What is this military rank insignia, seen in "Officer and Gentleman"?

I’m fairly familiar with military ranks and their insignia, owing to numerous friends and family who have served in the military and a general interest in reading about it. But I’ve never seen this one. Here is a picture of it, from the film. And no, I’m under no illusions about accuracy of military depictions in movies and shows. Still, it makes me wonder.

It’s basically three gold bars. Just like the bar of a second lieutenant, but three of them, linked together the same way as the silver bars of the Army/Marine/Air Force Captain or corresponding Navy Lieutenant. I did some Googling. I’ve seen pictures of this insignia among lists of ROTC and JROTC ranks.

Indeed, the characters in that movie are in fact officer candidates. But they are not ROTC, they’re part of what is apparently some kind of direct Naval Aviator commissioning pipeline for college graduates. They’re referred to as AOCs, Aviator Officer Candidates.

Is this rank insignia worn by such candidates in real life, or is it an invention for the movie?

I’ve only seen parts of that movie. But I believe that they’re students at the US Naval Academy. It’s the Navy’s West Point. He’s wearing the rank of a Midshipman Lieutenant.

My mistake. He was attending the Aviation Officer Candidate School. From Wiki.

That explains why his instructor was a Marine. But to answer the question: Yes, the rank insignia is real.

Here is the Wiki about OCS in the US Navy. The article has a short discussion about insignia.

In the OP’s pic, the rank is Cadet Lieutenant. They wear cadet rank insignia, and are not “real” ranks, per se, but temporary ranks while one is working towards a commission. Once commissioned they start wearing real rank insignia. The ranks are not real in the sense that the cadets have not achieved a full-time military job yet. They can wash out, and they can quit. They are temporary ranks for while the candidates are in class.

These are not inventions for the movie.

In the movie, the class instructor played by Louis Gossett, jr was a Gunnery Sergeant (or Gunny), and this is a real rank.

Wiki has a section on cadet rank insignia. You can see his (OP’s pic) rank here, the 3 gold butter bars at far right in this table: https://goo.gl/ZvnxVC

Gunny Bullitt.

and when they graduate they are now officers so they outrank the Gunny so that is why he salutes them before they leave town. (and yes I know he’s a Marine not Navy)

Sir, yes sir.

It couldn’t have been West Point. There are references in the movie that place it near Seattle. It was filmed at Fort Worden, an artillery installation built to guard the entrance to Puget Sound, and in the surrounding towns.

Then they get to their first duty station and find out who really runs things.


But they get the credit. And more pay. While providing adult supervision.

I don’t think he was saying it was West Point, but the Navy’s equivalent to West Point.

He corrected it later, too.

It wasn’t Annapolis, either.

Yes, I mentioned that in Post #3. I’ve never seen the movie, so I misspoke. Interestingly enough, while the filming location was near Puget Sound, the actual AOCS school was located in Florida. But the Navy wouldn’t let them film there. That reminds me of G.I Jane–the Navy would not let Hollywood film the movie at the actual school in California, so they recreated it at Camp Blanding, a Florida National Guard base. This explains why, in the movie, the Sun is observed rising over the ocean as opposed to setting. The filming location on Blanding is still in use as a training area. I’ve slept in those barracks and used the same exact shower seen here. There’s imported beach sand under all the grass and pine needles, and a guard tower left over from filming.

Yup. But regardless of all that, he never claimed that it West Point.

That was the only clarification I was trying to make.

A matter of debate in some cases.

I know, but I was just showing off a little local knowledge. I was in high school at the time and a good friend of mine had just been to an event at Fort Worden so he was anxious to see the movie to recognize the locations.