Rear Admiral epaulette change?

Discussion in 'History' started by jamesbondoo7, Feb 9, 2006.

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  1. Hello,

    This picture is from the 1967 James Bond film "You Only Live Twice".

    It shows Bond's boss, M.

    I believe the character's rank is a Rear Admiral, but the epaulette doesn't seem to match what is shown on the Royal Navy uniform website.

    The crown and crossed sword are the same - but today's badge shows two stars at the bottom instead of one.

    Did a change come about - or ?
  2. Complete edit - confusion reigns because of the issue of Commodore Shoulder Boards. The James Bond picture shows Commodore shoulder boards, not Rear Admiral shoulder boards.

    And they come from stores at about £200 a pair......
  3. The Epaulette is a Rear Admirals with one star, Two Stars is a Vice Admiral and a Commodore did not have a shoulder board and if he did it only showed the broad stripe of his rank.
  4. I'll go and tell the Naval Assistant to take his off, then shall I? Things may have changed since you were in - the Commodore rank is now substantive, and is classed as Flag Rank, therefore they have the same entitlement to shoulder boards as the rest of the previous Flag Rankers.

    This is why we refer to Commodores as 1*, Rear Admirals as 2*, Vice Admirals as 3*, etc, etc.
  5. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    IIRC (not from actually being there) there was once two classes of Commodore and a First Class wore Rear Admiral's lace (note Commodore Harwood (Anthony Quayle) Battle of the River Plate, a film with enough RN advisers to get it right.

    I seem to recall recent changes were to make the board stars match the rank but there are no commodores and up in my current orbit. When I do see them they are wearing gold not those pongofied things.

    It's stretching it a bit to refer to Commodore as being classed as Flag Rank Pompey Sailor, even if he is your boss. They still fly a broad pennant, not a flag.
  6. Have to agree with PompeySailor. I am currently working within 2SL staff and all of the Commodores (there are lots of them) are wearing the new 'pongofied' shoulder boards.
  7. Not my boss - I go a little higher than that! He is classed officially as Flag Rank - they are appointed by the Flag Appointers, and are promoted at Flag Promotion Boards. Yes, they have a funny shaped pennant, but only because no-one has decided to employ a committee to redesign a new one for them yet!
    • Like Like x 1
  8. I'll save them a fortune:

    Admiral - no balls
    Vice Admiral - one ball
    Rear Admiral - two balls
    Spot the link
    Commodore - Three balls.

    Monkey saves the day once more
  9. Silly, silly boy. You could have put this forward for a GEMS award, and a Herbert Lott, and probably a CO's Efficiency Award as well. Now I can do it instead and take all the credit!
  10. This has got me thinking...

    An Air Commodore is of 'Air' rank, and gets a double brass hat.

    But proper Commodores don't and Brigaders don't get a Generals beret badge. I wonder if that is up for change.

    Just a though?
  11. Careful! Not sure we want to go down the USN route. When they re-introduced the Commodore rank in 1982 as a 1 star it was known as Commodore Admiral, but reverted to just Commodore the following year. However, in 1985 an appointment of Commodore was introduced (similar to RN of the period I think), and to repvent confusion between the 2 the rank of Commodore became Rear Admiral (Lower Half).

    Present day USN Commodores wear Captains rank, but are addressed as Commodore.

    Confusing or what.
  12. Uniform inflation is a historic thing in the Navy - Nelson only had two stripes as a Vice-Admiral, and two stars (no crown, crossed swords etc.). From two orders (dress and undress) in Nelson's day we got to 7 orders of dress (full dress, two frock coat orders, reefer jacket and 2 mess kit orders, ignoring whites) in 1939, when it all came crashing down with WWII and we lost the full dress and frock coats and the cocked hat.

    Commodore (1st class) used to have a captain in his pennant ship, whereas commodores (2nd class) used to be their own captains. 1st class wore Rear-admiral's uniform with commodore's epaulettes, but were of course only temporary just like 2nd class, and flew a pennant with no balls. Rank abolished 1958. Present day commodores fly the 2nd class pennant and until recently did not wear gold epaulettes.

    This was the scheme as it was in 1939:
    Commodores & Captains>3yrs: crown, two stars and anchor
    Captains<3yrs: crown, star and anchor
    Commanders: crown and anchor (this was what the Prince of Wales wore at his wedding, was for Captains>3yrs in Nelson's day)
    Lieutenants>8yrs: star and anchor
    Lieutenants<8yrs: anchor (this was for Captains<3yrs in Nelson's day)
    Sub-Lieutenants: anchor (unfouled), without bullion fringe
  13. Uniforms are "interesting" when you consider the options (well, not really options are they) for how medals are mounted, in which order, etc. It seems to be slightly random these days (along the lines of 2SL (B-N) deciding to wear white tropical uniform whilst parading around Portsmouth Hard!).

    Had to collect a uniform today for someone from a famous Portsmouth tailor (can't name them because of the shambles). Left a pin in the lining, failed to iron seams before lining jacket, put buttons on at 90 degrees, etc, etc, etc. Even managed to return one jacket with 2 left arms on it....couldn't put my finger on the problem until I saw two buttons on the front of the guy's right wrist!
  14. Sounds like Greenburgs in their finest hour
    • Like Like x 1
  15. I remember getting into a lot of trouble during that lesson in training, being a bit of a smart arse I asked how many balls the Queen had. The instructor had a total sense of humor failure, I forget how many pressups I got but I took me a week to do them.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  16. Et tu, Highlander
  17. IIRC Commodores still appear on the Captain's list. You were it as a title for a particular job, such as Commodore Amphibious Warfare. When that job ceased or your time in it was over you reverted to your previous rank - or get promoted if you were lucky.
  18. Frankly, if I ever need to worry about which boards to wear as a Cdre, I shall consider my potential exceeded!! :roll:
  19. Nope - it's a substantive rank. There is no reversion to the Captain's List anymore. It used to be a rank you were promoted into almost like Local Acting, but those days are well gone!
  20. Pompey Sailor I bow to modern Rank Badges and as you so corecctly pointed out thay did not have them in my era. However remember when the film was made and the shoulder board is one for a Rear Admiral
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