This insignia consisted of a strip of gold lace on green cloth. This was worn on the cadet's shoulders in the same position as Army officers wore the more familiar shoulder straps (also called shoulder boards) rank insignia. Medical cadets assisted surgeons and acted as dressers in hospitals. They were required to be between 18 and 23 years of age and to have had two years of training. They enlisted for a one year term and were allowed the same pay as a military cadet. The medical cadet with the most interesting service was Charles Rivers Ellet, who found himself commanding a ram on the Mississippi despite his appointment in the Medical Department.