COAST GUARD REAR ADMIRAL (LOWER HALF) HARD/ENHANCED SHOULDER BOARDS

The Coast Guard uses two distinct systems to indicate General Officer, or Admiral, rank (O-7 to O-10) on the jackets and coats of its Dress and Service uniforms. On Blue Dress and Service coats, Admiral rank is displayed the number and size of stripes on the sleeve; on the White counterparts, shoulder boards with between one and four stars are used, embroidered on the same 1-1/2-inch band of gold lace on a blue background; as the lowest General Officer rank, Rear Admirals (lower half) wear a single gold star on shoulder boards.

Shoulder board insignia also depart from the design of sleeve stripes by placing a fouled silver anchor “above” the star(s) (i.e., closer to the neck), with a silver Coast Guard shield superimposed on the shank. With the sleeve stripes of Blue coats and jackets, only a gold Coast Guard shield is placed above the stripes.

Rear Admiral (lower half) Hard shoulder boards are worn by inserting the board’s hasp on its underside through the shoulder loops of the Dinner Dress White Jacket and the Service Dress White Coat and securing it with a snap-button; they are also prescribed for wear with Bridge Coats featuring epaulets and the legacy Reefer Coat (Reefer may be worn as long as the coat is serviceable).

Enhanced shoulder boards slide over epaulets found on more functional attire, most commonly on the Light Blue shirts (or women’s overblouse) worn with the Service Dress Blue “Bravo” and Tropical Blue uniforms. Enhanced boards are also worn in certain situations with sweaters (Cardigan and Wooly-Pully), and on Bridge Coats featuring epaulets.
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