Epaulets

05/01/04

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Epaulets

 

 

During the cruise I became very interested in the insignia of the various officers on board the ship.  In fact, I turned it into a personal scavenger hunt to find an example of every epaulet used to identify officer positions.  I was only partially successful, although I did make a significant dent in the insignia.

First, what is an epaulet?  It is the insignia that each officer has on his shoulder and designates the rank and department of the individual.  Generally, the more stripes on the epaulet the higher the rank.  Stripes can be either single stripes, half stripes, straight, or braided.  Examples will follow since a picture is definitely worth 1000 words in this department!  Most of the epaulets consist of gold stripes on various color backgrounds based on the department.  Bridge officers and security have black backgrounds, engineering has purple, electrical has burgundy, medical is red, food services is blue, and most of the remaining staff has white.

The biggest mistake a person can make on the ship is to see someone with multiple stripes on black, red, purple, or burgundy backgrounds, and ask the person for a drink.  It is a running joke among some of the crew and a point of insult to others to have one's rank misunderstood.

There is a story why the engineer color is purple.  According to the staff, it is in honor of the engineering crew on the Titanic who went down while trying to save the ship.  The color is reminiscent of blood, the blood - and lives- that were lost by the gallant engineers.

Anyway, here is a cross matrix of who is who:
Ship Master (Captain) Commodore's bar with braided stripes 
           
  4 stripes 3 1/2 stripes 3 stripes 2 stripes 1 stripe
Gold stripes on epaulet color          
Black staff captain
  chief officer (crossed)

chief of security (uncrossed)

second officer
apprentice deck officer

security officer   (2 half stripes)

Green   chief radio officer first radio officer    
Purple chief engineer
staff engineer second engineer

A/C engineer

third engineer

amos controller

apprentice engineer
Burgundy   chief electrician electronic engineer second electrician

second electronic engineer

 
White hotel manager
asst. hotel manager/chief purser first purser

training and dev manager

second purser

assistant purser
Red   senior doctor
doctor nurse
 
Sky Blue   food manager

bar manager

  asst food manager

asst. bar manager

 
Gold stars on black     restaurant manager asst. restaurant manager  
Silver stripes on white     chief housekeeper asst chief housekeeper
 
Gold straight stripes on white     chief concierge

casino manager

European host

Guest relations officer

program coordinator

onboard sales coordinator

printer

 

 

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This site was last updated 03/26/04