The shoulderboards worn by the German military indicated both the rank and branch of service of the wearer. The branch of service was indicated by colored piping sewn along the outer edge of the insignia. Soldiers of Junior Sergeant (Unteroffizier) displayed their rank via a system of flat 8mm wide "Tresse" and metal pips on the top of the shoulderboards."Early War" vs. "Mid-War": At the beginning of the War, the body of the shoulderboard was made from bottle green wool, which matched the collars on Model 1936 Tunics. By 1940, this was changed to the same fieldgray wool cloth as that of the tunic itself. Troops wore both types until the end of the War, with the "Mid-War" pattern being far more common as time went on. The Germans were notoriously mercurial with their insignia so any combination is potentially "correct". Color match: Although our shoulderboards will match one another, they will not necessarily be a perfect match for the cloth on your uniform. This is just like originals- which were made from scraps and rarely matched one another perfectly. A distinct shade difference between the uniform and the boards is actually more historically correct. If you require a perfect match, then we cannot help you. NCO Ranks: If you want NCO shoulderboards, then choose the rank and we will sewn on the appropriate Tresse and add rank pips if necessary. We use silver Tresse on Early War shoulderboards and gray subdued Tresse on Mid-War ones.