Initially, the role of shoulder straps was purely utilitarian. They served to fasten the straps of a cartridge bag or a satchel to the shoulder. Therefore, there was only one shoulder strap and only the rank and file. The officers did not have shoulder straps. Gradually, the army ammunition changed. At the end of the 19th century, the utilitarian function was still preserved, but at the same time, shoulder straps already served to distinguish between soldiers and officers, as well as to determine belonging to a regiment or division. Since 1943, shoulder straps have served only to distinguish between ranks.
The rank and file wear red shoulder straps on their shoulders. Servicemen in the Airborne Forces, Aviation and Space Forces - blue. The sailors have black shoulder straps. On the field uniform, shoulder straps are removable, camouflage color. They do not bear any insignia.
Belonging to the sergeant staff is determined by the presence of stripes. Stripe - a strip in the form of a cloth braid. On the ceremonial and casual uniforms, the stripes are yellow, on the field - protective.
The first rank is corporal. The insignia is one narrow transverse stripe. The junior sergeant wears two narrow transverse stripes on his shoulder straps. Sergeant - three. On the shoulder straps of the senior sergeant there is one wide transverse stripe. And, finally, the foreman on shoulder straps has one wide longitudinal stripe.
The next group is ensigns. Their shoulder straps are very similar to the officer's, but without gaps. Shoulder straps are green, on casual and formal uniforms, along the edges there is a narrow red edging. In aviation, space forces and airborne forces, the edging is blue.
On the ensign's shoulder straps there are two small metal stars located vertically. The senior warrant officer has three.
Officers wear golden shoulder straps on dress uniforms, green on casual uniforms, and white on summer white shirts. On the field uniform, shoulder straps are removable, camouflage color.
The rank of junior lieutenant begins with the junior officer corps. Their shoulder straps are decorated with one narrow vertical stripe, a gap, and small metal stars (13 mm). On casual and formal uniforms, stars are made of yellow metal, and the gap is red or blue. There is no gap on the field form, the stars are green.
The junior lieutenants have one star located in the clearance. The lieutenant has two on the sides of the gap. The senior lieutenant wears three small stars on his shoulder straps, located in a triangle: two on the sides of the lumen and one in the lumen slightly higher. The captain has four stars: two in the skylight and two on the sides of it.
The next group is senior officers. On the shoulder straps there are two narrow gaps and large metal stars (20 mm). The colors are the same as those of junior officers.
The major has one star on his shoulder straps. The lieutenant colonel has two, in each gap, the colonel has three - two in the gaps, one in the middle, arranged in a triangle.
The senior officers wear large embroidered stars (22 mm) on their shoulder straps, located vertically. There are no gaps. The Major General has one star, the Lieutenant General has two, and the Colonel General has three. If there are four embroidered stars on the shoulder straps, you are in front of an army general.
The highest military rank in the armed forces of the Russian Federation is Marshal of the Russian Federation. He has one very large embroidered star (40 mm) on his shoulder straps and the coat of arms of Russia.