ADF Mess Dress Shoulder Boards (Recently Superseded items)

Here is brief look at some of the more unusual rank insignia of the Australian Army. These shoulder boards come from a series of Mess Dress insignia, which was recently superseded in design. Nevertheless, please see Rod Lewin’s feedback (below), which indicates that these black cloth shouder boards are still in use by the the Australian Army Band Corps.

The images below, show a fully stitched WO2 shoulder board. That specimen is indicative of the full rank series, from Private up to Warrant Officer Class 2. Meanwhile, WO1 and RSM-A shoulder boards have metal rank insignia, beginning the series through to Lieutenant General.

N.B. All ranks up to Brigadier, feature current issue General Service buttons. Note also, that Major General ranks and above, have a Senior Officers’ button. Please note further, a previous post in this series has separately covered the metal rank insignia for: State Governor, Governor General and Field Marshall.

In the planned future volume in the series “Metal Uniform Embellishments of the Australian Army” Post 1953 (the QEII era), Volume 3 will pictorially document Rank and Trade insignia. Future posts on the progress of Vol 3, will include further images from this series of insignia, including equivalent ranks in silver, as disctinct from the depicted gold finish (as worn by Armour, Aviation and the Nursing Corps).


Yours in collecting and in writing

Mark Corcoran
Co Author of: “Metal Uniform Embellishments of the Australian Army”
Post 1953 (the ‘QEII’ era) Vol 1 and Vol 2

To quote an old friend of mine:
“If you are able to read this, thank a teacher.
If you are able to read this in English, thank a soldier.”

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I am the "C" component of the "CB" numbering system used in our book called: Metal Uniform Embellishments of the Australian Army, Post 1953 ('QEII Series') Vol 1 (Insignia for Corps and Schools etc). Yep... that's a mouthful and the 614 page eBook is an eyeful to match... with images of the front and back of each item, as well as weights and measures for each, so that badge variants can be reliably distinguished by collectors, dealers, historians, re-enactor groups and enthusiasts anywhere in the world.


2 thoughts on “ADF Mess Dress Shoulder Boards (Recently Superseded items)”

  1. We (Australian Army Bands) wear the Army Black Mess Dress as a Concert Dress and use these rank shoulder boards. Of course digger to CPL ones are hard to come by since they are not general issue. Cheers Rod

    Sent from Rods iPad Pro


    Liked by 1 person

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