How to Properly Wear Military Shoulder Cords

Shoulder cords and aiguillettes are an important part of the military uniform for many branches. These meaningful dress accessories can serve as a symbol for rank, expertise or training level. In some cases, shoulder cords may be worn for a special event or an important cause. Whatever the specific meaning, it is important that you select the appropriate shoulder cord for your event and uniform. Glendale Parade Store offers a large selection of shoulder cords and aiguillettes for the US Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and Army. In our store, you'll find the appropriate cords for your needs from citation cords, shoulder knots and metallic shoulder cords.

Glendale Parade Store also offers shoulder cords for specific uses and applications. Drill teams participating in a parade may need honor guard shoulder cords to complete their uniform. We carry shoulder cords for those enrolled in the esteemed ROTC and JROTC programs. Aside from military applications, many first responders — such as law enforcement officers and firefighters - utilize shoulder cords as part of their uniforms for parades, memorials and special occasions.

When selecting your shoulder cord, be sure to review your uniform regulations. Each uniformed service has specific regulations governing the wear of awards and decorations. Next, you want to determine your uniform epaulette style, if any. If your uniform shirt or jacket has a button-down epaulette, you'll want to choose a cord with a button loop. If your uniform does not have epaulettes or you wish to wear your cord aligned to the outside of your shoulder, select a shoulder cord with a pin attachment.

For cords with button-loop attachments, just unbutton the epaulette, secure the cord's loop around the button and refasten the epaulette as normal. For shoulder cords with a pin attachment, be sure to carefully align the pin on top of the shoulder just inside the outside edge where your sleeve begins. Secure the cord, making sure that most of the pin has been pushed through the material for a secure hold. If your shoulder cord has additional accoutrements or accessories, consult your uniformed service's regulations for proper wear. Then attach or drape these accessories as described by your manual.

cords             cords

If you're participating in a drill or other ceremonies that require movement, you may want to secure the bottom of your cord under your sleeve to keep it in place. To do this, simply use an average safety pin, hiding the majority of the pin in the lower loops of the cord material, to attach the cord to the side of your shirt or jacket. Be sure to leave yourself enough room to comfortably move your arm and shoulder without pulling the cord tight.

Glendale Parade Store offers all the military cords you need in one convenient online shop. Find high-quality shoulder cords and aiguillettes that comply with your military dress regulations at affordable prices. Select any product to see color options and choose from special features such as pin attachments. Due to differences in computer monitors and settings, all swatch colors are approximate. We will gladly mail you a color swatch at no charge. Request one by calling 800-653-5515 or email us at Also, check out our color chart to properly coordinate shoulder cords with bib scarves (ascots) and berets.

cords             cords