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Difference between USCG And USN Rate Patches

Started by PaulR , Jul 19 2010 07:04 AM

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#1 PaulR

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:04 AM

How does one tell the difference between USCG and USN Rating badges? I know that today, it would be the color of the backing, as we have the royal blue service dress uniforms... but how about the times when the two branches wore the same uniforms? Is there even a difference?

#2 QED4

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:43 AM

The only difference is there are some specialties the Coast Guard dose not have so they are only Navy and some specialties the Navy does not have so they are only Coast Guard. If both have it the rank insignia is the same.

#3 PaulR

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 05:15 AM

Thanks!! That was easy enough! I really appreciate the clarification.

#4 dpcsdan

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 09:51 AM

Thanks!! That was easy enough! I really appreciate the clarification.

Paul,
See this link: http://www.uscg.mil/...rrant_Marks.pdf

-dan

#5 MastersMate

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:12 AM

Thought I'd resurrect this older posting rather than start up a new one.  The CG uses the chevrons to indicate the rate of the individual. The eagle on the rating badge is different between the USN and USCG. The USN changed the design of their eagle back in the 1980s, the USCG retained the WW 2 design.

 

The rating specialty are basically the same, with CG specific ratings having their own mark. These include the Culinary Specialist (CS), Marine Science Tech (MST), Aviation Survivalman (AST) and a couple of reserve specific ratings.

 

Of recent interest is the Damage Controlman rating in the CG.  In a nut shell, the CG has used the USN rating specialty marks since the 1940s.  Damage Controlman was established in 1948 and had a specific mark. The USN uniform regs of 1952 changed the design slightly and has remained the same for the USN and USCG it would seem forever...

 

When the USCG changed uniforms in the 1970s, the color of the background changed, as noted above.  By 1980, the USCG published its own specific uniform regulations. The manual contained the specialty marks for the specific ratings.  Of interest was a slight change in the Damage Controlman mark. It reverted to the original 1948 design, and it was carried forward up until the 2003 uniform regs. Even the specification sheets carried the original design. Apparently it was so close that no-one made the connection. Since 2003 the CG has published the current USN design in their uniform regs.

 

So what, you might ask? The attached photo shows a CG uniform from around 2003sh with the USN specialty mark. The other photo is the nearly original 1948 design and the badge that is currently for sale.

 

Minor trivial detail, but something collectors 50 years from now might wish to make note of..

 

 

 

 

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  • 2018 DC uscg.jpg

Edited by MastersMate, 16 April 2018 - 09:13 AM.


#6 KRIS FORD

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 05:04 AM

Thought I'd resurrect this older posting rather than start up a new one.  The CG uses the chevrons to indicate the rate of the individual. The eagle on the rating badge is different between the USN and USCG. The USN changed the design of their eagle back in the 1980s, the USCG retained the WW 2 design.

 

The rating specialty are basically the same, with CG specific ratings having their own mark. These include the Culinary Specialist (CS), Marine Science Tech (MST), Aviation Survivalman (AST) and a couple of reserve specific ratings.

 

Of recent interest is the Damage Controlman rating in the CG.  In a nut shell, the CG has used the USN rating specialty marks since the 1940s.  Damage Controlman was established in 1948 and had a specific mark. The USN uniform regs of 1952 changed the design slightly and has remained the same for the USN and USCG it would seem forever...

 

When the USCG changed uniforms in the 1970s, the color of the background changed, as noted above.  By 1980, the USCG published its own specific uniform regulations. The manual contained the specialty marks for the specific ratings.  Of interest was a slight change in the Damage Controlman mark. It reverted to the original 1948 design, and it was carried forward up until the 2003 uniform regs. Even the specification sheets carried the original design. Apparently it was so close that no-one made the connection. Since 2003 the CG has published the current USN design in their uniform regs.

 

So what, you might ask? The attached photo shows a CG uniform from around 2003sh with the USN specialty mark. The other photo is the nearly original 1948 design and the badge that is currently for sale.

 

Minor trivial detail, but something collectors 50 years from now might wish to make note of..

 

 

 

 

 

HMMM..straight handles..

 

Still scratchin' my head about that funky HT pin I got too..

 

Although I wanna say a former CG buddy of mine told me that the CG DC did do HT duties..the CG version almost looks like a cross between the basic elements of the original DC rating, (fire-axe and sledge hammer) and the modern HT rate as well..(stylized with the straight handles, minus carpenters square of course)

 

Odd how the pin I have is like the opposite..almost looks like a compressed DC rating with a carpenters square laid on top of it.


Edited by KRIS FORD, 18 April 2018 - 05:11 AM.


#7 sigsaye

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 06:06 AM

 
HMMM..straight handles..
 
Still scratchin' my head about that funky HT pin I got too..
 
