Since the 1905 addition of gold service stripes as a reward for an unbroken period of good conduct, the Navy’s service stripes have been cardinal (scarlet), blue, and gold. But the background colors have changed substantially over the years, reflecting changes in Navy uniform standards that were, in part, affected to some degree by civilian clothing styles.

In the 1947 U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, it’s not surprising to see blue and white listed as the background color of service stripes, although it is somewhat surprising that a white background was not permitted with gold service stripes. What will come as a shock to younger Navy personnel are the inclusion of Gray, Khaki, and Forestry Green as backgrounds for service stripes because the uniforms made in these shades have been discontinued—some for a far longer time than others.

The first background to be dropped from the list was Gray; it was for service stripes worn on the Service Dress Gray uniform worn by CPOs (it was worn by officers too, but they do not wear service stripes) that was discontinued in 1949. A little over a quarter of a century later the Khaki background became history as the Navy dropped the popular Service Dress Khaki (an attempt to bring back the SDK failed in the mid-2000s). Last to go was Forestry Green, the background for service stripes worn on the Aviation Green Working uniform. Its official wear-out date was 1 January 2011, at which time the Navy Working Uniform officially replaced it.

While these backgrounds are no longer used, we continue to carry them because of demand from Veterans, as well as from uniform collectors and TV and film-production teams dedicated to authenticity in their productions. Simply use the drop-down selector to choose the background appropriate for your uniform--except for the Service Dress Gray, that is. Unfortunately, it has been out of production for so long and was in service for such a short time (1943 to 1949) that there simply isn't the demand to make it practical to keep in inventory.

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.


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