Eighteenth Century European armies used cords and aguilettes to distinguish
service branches and officers from enlisted. Many Continental Army units adopted this custom. After the American Revolution,
cords fell into disuse until the Mexican War. During this war some Mexican military leaders threatened to hang any captured
U.S. Officers. Many gallant men defiantly wore short ropes on their shoulders as they pressed home the attack in mocking tribute
to their enemy's empty threat. Cords and aguilettes soon officially reappeared to denote various positions and awards and
have remained with our Army until this day. The most commonly used cord still in use is the Infantry Blue Cord worn
by the U.S. Army.
Infantry Blue Cord
General Washington selected the color
blue to distinguish his tough and resolute infantry in the Continental Army from other types of soldiers. General LaFayette
chose a light blue color to outfit his American Infantry Corps. For the next 120 years, the official Infantry color alternated
between blue and white until 1904 when the Army officially adopted what we now know as "Infantry Blue."
In 1951, the
Army leadership sought to encourage and recognize foot soldiers who were bravely fighting intense battles in Korea. They soon
adopted the Infantry Blue Cord. This cord would only be worn by fully qualified Infantrymen and would announce for all to
see that these men would be on the front line when our nation was at war.
Today, enlisted graduates of Infantry Basic
Training receive their blue cord at the end of their final FTX. Graduates of the Infantry Officer Basic Course complete their
weeklong final FTX and after road marching back to building 76 have their blue cords pinned on them by their platoon trainer
NCOs. The SSG or SFC who pins on the blue cord then renders an honorary salute in symbolic recognition of their welcoming
the Lieutenant into the ranks of the Infantry.
Other Shoulder Cords, Aguilettes and, Shoulder Straps
Infantry Shoulder Cord
Cavalry Shoulder Cord
Artillery Shoulder Cord
Engineers Shoulder Cord
Signals Shoulder Cord
Generals Staff Aguilette
Korean Service Shoulder Cord
Medical Branch Shoulder Cord
1st Special Service Cord
3rd Infantry Shoulder Strap
When the Soldiers of the United States train and fight along side our allies
many times they are awarded from those countries. Here are a just a few of those awards.....
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