In the United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...
, enlisted members in pay grades E-4 to E-9 are authorized to wear gold rate insignia
instead of red if the individual meets the requirements for good conduct service.
Gold Rating Badge and Service Stripes
Personnel whose most recent twelve cumulative years of Naval active or active reserve service meet requirements for Good Conduct Service (that which meets minimum requirements for performance, conduct and evaluation marks for the Good Conduct Award
The Good Conduct Medal is one of the oldest military awards of the United States military. The Navy Good Conduct Medal was first issued in 1869, followed by a Marine version in 1896. The Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal was issued in 1923 and the Army Good Conduct Medal in 1941. The Air Force was...
) shall wear gold rating badges and gold service stripe
A service stripe, commonly called a hash mark, is a decoration of the United States military which is presented to enlisted members of the U.S. military to denote length of service. The United States Army awards each stripe for three years service, while the United States Navy, United States...
s on Dress Blue Uniforms, Dinner Dress Blue uniforms and Dinner Dress Blue/White Jacket uniforms. The twelve years may be active or drilling reserve time in the Navy, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps, or Marine Corps Reserve. Times excluded are: delayed entry program, inactive reserve, and broken service. Under broken service conditions - resume the cumulative time count upon active duty reenlistment or upon enlisting in the drilling reserves.
Continued Wearing of Gold
Once qualified to wear the gold rating badge and gold service stripes, the qualification continues through the duration of an enlisted person's service, providing they continue to meet minimum conduct, performance, and evaluation mark requirements for a Good Conduct Medal or Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Award. On the date the individual fails to meet the minimum standards, the gold rating badge and gold service stripes must be removed from the uniform. Additionally, if an individual is convicted by court-martial
A court-martial is a military court. A court-martial is empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law, and, if the defendant is found guilty, to decide upon punishment.Most militaries maintain a court-martial system to try cases in which a breach of...
or Non-Judicial Punishment (NJP), the gold badge and gold service stripes must be removed from the uniform on the date the conviction becomes final within the meaning of Article 76, Uniform Code of Military Justice
The Uniform Code of Military Justice , is the foundation of military law in the United States. It is was established by the United States Congress in accordance with the authority given by the United States Constitution in Article I, Section 8, which provides that "The Congress shall have Power . ....
. The privilege to again wear the gold service stripes/rating badge may only be earned by fulfilling the requirements listed [above].
Fleet Reserve personnel
Fleet reserve personnel may wear the gold rating badges and service stripes authorized at the time of their transfer to the fleet reserve. For fleet reserve personnel returning to active duty, fleet reserve time is considered broken time for the purpose of determining authorized additional service stripes, and qualifying to wear gold sleeve insignia.
E-4 Good Conduct Variation
The Petty Officer Third Class Good Conduct Variation is very rare in today's U.S. Navy.
For more information on this rarity, see Petty Officer 3rd Class Good Conduct Variation