Pilot’s uniform Stripes

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  •   Nimra Saleem
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What does the pilot’s uniform stripes mean?
Pilot’s uniform Stripes

What does the pilot’s uniform stripes mean?

Most crews consist of only a pilot (also known as captain) and a co-pilot (also known as a first officer).The airline captain's insignia corresponds to the naval captain's insignia, such as four stripes on the shoulder epaulets and four stripes on the blazer arms.

pilot’s uniform

Pilot’s Uniform

There are a lot of aspects or accessories in a pilot’s uniform. Usually, it is a combination of a white shirt with black trousers. What makes a pilot stand out are the stripes which are on the epaulettes.

white shirt with black trousers pilot’s uniform

Many of you guys asked this question abundantly . “What is the difference of number of stripes on your shoulder captain; some have 4, 3, 2, or 1?”

stripes on your shoulder captain

Let us shed some light on this through this article, where I will lead you from 1st strip all the way to the 4th one.

1st strip

Uniform Resemblance

It all started when traveling by ships and boats over oceans.Consequently, that would let lots of thing in common between those two moderate ways of transportation, for instance: navigation methods and techniques, the person behind the ship navigation is called a captain as well his associate a first officer as well as its vivid from the uniform resemblance.

Pilot logbook

So basically coming on to what the number of stripes mean on the epaulettes, will start in an ascending order:

1 Strip-

This is basically when the pilot is in training they get to put on epaulettes with 1 strip on it. They are called as Trainee First Officer for the post of CO-PILOT.

1 strip CO-PILOT

2 Stripes-

This also indicates the pilot is in his training stage or just completed with his training and is flying as junior first Officer. This indicates that he is just inducted in the company and getting his flow started up

2 Stripes junior first Officer

3 Stripes-

This indicates the pilot is senior first officer in the airline, and is with the airline for quite a few years having ample hours of experience.

3 Stripes senior first officer

4 Stripes-

It is worn by the captain, who is the pilot in command of the aircraft. 4 stripes are put on only by the captains. This is practised as a universal thing. IN any region in the world or any airline, the pilot with 4 stripes is the exclusively for the captains. You need to be a certified Airline Transport pilot license holder (ATPL) for qualifying as a Captain.

4 Stripes captain

The difference in stripes on the epaulettes is not as way to show off but it’s an indication for other pilots to recognize their Co-pilots while flying. When a senior Captain flying with a pilot who has 2 stripes he/she know what can expect from him while flying knowing to the fact that he/she is a new joiner in the company, will be having a little experience. And when he/she flying with a pilot with 3 stripes he/she do know that he/she has been with the airline for couple of years and has good amount of hours under his belt.


Be it any number of stripes all the pilots have been trained and are master in their art, and are certainly capable of flying aircrafts which they have been trained upon.

Airlines have captains as per the seniority that have been with the airline for a long time known as senior captain. They have a lot of hours experience under them. For them the airlines around the world as a token of respect and service give a special charm/symbol to put on the epaulettes next to their 4 stripes. It can be anything such as a crown or the national flag or something related to their region. Plus the jackets worn by the pilots also have the different number of stripes on them.

4 stripes

The number of stripes on the epaulettes differs from airline to airline and region wise also. But in general if you see, the captains have 4 stripes on the epaulettes which they put on their uniform and the co-pilots might have 2 or 3 stripes on the epaulettes.

Don’t forget to say a hello to your pilots the next time you fly and a thank you as well for taking you from one place to another safely.

2 Reviews
  • User Image
    Mehak Ibad
  • A year ago 3Rating Stars
  • Thank you for this useful information.

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    RoOeeya Fatima
  • A year ago 4Rating Stars
  • i always wave hands whenever a plane passes over my top :D... (y) 4 the blog

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