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Pretty common on the merchant marine and CCG, purple is for engineersUgh, the coloured ranks comes up all the time, and I wish the idea would die in a fire. The Medical officers kept the red stripes at unification, but aside from the doc/dentist on the tanker, they aren't in the fleet, but at least it's a useful identifier for a medical type, similar to the red cross the medics wear.
There are only a few NTOs and LogOs on a ship, so really never was any confusion who was who when it mattered. It's also a small community, so generally you will know most people.
Instead of a single rank epaulet (that you can easily pass on to whoever when you get promoted) that would create four different epaulets for each rank . The SWO pins are stupid anyway, because there is never any real question if someone holds the qualification when it matters, but the coloured ranks to denote officer trades is equally stupid for the same reason.
If you want to go with industry standards, at least there is some similarity between trade badges and the colour codes most worksites use for different trades, but all the officers would be white helmets, regardless of occupation.
Really wish the badge and bow crowd would just sit the hell down with the shuffling of the deckchairs. If they are introducing new H&A for something that's overlooked, cool. If they are getting new functional equipment for wear, that's cool too, but it's ridiculous that I have a blue rain coat, modeled on the RN raincoat to be worn with either DEUs or work dress, that I'm not supposed to wear in DEUs if it's raining because some buttons and badge clowns think it's still the same yellow slicker.
The same people could be doing useful things, like contributing to review of the trade qualifications, updating training courses, etc. Failing that, they could just stand still and work on converting oxygen to carbon dioxide while staying out of everyone else's way.