The ornamental braid used for the hatband on the Service Cap and on the sleeves of the Army Service Uniform (ASU) and Blue Mess Dress uniform is based upon the branch colors. Maroon and White (cable 65017 and 65005) has been the Medical Department’s branch colors for more than a century: the colors were established for all current and subsequent corps within the Department in October 1916. Hatbands employ both colors, while the braids used for sleeve ornamentation are manufactured only in the first-named branch color of Maroon. (Maroon is also found on the lapels of the Blue Mess And Evening Mess Dress uniforms and is the color of the lining of the Blue Cape.)

According to The Institute of Heraldry, the color first associated with Medical personnel was green: Sashes in that color were prescribed for Medical officers in 1847. Green was also established as the color of the insignia worn on the uniforms of Hospital Stewards in the sweeping uniform regulation changes of 1851, and six years later yellow piping was added to the insignia. Maroon was not introduced as one of the colors associated with the Medical Department until 1902, when it was replaced green on the pompons worn by officers.

A year later, the chevrons worn on the uniforms of Hospital Corps members were colored Maroon and piped with white—the color scheme that was finally adopted in 1916.

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