The Army Finance Corps’ branch colors of Silver Gray and Golden Yellow are displayed in the hatband of the service caps worn by all officers below the rank of Lieutenant. The first-named color is used in the ornamental braid found on the Army Service Uniform and on the Blue Mess Dress jacket (male and female), as well as for the lining of the optional blue cape for officers at the rank of Colonel and below.
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The Continental Congress obviously recognized the importance of establishing an authority responsible for the payment of the citizen-soldiers who formed the backbone of the Continental Army: the only resolution it passed before creating the positions of “pay master general” and a deputy master was to make George Washington the commanding general of the young Army.

When it came to the uniforms worn by members of what came to be called the Pay Department, however, it evinced considerably less concern: In General Regulations for the Army, published in 1821, we read that “paymasters have no uniform.” (Also included in the “no uniform” category were Chaplains, Commissaries of Purchases, Judge Advocates, Store-keepers.)

But that began to change in 1825, according to retired Lieutenant Colonel William K. Emerson. In The Encyclopedia of United States Army Insignia and Uniforms, Emerson notes that was the year that both the Paymaster General and paymasters in the Pay Department began to wear the standard Arm Uniform (with wings). The Army uniform regulations of 1832 prescribed a dark blue, double-breasted coat featuring two rows of ten buttons apiece; the coat’s standing collar and lining were in blue, the staff color at the time. Dark blue was the color used for shoulder knots of Pay Department officers between 1872 and 1891.

The Pay Department was incorporated into the newly created Quartermaster Corps in 1912, but eight years later was split apart and designated an independent branch—the Finance Department—as part of the National Defense Act of 1920. At that time, the colors of Silver Gray (cable 65008) and Golden Yello (65001) were chosen for the branch, now called the Finance Corps.

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