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Soviet Uniforms, Hats And Insignia For all topics concerning uniforms, hats, insignia (such as rank, branch of service and cap devices), shoulderboards, sleeve patches and other accoutrements.

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Old 05-02-2004, 02:02 PM   #1
Taz
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Each branch of the service had its own special color combinations for crown, band, and piping. The color of the crown often depended on the type and color of uniform being worn (parade, service, summer, winter, etc.), although exceptions do occur. The piping and hat band, however, were usually the same for all uniforms, except for field use, in which case the entire hat—including the visor and badge—was usually olive drab. Here’s a rundown of the most common piping/band combinations.

Piping - Band - Function
-------------------------------
Red - Red - Army motor rifles (infantry) and police*
Red - Black - Army technical services
Sky blue - Sky blue - Air Force
White - Black - Navy
Dark blue - Dark blue - KGB
Red - Black KGB border troops
White - Red - Officer candidates (Suvorov schools)**
Red - Black - Officer candidate (artillery)
Olive drab - Olive drab - All field uniforms
Maroon - Maroon - MVD (internal army)

* Police caps have gray crowns and different badges
** These colors were also used by traffic police with the militia cap badge.

Technical services included: artillery, armored corps, engineering, motor transport, railway, supply, topographical, railway, road building, construction, pipeline, and signals. Service caps are identical for all these groups, although parade caps for members of the Armored Corps had black velvet bands, rather than ordinary felt bands.
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Old 05-02-2004, 02:04 PM   #2
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Chinstraps

Although chincords of gold braid were often used to indicate officer rank, this was not always the case. Prior to 1970, officers had black vinyl chinstraps. After 1970, these were replaced with gold cords, although warrant officers continued to wear the black straps. Although enlisted men usually have a black vinyl chinstrat, enlisted men in honor guards had the privilege of using officer’s chincords. In short, a gold chincord doesn’t mean a whole lot without seeing the rest of the cap—the hat badge in particular.
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Old 05-02-2004, 02:10 PM   #3
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Hat badges

Enlisted men
-------------------

Had either of two basic types of badge: a small enamelled star for use on a garrison cap, and a star enclosed in a gold wreath, which is also seen on many Navy "Donald Duck" hats.

Army and Air Force officer badges
----------------------------------------

Always feature a small oval cockade with an enamelled red star on a painted, white field. This cockade, first introduced in 1955, signified officer rank and was often used without other embellishments by Army officers for all uniforms except those for parade use. The Air Force, however, enclosed the cockade in a small gold wreath for service uniforms. A somewhat larger wreath for parade use was used by both Air Force and Army officers.

Naval officers
----------------------

Used a badge that featured a fouled anchor and wreath with a small star just above the anchor. This, too, is a gold badge that is very white in color. Chincords and badges that actually are silver are for naval administrators. Apparently, some full captains wore embroidered badges rather than metal badges, but this is unusual.

Generals, admirals and marshals
--------------------------------------

Are by and large the only ranks to use bullion wreaths in combination with the metal cockade—all other badges are metal. The cockade for general officers never has the white, painted-enamel background seen in other officer’s cockades but is gold like the rest of the badge.

For on-duty parade use by marshals and generals, badges were generally larger and more flamboyant, with a stalk of embroidered wheat or leaves on either side of the cap band and on the visor. All of these large badges are identical, with the exception of those for Air Force generals, which have a minor pattern variation around the center cockade.

Parade uniforms for admirals also featured larger bullion leaves on either side of the badge (though in a unique naval pattern), and fleet admirals had bullion leaves that covered most of the front of the hat band. Admirals also had visor decorations, but with a stylized oak-leaf pattern.

Honour guard personnel
-----------------------------

Of all ranks in Berlin, Moscow and elsewhere, wore officer-style caps (braided chinstrap, etc.) but with either enlisted or officer badges according to their rank. With the exception of Air Force personnel, who retained the golden wings on the crown, all other honor guard hats featured an elongated five-pointed star on the crown. Genuine honor guard caps often feature a practical chinstrap made of thin black elastic cord which is attached to the inside of the side buttons.

KGB enlisted men on honor-guard duty at Lenin’s Tomb, however, were entitled to wear officer’s parade badges. A unique honor guard badge for the crown was introduced in the late 1980’s.

Bandsmen were fitted out along the same lines as honor-guard personnel, though with a special "lyre" badge rather than the special honor-guard badge. Officers (band leaders) wore caps similar to officer parade caps; enlisted men work caps similar to officer service caps.
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Last edited by Taz; 07-13-2006 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 05-02-2004, 02:12 PM   #4
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Side buttons

All navy caps feature a fouled anchor on the side buttons. Other service branches have a star with a hammer and sickle in the center. Generals, however, have side buttons featuring the Soviet seal (gerb). Admirals had a small gerb over crossed anchors. In all cases, the side buttons matched the uniform buttons.
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