"Three Badge" Able–Seamen

by John M. MacFarlane 2013

Three Badge ABs

Two unidentified ‘Three–badge’ Able–Seamen RCN serving in HMCS Chaudiere 1965. (Photograph from Nauticapedia collection.)

In addition to long service medals, chevrons were once awarded to personnel of the Lower Deck to indicate periods of good service. Chevrons worn on the left arm, (normally under the rate badge), indicated the number of years of ‘good conduct’ that the individual had accumulated. These men are Able–Seamen which (with the rank of Ordinary Seaman) was a rank without a specific rank badge. The badges were in red thread for day–to–day uniforms. They were in navy blue thread on white uniforms, and in gold thread for the most formal occasions.

  • 1 chevron – 3 years good conduct
  • 2 chevrons – 8 years
  • 3 chevrons – 13 years

Good Conduct is now recognized in the RCN (and the other Canadian armed services with the Canadian Forces Decoration (the C.D.) awarded for 12 years service.) Medals for good conduct and long service have been awarded since the establishment of the navy in 1910. The Canadian Forces Decoration is withdrawn from those who have dishonoured themselves and the navy. (Most recently (in 2013) the convicted spy Jeffrey Delisle had his C.D. medal rescinded after the guilty verdict at his trial.)

It was formerly a common punishment for breaches of the Queen’s Regulations to have one or more of these badges removed – so to have three indicated long solid and faithful service.

I have not been able to identify these individuals – if any reader can identify them I would like to add their names to this photograph caption – and to know if they were eventually promoted.



To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2013) Three Badge Able-Seamen Nauticapedia.ca 2013. http://nauticapedia.ca/Articles/Chaudiere_ABs.php

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