How to Attach Shoulder Boards to Mess Dresses

by Tiffany Silverberg

Shoulder boards are rectangular pieces of fabric, either soft or hard. They denote the rank of the service member wearing them. They are attached to a service member’s shoulder while she is wearing a dress uniform. The manner in which they are worn is prescribed by each military branch’s uniform regulations. If you are putting together a dress uniform for a formal military function or ceremony, follow these simple steps to attach your shoulder boards.

Step 1

Put on the jacket or shirt of the uniform you are wearing to the event and face a mirror.

Step 2

Open the clasp on the hard shoulder board, or the button on the uniform if you are wearing a soft shoulder board.

Step 3

Slide the flap under the hard shoulder board under the two loops on the shoulder of your uniform. Clasp the snap. The stripes on your shoulder board should be nearest your arm, while the snap should be near your neck.

Step 4

Left the fabric flap up off your shoulder if you are wearing a soft shoulder board. Slide your shoulder board onto the flap. Close the flap and button it. The stripes should be nearest your arm.

Step 5

Do the same with the other shoulder board.

Items you will need

  • Shoulder board
  • Prescribed uniform
  • Mirror

Photo Credits

  • Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

About the Author

Tiffany Silverberg has written grants and copy materials for over three years. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a degree in linguistics. Silverberg has conducted research regarding language development in deaf children and worked as the lead reporter at the Kingsville Record and Bishop News in Texas.