Aiguillettes are gilded cords worn by officers to distinguish special and senior appointments.
Aiguillettes distinguish special and senior appointments, such as:
- Army officers of General rank
- Chief of Army
- Deputy Chief of Army
- members of the Chief of Army’s Senior Advisory Committee
- military attaché
Several traditions account for the origin of the aiguillette. The most probable explanation is that they were the pins used to secure a pauldron, or shoulder protector, on the cuirass (a piece of armour) of a knight or cuirassier’s plate armour.
The type of aiguillette worn depends on the rank of the officer and/or the position or appointment they hold. The appointment also dictates on which shoulder the item is worn.
Most senior officers wear the aiguillette on the right shoulder, while military attaché and aide-de-camp wear the aiguillette on the left.
As the Commander in Chief of the Australian Defence Force, the Governor-General of Australia is entitled to wear a uniform bearing an aiguillette made of platinum.