Although I wanna say a former CG buddy of mine told me that the CG DC did do HT duties..the CG version almost looks like a cross between the basic elements of the original DC rating, (fire-axe and sledge hammer) and the modern HT rate as well..(stylized with the straight handles, minus carpenters square of course)
 
Odd how the pin I have is like the opposite..almost looks like a compressed DC rating with a carpenters square laid on top of it.

. I wouldnt get too wrapped up about your pin. It was commercially made, not anything officially authorized for actual wear. We were allowed to wear them, even encouraged. Everything depended on who was making them.

As for the differences in ax and hammers, until this discussion, I never noticed. Ive been in the Navy all my life, born in a Naval hospital, family has been full time career Navy since 1939, some still on active duty. Ive collected Navy stuff for over 50 years. I just never really noticed. But then, none of my people were ever DC,HT,CM, SF or any variation of any of those.

Its really interesting the amount of differences.

#8 Justin B.

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 10:28 AM

The variation is what makes these interesting! Besides the straight haft, they changed the angle to ≈90 degrees. To my eye, the older wide angle is more pleasing. It's cool that the DC rate adopted a fire axe in '48, different from the old carpentry axes of the CM. Somebody put some thought into it. Thanks for the post, MastersMate!

 

Justin B.



#9 sigsaye

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 11:06 AM

The variation is what makes these interesting! Besides the straight haft, they changed the angle to ≈90 degrees. To my eye, the older wide angle is more pleasing. It's cool that the DC rate adopted a fire axe in '48, different from the old carpentry axes of the CM. Somebody put some thought into it. Thanks for the post, MastersMate!
 
Justin B.

. I fully agree. With thenSM rate, the older flags were made to look Wavey, while those I wore were stiff.

#10 stratasfan

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 11:36 AM

Oh, what an interesting thread! I have a question to add into this. My Grampa joined the USCG in 1947, and he wanted to join the Navy. Afriend, however, talked him into joining the CG because you got the same uniform that attracted all the girls (;)) except that there was a little patch on the wrist area of a sleeve that distinguished between the USN and the USCG. (The friend also said that in the USN, you'd be deployed for the majority of your service, and in the USCG you would stay on land. Grampa served 20 years, and the majority was out of the lower 48 and on the sea! ;) ) So . . . what is the little patch on the sleeve that he always talked about? Seems I remember something about an anchor, but don't quote me on that. It's been too long.



#11 sigsaye

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 12:25 PM

Oh, what an interesting thread! I have a question to add into this. My Grampa joined the USCG in 1947, and he wanted to join the Navy. Afriend, however, talked him into joining the CG because you got the same uniform that attracted all the girls (;)) except that there was a little patch on the wrist area of a sleeve that distinguished between the USN and the USCG. (The friend also said that in the USN, you'd be deployed for the majority of your service, and in the USCG you would stay on land. Grampa served 20 years, and the majority was out of the lower 48 and on the sea! ;) ) So . . . what is the little patch on the sleeve that he always talked about? Seems I remember something about an anchor, but don't quote me on that. It's been too long.

. Coast Guard Shield. Right forearm.

#12 stratasfan

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 12:42 PM

Oh, super. What does it look like. All I'm getting on a Google image search is the CG Aux. logo.



#13 sigsaye

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 01:22 PM

I dont know how to post photos from my phone ( no computer). But look up us coast guard uniforms WW2. It really is just a shield.

#14 Justin B.

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 01:38 PM

MastersMate is the guy for USCG uniform history, but here are WW2 USCG shields from National Geographic.

 

uscg_shields.jpg



#15 stratasfan

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 01:40 PM

Oh, super cool! Thanks!  Would these actually be embroidered on the uniform, or sewn on? I mean, could I get one not on a uniform? :)



#16 Justin B.

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 02:09 PM

Sure, they were made separately to sew on.

#17 MastersMate

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 02:42 PM

The Coast Guard distinguishing mark, authorized in 1922 to positively identify enlisted members of the Coast Guard. Still worn on the uniform today, on the right sleeve, centered midway between the elbow and cuff..

 

In certain ports shared by the USN and USCG, it was common practice for those gold brickin', trouble makin', falsehood spewin'. members of the enlisted force of a fairly disreputable naval force, to spread bilge information concerning the Coast Guard. Among local fables was one concerning the height of CG enlistees. You had to be over 6 foot tall. That way if the cutter were to sink, you could walk ashore.  Another concerned the CG shield. In certain social venues, the USN personnel would advise any and all ladies in the establishment to avoid those sailors wearing the shield. They would describe it as the Public Health Service desognation mark for those sailors with an active case of VD.  With that being spread about, a Coast Guardsman could not make out in a Womans Penitentary with a fistful of governors pardons..

