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Origin of NCO Stripes (trivia)

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  • Origin of NCO Stripes (trivia)

    Following this logic, the zig-zag stripes in the IDF are a deviation from proper design:

    "Chevron" is an architectural term denoting the rafters of a roof meeting an angle at the upper apex. The chevron in heraldry was employed as a badge of honor to mark the main supporters of the head of the clan or "top of the house" and it came to be used in various forms as an emblem of rank for knights and men-at-arms in feudal days. One legend is that the chevron was awarded to a knight to show he had taken part in capturing a castle, town, or other building, of which the chevron resembled the roofs. It is believed from this resulted its use as an insignia of grade by the military.

    The lozenge or diamond used to indicate first sergeant is a mark of distinction and was used in heraldry to indicate achievement.

  • #2
    Might make a bit of sense until you realise that this is written as regards the American army.. British Army, which probably has closer links to heraldry than the US does, has the chevrons pointing -down-. Not very apex/houselike.

    Driver, tracks, troops.... Drive and adjust!!


    • #3
      The americans used to have em the same as the brits but one of them changed them in the 1800's I think,... that extract came from a US military website actually.


      • #4
        Re: Stripes

        If ye recall from all the Civil War films, the Union soldiers wore stripes British
        Army style, it was the Confederates who wore them inverted, as worn by US forces nowadays... Presumably the change happened after the Civil war ended...
        "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"


        • #5
          Blue and Grey

          In the Civil War, esp in the early days, everybody worn everything. Uniforms were provided by the states so some Northern forces had grey uniforms, some southerners had blue, resulting in lots of units firing on their own side, as the war ground the Union forces standardised their uniforms bu the Confederates were so short of everything they often wore captured blue uniforms - not wonder the Yanks invented the term friendly fire.


          • #6
            I recall reading somewhere that the only Army with similar zig-zag stripes for NCO ranks is the Chinese Army
            Beart do reir ar mbriathar


            • #7

              The Irish Army once issued the British style-chevrons. Single stripes, similar to the UK LCpl were worn by PNCO students in the West, and I've heard they were also given to soldiers waiting on the course to begin. See the miscellaneous enlisted ranks section on for photos.