For its branch colors, the Adjutant General's Corps employs Dark Blue (cable number 65012) as its primary color and Scarlet (65006) as the secondary. However, as one of oldest corps in the history of the United States Army, it utilized a variety of colors over the decades before finally setting on this current combination.

Although Congress named General Horatio Gates the first Adjutant General in 1775, it did not name a replacement for the position when the war came to an end in 1783. An ensign was appointed adjutant in 1784 and served until 1791; between 1792 and 1796 Congress authorized a lone "Adjutant and Inspector," and in 1798 named a distinct adjutant general. It wasn't until 1813 that an Adjutant General's Department was established; it continued in existence (with several name changes) until it was finally established as a Corps—a "basic branch" of the Army—in 1950.

The move toward branch colors began in 1839, when staff members of the Corps began to wear white plumes in their hats; the white replaced yellow plumes that represented not only Corps staffers, but also Inspector Generals and others attached to the general in chief. In 1851, Corps members began to wear a pompon with the top third colored white and the remainder buff.

By 1915, regulations specified that the uniform facings for the Adjutant General’s Corps were to be dark blue, and in 1936 the Corps and the National Guard Bureau “exchanged” branch colors, resulting in the Corps’ Dark Blue and Scarlet color scheme. (Note that the blue that’s used in the Corps’ branch insignia is ultramarine, not dark blue.) Ironically, the National Guard Bureau’s lone branch color is now identical to that of the Adjutant General’s Corps primary color of Dark Blue, which is also employed as the primary color of the Inspector General and Judge Advocate Generals’ branches.

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