arms of equal length (7/8” long and 3/8” wide)—was the one that had been worn by Carpenters, because in point of fact “Ship Repair Technician” was simply the new designation for Carpenter. (Interesting, this change was not implemented in the Uniform regulations for the United States Coast Guard.)

This insignia was first established in 1883 in Regulations Governing the Uniform of Officers of the United States Navy. For the first time, specific “corps” devices were established for all Warrant Officers. For Carpenters who had served more than twenty years (in that position), the insignia was a carpenter’s square, embroidered in silver and worn with the point down; for those with less than twenty years of service, the square was to embroidered in gold.

The change from Carpenter to Ship Repair Technician was made in 1947, when a total of 37 functional Warrant Officer Designator Codes were created. In 1975, the Navy made changes to the Chief Warrant Officer Designator Codes that made them more in line with the community—surface, submarine, aviation, etc.—in which the CWO is serving. At that time, Ship Repair Technician, or 774x, was eliminated and replaced with the more generic "Repair Technician" titles, with Designators that made it clear where they served: 714x was Surface, 724x was Submarine.

The carpenter’s square has been used for other ratings. For example, the rating insignia for a Hull Maintenance Technician (HT) consists of the square and a crossed axe and hammer, while the Builder rating (BU) insignia is a carpenter’s square and a plumb bob.
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