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Metal Badge of Rank- 1/2" Mess Pips


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Quick Overview

The first British Army rank insignia were introduced in 1760. Badges for field officers were first introduced in 1810. These badges consisted of (and still consist of) crowns and pips. 

Metal Badge of Rank- 1/2" Mess Pips

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Product Description

These badges consisted of (and still consist of) crowns and pips. These rank insignia were worn on shoulder epaulettes. The pip is that of the Order of the Bath except in the Household Regiments. The pip taken from Order has the Latin motto “Tria Juncta In Uno” which means ‘three joined in one’ of which the pip also gears embossed within the metal frame. The insignia was moved to the shoulder boards in 1880 for all officers in full dress, when the system of crowns and stars was reorganised on similar lines to that seen today. Exceptions included the rank of Brigadier General (now Brigadier) and until 1902, a Captain had just two stars and a Lieutenant one star.

From 1871, the rank of Ensign was replaced with the rank of Second Lieutenant, which had no insignia. The 1902 change gave the latter a single pip and the insignia of Lieutenants and Captains were increased to two and three pips respectively. In addition to the shoulder badges, officers' ranks were also reflected in the amount and pattern of gold lace worn on the cuffs of the full-dress tunic. During World War I, some officers took to wearing tunics with the rank badges on the shoulder, as the cuff badges made them too conspicuous to snipers. This practice was frowned on outside the trenches but was given official sanction in 1917 as an optional alternative, being made permanent in 1920, when the cuff badges were abolished.

In the Cadet Forces of the Caribbean, metal pips are worn on both epaulettes of Service Dress, Work Dress, Mess Kit and on shoulder boards of the Ceremonial Dress. The embroidered pips are usually reserved for Garrison wear or worn with the training uniform, the no.4 dress (field wear).  

Here at Active Gear, we supply metal pips. Some of our metal pips feature twin pin and butterfly clutch fittings and others have double shank with split cotter pin fitting  There is also the No. 1 Officer’s Dress pip which is of gold and silver burnished finish with a wire fitting on the reverse for easy fitting to the shoulder boards and the mess pips for Mess Dress. 

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