How to Wear Fourragere

by Stephanie Mitchell

The fourragere attaches to the button on your left shoulder strap.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

The fourragere is a shoulder cord awarded to American military units by foreign governments. The French, Belgian and Dutch governments may award an American unit the fourragere in recognition of repeated gallant actions. Service members may wear the fourragere on their uniforms, provided they are also wearing a decoration awarded by the U.S. government. The cord consists of a long braid with a small loop or clip on one end, and a metal pencil attachment on the other.

Step 1

Check your dress regulations to determine whether you should attach the fourragere to the underside or the top of the shoulder strap on your jacket. If your jacket does not have a shoulder strap, attach a regulation button to the left shoulder seam. Affix the button 1/2 inch outside the edge of the collar.

Step 2

Locate the loop or clip at one end of the braided cord. Fasten it to the button on the underside or top of the shoulder strap, or to the regulation button as specified in the dress regulations. The cord should now be hanging behind you.

Step 3

Thread the braided cord under your left arm, bringing the pencil attachment to the front. Fasten the small loop at the top of the pencil attachment to the same button, creating a braided loop around your left arm. Adjust the pencil attachment so it hangs in front of your left breast pocket.


  • Check your dress regulations carefully to determine whether it is appropriate for you to wear the fourragere on any given occasion.


  • Wear the fourragere only if you are officially authorized to do so by a foreign government.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images

About the Author

Stephanie Mitchell is a professional writer who has authored websites and articles for real estate agents, self-help coaches and casting directors. Mitchell also regularly edits websites, business correspondence, resumes and full-length manuscripts. She graduated from Syracuse University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theater.