Friday, April 01, 2016

Word of the Day -- Epaulet

An epaulet is a type of ornamental shoulder piece or decoration used as insignia of rank by armed forces and other organizations. In several European armies epaulettes are also worn by all ranks of elite or ceremonial units when on parade.

Epaulets are fastened to the shoulder by a shoulder strap or "passant", a small strap parallel to the shoulder seam, and the button near the collar, or by laces on the underside of the epaulet passing through holes in the shoulder of the coat. Colloquially, any shoulder straps with marks are also called epaulets. The placement of the epaulet, its color and the length and diameter of its bullion fringe are used to signify the wearer's rank. At the join of the fringe and the shoulderpiece is often a metal piece in the form of a crescent. Although originally worn in the field, epaulets are now normally limited to dress or ceremonial military uniforms.


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