Shoulder boards are a part of the United States Army uniform. Worn over the epaulettes, shoulder boards come in a variety of colours and styles to suit the rank and gender of the person wearing them. As such there are a number of different colours that army shoulder boards can come in.
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The edges of a U.S. Army shoulder board are going to be made out of gold. Some of the fibres are actual gold wire, and others are nylon, but the gold colour is the standard for all army officers. Regardless of the rank inside the gold border, or if the shoulder boards are being worn by men or women, the trim remains the same colour and generally the same thickness and weave pattern.
The inner colour, or the background colour, of a set of shoulder boards varies depending on the wearer's branch, position and rank in the army. For instance, a chaplain's shoulder boards when in dress uniform will have a black background to denote that the chaplain is a clergy officer. Artillery officers have shoulder boards with a red background in them, and infantry officers are denoted by the blue background. A complete list of shoulder boards can be found in the army handbook, which keeps all of the colours and patterns up to date with regulation.
The last part of a shoulder board is the officer's rank insignia displayed centred in the shoulder board. The insignia is gold to match both the colour of the metal that rank insignia are made in, as well as the border colour of the shoulder board. Of course, the rank will change depending on the officer, so it's important that you have the proper rank for the proper wearer.
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