 

Truth be known, that was viscious misinformation. Anyone in the know recognized the mark as that worn by the hand picked crew of the Presidential Yacht.   :D



#18 MastersMate

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 08:37 PM

Sometimes, when trying to track down Coast Guard and Revenue Cutter Service insignia it seems like the 'lets throw it at the bulkhead and see if it sticks'...  Take the Signalmans crossed semaphore flags..

 

The Revenue Cutter Service pretty much copied the USN as far as uniforms go since about 1829 or so.  The use of specialty marks for designated petty officers was a late blooming practice.  It took until 1892 that the RCS started to take a serious look at their enlisted cuttermen. The senior POs ( Master at Arms, Gunner, Carpenter, and Boatswain) wore the uniform similar to the USN upcoming USN CPO.  The junior petty officers wore the traditional USN sailor uniform with a rating badge on the sleeve.  One rating was the Quartermaster and the mark was a combination of the wheel and crossed wig wag flags.

 

By 1900 the RCS adopted the USN eagle and specialty mark of the wheel. By 1908, the RCS had grabbed the USN rating badge of eagle and specialty mark, but its own distinctive chevrons.  The RCS and later USCG  SIGNAL QUARTERMASTER used crossed wig wag signal flags similar to the US Arrny signal corps. By 1922 the USCG adopted the USN specialty mark whenever it had the Signalman rating..

 

It is interesting that the WW2 era SM ratings had the flags embroidered in a way that made them look like they were waving in the breeze..

 

THe CG Signalman timeline..  The RCS used the Radioman sparks years before they became a teinkle in the USN eye..

 

 

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#19 sigsaye

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 06:44 AM

i have a post 1957 (Left Arm), SMC khaki uniform, that has the spear points on the arm flag staffs, much like the pre 1948 USCG SM badges

#20 sigsaye

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 07:04 AM

i have a post 1957 (Left Arm), SMC khaki uniform, that has the spear points on the arm flag staffs, much like the pre 1948 USCG SM badges

. The reason I mention that is because I had always heard that spear points were CG. Yet, heres a rating badge, for a left sleeve, 10 years after the CG dropped the right arm rate of SM, on a Navy Uniform.

#21 MastersMate

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 10:22 AM

In the modern digital age, uniformity in rating badges should be the norm.  The computer cannot screw up..

 

Found this 1918 photo explaining how USN rating badges were embroidered. This huge machine mass producing the design, but all of them depending on the steady hand of the lady tracing the pattern. Any slight variation she would make would be copied through that production run.  Some operators may have gotten a bit artistically creative when making the badges.  Quite a production system..

 

 

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  • Rating Pantograph 1.png


#22 67Rally

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 10:36 AM

In the modern digital age, uniformity in rating badges should be the norm.  The computer cannot screw up..

 

Found this 1918 photo explaining how USN rating badges were embroidered. This huge machine mass producing the design, but all of them depending on the steady hand of the lady tracing the pattern. Any slight variation she would make would be copied through that production run.  Some operators may have gotten a bit artistically creative when making the badges.  Quite a production system..

 

 

 

This is a great image and insight into the manufacturing process! Thanks for sharing!!



#23 MastersMate

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 09:10 AM

The Coast Guard has always been noted for being "frugal", a quaint New England term for 'cheapskate'..  One frugal trait has been the re-use of insignia or borrowing from the U.S.N.

 

The 'SURFMAN' insignia is a good example..  When the Coast Guard was formed in 1915, The Revenue Cutter Service and the Lifesaving Service were two branches of a new service call Coast Guard. The both operated pretty much as two branches, each with its own organization. The cutter branch and the lifesaving branch.

 

With the new organization, the civilian lifesaving branch were given grades and ratings on the same idea as the cutter branch.  The KEEPER of the stations were given a warrant by the Secretary as KEEPER and the second in command was given a petty officers rating as Number 1 Surfman, the same name as his old position.  The Keeper wore a warrant officer uniform and had the new design lifering and crossed oars as a collar grade insignia. The Number 1 Surfman was rated as a petty officer 1st class and had the same symbol as a rating badge specialty mark.

 

In May 1920 the Keeper became a warrant Boatswain (crossed foul anchors) and the  #1 Surfman became a Boatswain's mate 1st class (crossed anchors).  The ring buoy and oars became a cap and collar branch insignia for other enlisted crewmen.  There was a period in the 1930s that the ring and oars replaced the nation shield on the lifesaving branch CPO  cap insignia..  Currently it is used as an advanced qualification insignia for coxswains operating the motor lifeboats at designated 'surf stations' in the Coast Guard..

 

 

 

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  • Surfman Lineage A.jpg


#24 Justin B.

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 03:49 PM

^Excellent info as always, thanks!

Edit: That embroidery machine is really interesting, as is the capitalization they used in the caption!

Edited by Justin B., 22 April 2018 - 03:51 PM.



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