The colors and stripes on U.S. Navy rank insignia signify rank and pay grade. In general, more stripes indicate a higher rank. A full guide to the existing rank insignia exists at the website for the U.S. Department of Defense, www.defense.gov, or at the Navy's website at www.navy.mil.
Navy officers wear their rank insignia on their uniforms. The placement of the rank insignia varies by uniform. When wearing khakis, rank insignia appear as pins on the collar. On whites, rank insignia are worn as stripes on shoulder boards. In blues, rank insignia are sewn on the lower sleeve. Rank insignia are also worn on bridge coats and reefers.