The federal supply specification sheets note that in Feb 1998, the star on the SCPO collar insignia was placed above the ring and rotated to display one ray pointing up. Spec sheets from Nov 2003 note the same design change for the SCPO combination cap and miniature garrison hat insignia to look the same as the collar insignia.
Good memory.. The SCPO star WAS relocated from being fixed on the crossing of the stock and shank of the anchor to a position up on the ring of the anchor. One ray was still pointing downward with that change. That design change was in the mid 1980s ..
Amazing that the small shift in position was even noticed. The change at the turn of the century caused enough heartburn between the old school traditionalists and the new guard. Check out the wording on the back of the CG Good Conduct Medal. That was changed in the same 2000sh time frame.