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, new shoulder insignias were instituted for generals of the army, fleet admirals, and generals of the army (air force) which have one large marshal's star on the board similar to the style worn by Soviet generals from the early 1970s through 1997.
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.
The "large marshal´s star" was the distinction insignia for OF10-ranks as follows:
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.
In the armed forces of the Russian Federation the marshal’s star – big was distinction insignia to the OF10-rank Marshal of the Russian Federation until 21 January 1997.
The "small marshal´s star" was the distinction insignia for F9-ranks as follows:
There was no formal decree pertaining to use the "marshal´s star – small" as distinction insignia to chief marshal of the branch ranks. However, after promotion from "marshal of the branch" to "chief marshal of the branch" the appropriate general officers continued to wear the "marshal´s star – small".
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, burgundy for armoured troops, crimson for engineers, blue for signals, and turquoise for the navy.