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US epaulettes - why?

This forum seems like a good place to ask a question that has bothered my spotterish mind for years.

The epaulettes on US military uniforms (and those of US client states) seem to be unique in that they are stitched down to the tunic for half their length.

Can anybody tell me why?
The reason they have the lower half stiched down is to allow the use of a cross strap to be worn without it sliding half way down the shoulder. A bit boring, but there you have it. Of course almost no one wears a cross strap anymore, butit is a standard way of producing uniform shirts in the US.

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