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USAF Rank without the star in the middle

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Hi everyone, I just recieved a large box of patches and rates in the mail and upon going through them I found a ziplock bag of AF ranks in them. Well I had a little time to go through them and I came across these. There are I believe 2 more just like this in the bag. Errors maybe? Any ideas.




In Memory of :

Pvt. Paul Edward Herrick

USS Arizona, Marine Guard

KIA December 7,1941

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From time to time, the USAF loses it's entire mind and decides to re-invent the rank chevrons, again.


It drives most of us nuts...


Here's a pretty good explanation of the dark star:


"Back in 1976, the Air Force created its own "soft stripe" grade: the Senior Airman. That grade split E-4 into a non-supervisory Senior Airman and the supervisory "buck" Sergeant. The split was comparable to the Specialist grades that were created by the Army during the 1960s. As I understand it, the "soft stripe" Specialists were created to retain experienced technicians that wanted to remain in the Army but did not want a supervisory role. (Whatever happened to "lead, follow, or get out of the way"?)


In order to recognize the split in the pay grade, the Air Force also had to alter the insignia for grades E-2 through E-4. They created the "dark star" in the middle of the traditional circle and star. From a distance, of course, it simply looked like "no star" — which is what people called it. At the time of the change, I was a newly promoted E-3. So, like many others of that time, I had to use a marking pen to darken the star, as opposed to buying new chevrons for all of my uniforms. (Of course, the stars had to be "reblued" about every-other washing.) I thought the split grade was a silly idea, and so was the "non-supervisory" concept behind it.


In 1994, under the administration of President Bill Clinton, the USAF Chief of Staff made a number of sweeping changes to the Air Force uniform. Having been "downsized" at the end of 1991, I did not have to keep up with those changes. The few that I saw from a distance made me thankful that I was no longer on active duty. It appeared to me that he was trying to turn the Air Force into the Navy. (The same is true for the changes from "Air Force Regulation" to "Air Force Instruction," and the complicated numbering system that went along with that change.)


During that period of upheaval, the Air Force also changed its insignia ... again. When I heard a rumor that the change was coming, I thought, "Aha! Someone that was a two-striper back when I was has now risen to power, and will change things back to the way they should be." Boy, was I wrong. Instead of going back to the simpler system, and also aligning with our fellow Services, the Air Force made its insignia even more out of step..."

HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC

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My father was in the Air Force but he was an officer, I think I heard him say they were buck sergeant ranks

(Shake 'n' bake NCO?) Hope this helps. JOE


For a period of time beginning about 1980, the AF changed their junior enlisted rank chevrons, making the star subdues for ranks up to Senior Airman, which was a non-NCO grade. The first NCO grade, Sergeant, had the same number of stripes but the star was silver as were all subsequent grades (Staff, Tech, Master, and Chief).

Semper fi; Bill


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