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Thread: Merchant Marine Uniform Regulations

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    Deck is offline gCaptain Greenhorn
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    Default Merchant Marine Uniform Regulations

    What is the correct way to wear epaulettes with fouled anchors, and what is the reference?

    I found navy regulations which state that the un-fouled stock of the anchor goes forward, but I have encountered a large contingent of folks who contend that the bitter end of the anchor line should lead aft. Depending on the construction of the epaulette (how many turns in the anchor line) this can actually result in the same orientation, but where they differ I am seeking clarification.

    I found this information online: http://www.usmm.org/usmsinsignia.html

    It seems that in 1944 the U.S. Maritime Service realized that some standardization was necessary here and put out a pamphlet inviting suggested standards, accompanied by the reasoning for them (a very civil approach in my opinion). I was not able to find any subsequent publication which actually implemented standards of wear (or construction) for the merchant marine.

    Please weigh in with any reference, theory, or opinion on this issue: which way do the epaulettes go and why?

    1) Un-fouled stock forward?
    2) Bitter end aft?
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    cmakin is offline Top Contributer
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    Default Re: Merchant Marine Uniform Regulations

    I would have to go back to my time at sea, and this was a very common discussion, almost every day, as a matter of fact. I really don't recall ever getting a consensus, though.
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    uberTurtle is offline gCaptain Crew Greenhorn
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    Default Re: Merchant Marine Uniform Regulations

    Most epaulets orientation can be determined by inspection. That having been said, the anchors face out - which fluke being fouled or which way the rode leads really isn't all that important. Frankly, if a company or captain is getting that picky, they might have more important matters to which to attend.
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    Default Re: Merchant Marine Uniform Regulations

    I have been sleepless about this issue as well, does this make me gay? Not that there is anything wrong with that.
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    Default Re: Merchant Marine Uniform Regulations

    I have been sleepless about this issue as well, does this make me gay? Not that there is anything wrong with that.

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    Default Re: Merchant Marine Uniform Regulations

    Quote Originally Posted by EbbTide View Post
    does this make me gay?
    Yep.......
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    Deck is offline gCaptain Greenhorn
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    Default Re: Merchant Marine Uniform Regulations

    Quote Originally Posted by uberTurtle View Post
    Most epaulets orientation can be determined by inspection. That having been said, the anchors face out - which fluke being fouled or which way the rode leads really isn't all that important. Frankly, if a company or captain is getting that picky, they might have more important matters to which to attend.
    "What men will fight for seems to be worth looking into." - H.L. Mencken
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    Default Re: Merchant Marine Uniform Regulations

    Quote Originally Posted by uberTurtle View Post
    Most epaulets orientation can be determined by inspection. That having been said, the anchors face out - which fluke being fouled or which way the rode leads really isn't all that important. Frankly, if a company or captain is getting that picky, they might have more important matters to which to attend.
    Yeah you are so right! Everyone should just wear shit however they want. Small details are different than big details, and small details don't matter. A half-hitch is the same as a bowline as long as it holds... right?

    We have ways of doing things both ashore and at sea that come from the working history of the merchant mariner; such as the relationship between rank and privilege, chain of command, nautical terminology and humor, the correct wearing of the uniform,
    liberty, chipping and painting, and so on. All of this is part of a family of tradition that distinguishes seafaring people from those ashore. Our history and traditions are a kind of glue that holds us together. They are worthy of our attention and respect. Tradition and symbols connect us with the sailors who came before and those who will come after; this invisible thread touches men and women of courage and talent who go down to the sea in ships and do their work upon the great waters.
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    captobie is offline gCaptain Crew
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    Default Re: Merchant Marine Uniform Regulations

    "Bitter end faces aft" is what I was taught years ago.
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    Deck is offline gCaptain Greenhorn
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    Default Re: Merchant Marine Uniform Regulations

    Quote Originally Posted by captobie View Post
    "Bitter end faces aft" is what I was taught years ago.
    Thanks for the input cpatobie. I have heard this from a few folks as well, but no one has been able to come up with a reference or origin. The U.S. Navy regs. say to put the un-fouled stock forward, and I found a link which suggests the same may be true for the U.S. Merchant Marine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epaulette. Still interested if anyone has any other references (or folk lore).
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    captobie is offline gCaptain Crew
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    Default Re: Merchant Marine Uniform Regulations

    Quote Originally Posted by Deck View Post
    Thanks for the input cpatobie. I have heard this from a few folks as well, but no one has been able to come up with a reference or origin. The U.S. Navy regs. say to put the un-fouled stock forward, and I found a link which suggests the same may be true for the U.S. Merchant Marine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epaulette. Still interested if anyone has any other references (or folk lore).
    The bitter end is on the fouled end of the stock, so the unfouled end would face forward.

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    theoceancaptain4@aol.com is offline Just Browsing
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    Default Re: Merchant Marine Uniform Regulations

    Quote Originally Posted by Deck View Post
    What is the correct way to wear epaulettes with fouled anchors, and what is the reference?

    I found navy regulations which state that the un-fouled stock of the anchor goes forward, but I have encountered a large contingent of folks who contend that the bitter end of the anchor line should lead aft. Depending on the construction of the epaulette (how many turns in the anchor line) this can actually result in the same orientation, but where they differ I am seeking clarification.

    I found this information online: http://www.usmm.org/usmsinsignia.html

    It seems that in 1944 the U.S. Maritime Service realized that some standardization was necessary here and put out a pamphlet inviting suggested standards, accompanied by the reasoning for them (a very civil approach in my opinion). I was not able to find any subsequent publication which actually implemented standards of wear (or construction) for the merchant marine.

    Please weigh in with any reference, theory, or opinion on this issue: which way do the epaulettes go and why?

    1) Un-fouled stock forward?
    2) Bitter end aft?
    The bitter end should always face aft when worn on uniform...they are only to face foward in death, when being buried in uniform.
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