Important: Be aware that cancellation requests for bullion shoulder straps must be made within 24 hours of placing an order because of the substantial time investment required for the custom hand embroidery process.

Although chemical weapons had been used by both the Allies and Central powers almost from the start of World War I, the United States Army had not developed a single organization that specialized in the use of or defense against the new type of warfare when it entered the conflict in April, 1917. Instead, it had doled out various functions related to chemical weapons on a seemingly ad hoc basis. Since chemical weapons were typically deployed by artillery fire, the Ordnance Department was responsible for manufacturing gas shells. The Medical Department, on the other hand, was given the task of not only treating those wounded in chemical warfare attacks, but also developing defenses against gas attacks. Finally, it was the duty of personnel in the Corps of Engineers to conduct gas operations.
Realizing the need for a unified agency to coordinate and execute efforts involving chemical agents, the Gas Service, American Expeditionary Force (AEF) was established by General Orders on September 3, 1917; its chief was responsible for the conduct of gas (and flame) operations. Nearly a year elapsed before the Gas Service was replaced by the Chemical Warfare Service, AEF on June 28, 1918.
These developments were taking place overseas during some of the war’s most bitterly contested campaigns. Back in the United States, the equivalent of the Gas Service was the Chemical Service Section, also established in 1917 as a way to consolidate efforts in improving chemical warfare protection and delivery. Around the same time the AEF’s Chemical Warfare Service was established, the Chemical Service Section was replaced by the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS). In 1920, the passage of the National Defense act made the CWS a permanent branch of the Army. The CWS was redesignated the Chemical Corps in 1945, a title it holds to this day.

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