The marshal's star (Russian: маршальская звезда) is an additional badge of rank worn by marshals of the armed forces of the Soviet Union, and subsequently the Russian Federation. The armed forces of the former Soviet Union and the Russian Federation have two such insignia for higher military ranks, both in the form of a five-pointed star of gold and platinum with diamonds. They are worn around neck when in parade uniform (originally under the collar of the parade tunic, since 1955 on top of the necktie). There are two different sizes of star. Officially their names have changed, depending on what ranks received the right to wear them, and are known as the large marshal's star and the small marshal's star.
In 2013, a new insignia was instituted for the general of the army, fleet admiral, general of the army of the air force, and additionally, these ranks are now entitled to the marshal's star of a new design—now in the pattern of a cross.
The official name, size and number of diamonds correspond to the marshal's rank. Marshal's stars were first awarded to the marshals of the Soviet Union and admirals of the fleet of the Soviet Union. In time, smaller stars were awarded to "marshals of an arm of service" and "chief marshals of an arm of service", admirals of the fleet and later generals of the army of the Soviet armed forces.
Large marshal's star
The large medallion is distinct for the ranks of marshal of the Soviet Union (instituted 2 September 1940) and admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union (from 3 March 1955). In the Russian Federation there is only one title, marshal of the Russian Federation.
It is a gold five-pointed star with smooth diagonal rays on the front side. In the center is a platinum, five-pointed star with diamonds. The diamonds in the center have a total weight of 2.62 carats and in the rays there are 25 diamonds weighing a total of 1.25 carats. Between the edges of rays are 5 diamonds weighing a total of 3.06 carats. The diameter of the gold star is 44.5 millimetres (1.75 in) and the platinum stars are 23 millimetres (0.91 in) in diameter. The star has a depth of 8 millimetres (0.31 in).
The marshal's star has a triangular eyelet in the upper beam which is connected to an oval eyelet measuring 14 millimetres (0.55 in). The marshal's star is suspended by a 25 millimetres (0.98 in) moire ribbon. The total weight of the large marshal's star is 36.8 grams (1.30 oz). Approximately 200 of this type of marshal's star were produced.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the ranks of marshal and chief marshal were abolished, and the marshal of the Russian Federation remains the sole rank entitled to such a decoration. Retired marshals, chief marshals, army generals, and fleet admirals, however, were allowed to retain their former ranks and their corresponding stars.
There are presently no holders of the rank of marshal of the Russian Federation in the modern Russian armed forces.
Small marshal's star
The small star was awarded to marshals of artillery, air marshals and marshals of armoured forces (from 27 February 1943), marshals of the corps of engineers and signal corps (from 20 March 1944), admirals of the fleet (from 5 June 1962), and army generals (from 1 November 1974). Awards continued in the modern Russian Army until 21 January 1997 for army generals and admirals of the fleet.
The decoration is a five-pointed gold star with smooth dihedral rays on the obverse. On top of the gold star there is a smaller five-pointed star made of platinum. In the center of the platinum star there is a 2.04-carat diamond. In the rays of platinum star there are twenty five 0.91-carat diamonds. The total diameter of the gold star is 42 millimetres (1.7 in) and it weighs 35.1 grams (1.24 oz). It is connected to a moire ribbon in the same way as the large star. About 370 small marshal's stars have been produced.
Ribbons colours vary according to the arm of service: gold for artillery, light blue for aviation, bordeaux for armoured troops, crimson for engineers, blue for signals, and turquoise for the navy.
- (Russian) "Маршальская звезда: история описания и фотографии маршальской звезды (Marshal's star: a description and photographs of the marshal's star)". Журнал СЕНАТОР (SENATOR journal). Retrieved 2011-09-16.
- (Russian) Кузнецова, Андрея; Пака, Игоря. "Маршальская Звезда (marshal's star)" (in Russian). Ордена и Медали СССР (Orders and Medals of the Soviet Union). Retrieved 2011-09-16.
- Ministry of Defense Military Uniform Regulations, 1988 edition, pp. 99, 101.