United States Army Adjutant General's Corps

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Adjutant General's Corps
branch insignia
Active 16 June 1775
Country  United States
Branch U.S. Army
Type Adjutant General
Role Personnel
Home station Fort Jackson, South Carolina
Motto "Defend and Serve"
Branch color Dark Blue and Scarlet piping

The Adjutant General's Corps is a branch of the United States Army first established in 1775.


The Adjutant General's Corps dates back to the formation of the American Army. Horatio Gates, a former British Army officer, is honored as the father of the Adjutant General's Corps. On 16 June 1775, the Continental Congress appointed him as the first Adjutant General to George Washington with the commission of a brigadier general. Historically, he was the second officer to receive a commission in the Continental Army, preceded only by George Washington. With that appointment, the second oldest existing branch of the Army was born.

General Gates' primary duty was to serve as key advisor and principal assistant to General Washington. Through his skill and ability, he organized the state militias into what became the Continental Army. Horatio Gates proved himself an able assistant as well as a competent field commander. Under his leadership, the Continental Army won the battle of Saratoga -- considered by many to be the turning point of the Revolutionary War. Following this important strategic victory over the British, the Continental Congress awarded what was then our nation's highest honor, the Congressional Gold Medal. The use of the Horatio Gates Bronze and Gold Medals, which recognize superior achievement and service to the Regiment, dates from this important event.[citation needed]

Adjutant General Corps officers served in the War of 1812. Two men in particular who served as the Adjutant General during this period rose to prominence. General Alexander Macomb gained fame by repulsing the British in the Battle of Plattsburgh, and later becoming the Commanding General of the Army; Zebulon Pike, the famous explorer, died in battle while leading the attack on York, Canada.[citation needed]

With the appointment of Brevet Brigadier General Roger Jones in 1825, the office grew in importance. During his tenure, General Jones molded the office of the Adjutant General into the central bureau of the War Department. Adjutants General became the only officers invested with the authority to speak and sign official correspondence "for the commander".

Recognizing this, the Army began appointing West Point graduates almost exclusively as Adjutants General from 1839 through the early 1900s. The first two graduates so appointed, Samuel Cooper and Lorenzo Thomas, served with distinction as Adjutants General during the Civil War. Cooper served the Confederacy, while Thomas served the Union.

In 1861, two assistant Adjutants General, Major McDowell and Captain Franklin, drew up the plans to organize the more than 500,000 men who volunteered to fight for the Union. Their efforts, and others like them on both sides, built the massive armies of our Civil War years.

Following the Civil War, Brigadier General Edward Townsend took on the mission of compiling all the records of the war, both North and South. The Adjutant General's Department's "War of the Rebellion: Official Records" became an invaluable contribution to American military history. The Department also discharged more than 800,000 men and enlisted 36,000 new recruits for the post Civil War Regular Army.[citation needed]

On 14 December 1872, the Adjutant General's Department adopted the old topographic engineer shield as its own branch insignia. The shield symbolized the Adjutant General's role of speaking "for the commander". Thirteen embossed stars replaced the "T.E." on the upper shield, creating the crest worn by all Adjutant General's Corps officers of today.

By the onset of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Adjutant General's Office had evolved as the central coordinating bureau in the Army (continuing the legacy it developed during the Civil War). Major General William H. Carter, under the direction of visionary Secretary of War Elihu Root, continued our modernization efforts by implementing the general staff concept based upon European models. The Adjutant General's Department and the newly organized general staff evolved over the years as some functions were transferred and others modified. Several functions, formally part of the Adjutant General's Office, now evolved into independent staff agencies after World War I. The Inspector General, the Provost Marshal, the Assistant Chief for Intelligence, and the Chief of Military History all owe their beginnings to The Adjutant's General Office.

During World War II, more than 15,000 officers, soldiers, and civilians served in the Office of the Adjutant General. By the end of the war, the Adjutant General's Corps processed more than six million soldiers back into civilian life. In what has been described as one of the most successful administrative tasks ever carried out, the AG Corps processed nearly one-half million discharges a month in accomplishing this difficult mission.

Since World War II, the Adjutant General's Corps has been combat tested on several far-flung battlefields such as Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, and, most recently, in the Persian Gulf War (Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm). AG soldiers mobilized 139,207 reserve component soldiers (equating to 1,045 Reserve and National Guard units of all types), recalled 1,386 retirees to active duty, deployed 1,600 Army civilians to Southwest Asia, processed over 10,000 individual and unit replacements, and delivered more than 27,000 tons of mail to deployed Army forces.


Branch insignia

A silver metal and enamel shield 1 inch in height on which are thirteen vertical stripes, 7 silver and 6 red; on a blue chief 1 large and 12 small silver stars. The basic design--the shield from the Coat of Arms of the United States-- was adopted in 1872 as a solid shield of silver, bearing thirteen stars. In 1924, this design was authorized to be made in gold metal with the colors red, white, and blue in enamel. In December 1964, the insignia was changed to silver base metal with silver stars and silver and red enamel stripes. Branch Plaque The plaque design has the branch insignia in proper colors on a white background and the branch designation in silver letters. The rim is gold.

  • Regimental insignia

A silver color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches in height consisting of a shield blazoned: Azure (dark blue) within a border Gules, an inescutcheon paly of thirteen Argent and Gules, on a chief Azure a mullet Argent between a pattern of twelve of the like (as on The Adjutant General's insignia of branch), and enclosed in base by two laurel branches Or. Attached above the shield a silver scroll inscribed with the numerals "1775" in red and attached below the shield a silver triparted scroll inscribed "DEFEND AND SERVE" in dark blue. The Regimental Insignia was approved on 23 December 1986.

  • Regimental coat of arms

The coat of arms appears on the breast of a displayed eagle on the regimental flag. The coat of arms is: Azure (dark blue) within a bordure per bordure Argent and Gules, an inescutcheon paly of thirteen Argent and Gules; on a chief Azure a mullet Argent between a pattern of twelve of the like (as on The Adjutant General's Corps insignia of branch), all within a bordure Argent and enclosed in base by two laurel leaves Or. Displayed above the eagle's head is the crest (On a wreath of the colors Argent and Azure the numerals "1775" Gules.)

  • Symbolism of regimental insignia

Dark blue and scarlet are branch colors of The Adjutant General's Corps. The inner white border signifies unity and the good conscience of those who have done their duty. The inner red, white and blue shield is the insignia of The Adjutant General's Corps and the gold laurel wreath around its base stands for excellence in accomplishing the mission. The "1775" in the crest is the year The Adjutant General's Corps was created. The color red symbolizes valor and the blood shed in our war for independence.

  • Branch colors

Dark blue piped with Scarlet. Dark Blue - 65012 cloth; 67126 yarn; PMS 539. Scarlet - 65006 cloth; 67111 yarn; PMS 200.

The pompons on the Adjutant Generals' caps were topped with white in 1851. The facings were listed in the specification for the Adjutant General's uniform in September 1915 as dark blue. In Circular number 70 dated 28 October 1936, the Adjutant General's Corps and the National Guard Bureau exchanged colors and the present colors were established for the Adjutant General's Corps. The blue used in the branch insignia is ultramarine blue rather than the branch color.

  • Birthday

16 June 1775. The post of Adjutant General was established 16 June 1775, and has been continuously in operation since that time. The Adjutant General's Department, by that name, was established by the act of 3 March 1813 and was redesignated The Adjutant General's Corps in 1950.[1]

Current configuration

The United States Army Adjutant General School is currently at Fort Jackson.

External links

See also


  1. http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/UniformedServices/Branches/adj_general.aspx The Institute of Heraldry