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Stripes: Secrets Revealed

What is the most fantastic item in the pilot’s uniform? That’s right-the stripes! I know guys you always wanted to know what do that lines mean on a uniform, wherefrom the idea and design come? And this article is all about this particular item called epaulet or just STRIPES.

First of all, we need to step back and look at history to find out where the idea exactly came from. The word “epaulette” is French, meaning ‘little shoulder.’ The history of epaulets/stripes goes back as far as Roman times, but in more recent history, they were worn by military personnel in the 17th century. As time went on, they were used to show a soldier’s rank and with aviation development, it became an important part of a pilot’s uniform.

Now let’s talk about how you can tell the difference of what exact position the pilot holds by these stripes. Probably you have seen pilots with 3 stripes on their sleeves, or pilots with 4 stipes, and always wanted to know the degrees of those pilots.

Here are the main degrees:

  • One Stripe is usually worn by pilots-in-training. In some cases, flight attendants are also spotted wearing this badge.
  • Two Stripes are worn by flight engineers or second officers. Aside from being the third line of command, they are also qualified to fly planes.
  • Three Stripes indicate that the person is the co-pilot or second in command. They assist the captain through flight planning and updating communication and flight mechanisms.
  • Four Stripes badge is worn by the captain, the one who is in charge of the safety and operations of the flight.

The pilot uniform is designed to inspire the public’s confidence in this profession – the image is everything to a passenger.

Hopefully, the next person who will be wearing these stripes could be you! 🙂

Until next time, and as always, “We Speak Aviation.”


  • Josephine Cayabyab
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:09 am

    You are such a successful individual ,how did you overcome obstacles along the way of being a pilot and as a media influencer?

  • Sahil
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    Hoping that i get a chance to get the 4 stripe badge when i become a pilot one day. You articles gives me alot of motavation and small steps to my pilot dream everyday. You articles make me think about my future and lets me study and get the best marks possible

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