U.S. Army Officer Rank Insignia
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General of the Army

General of the Army

1. The first general officer insignia was established by general order on July 14, 1775 which stated ''To prevent mistakes, the general officers and their aides-de-camp will be distinguished in the following manner: The Commander-in-Chief by a light blue ribband, worn across his breast, between his coat and waistcoat; the Majors and Brigadier Generals by a pink ribband worn in like manner;''

2. Stars were first used to identify general officers on June 18, 1780 when it was prescribed that Major Generals would wear two stars and Brigadier Generals one star on each epaulette. Three stars were established in 1798 for the rank of Lieutenant General and were worn by the Commander-in-Chief, General Washington. Four stars were authorized for the rank of General when the rank was established by Act of Congress on July 25, 1866. Grant was the first officer of the Army to hold the rank of General and to wear the insignia of four silver stars.

3. The title of General of the Armies was established after World War I. No special insignia was developed and General Pershing wore four stars. He was the only person appointed as General of the Armies.

4. General of the Army was established by Congress on December 14, 1944 and provided that no more than four officers could be appointed. President Roosevelt appointed Generals George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Henry H. Arnold. Act of Congress, approved September 15, 1950, authorized the President to appoint General Omar N. Bradley to the grade of General of the Army. The insignia of grade for General of the Army is prescribed as five silver stars set in a circle with the coat of arms of the United States, in gold, above the circle of stars.

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