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Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/vladimir-putin-gave-george-h-193912966.html

"Yes, they spoke at 2 p.m.," he wrote. "President Putin also sent a portrait. ... It is a portrait of President Bush as a young Navy ensign in his dress whites."

Is Navy used as an adjective that tells what kind of ensign he is? And why is Navy spelled with a capital letter? I'm confused.

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An ensign is a rank in the United States Navy referring to the lowest rank of commissioned officer (Wiktionary). It's equivalent to a second lieutenant in the Army and Air Force.

You may have been confused with the other meaning of it being a flag or banner. In this case, however, it's definitely talking about the Navy officer.


I noticed you edited your post with further questions.

Is Navy used as an adjective that tells what kind of ensign he is?

Yes. Nouns that are used as adjectives are known as a noun adjunct or an adjectival noun.

And why is Navy spelled with a capital letter? I'm confused.

The word "Navy" refers specifically to the United States Navy, and so it is capitalized to recognize that distinction. If it were not capitalized, he could be an ensign in any navy, not just the United States one.

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