Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Chief Petty Officer Uniform

Don't forget to bring your photography entries for our Photography contest this Wednesday 4-7 at the Museum located on the square on the corner of 12th and State. You may view them at Essentials-Hallmark store on the West side of the Square Friday and Saturday.  

The Textile Collection curators are busy photographing and researching the military uniforms in our collection. The jacket above  is believed to be that of a Chief Petty Officer.  The Service Stripes on the lower bottom cuff of the left sleeve,  commonly called a hash mark, is presented to enlisted members of the US military to denote the length of service.  Each strip in the Army stands for three years of service while the Marine, Navy and Coast Guard award signifies 4 year of duty.

This concept of a service stripe dates back to 1782 when during the American Revolution, George Washington ordered that enlisted men who had served for three years with 'bravery, fidelity and good conduct' should wear a narrow piece of white cloth of angular form on the left sleeve of the uniform coat.  Service during the American Civil War was denoted by a red stripe bordered by the rank strip color (called a Blood stripe).

(According to the research, Chief Petty officers enjoy private living quarters and access to the Chief's Mess, known in informal Navy slang as the "goat locker" which is in reference to ship's livestock that used to be kept in the chief's quarter for safekeeping.).

 Thanks to (J. Hamilton, our photographer, and T Gray, our researcher.