U.S. Army Branch Colors
by Ryan Crierie

Combat Arms

Branch

Primary Color

Piping Color

Notes

Infantry
(1776-1851)

White

NO PIPING


Infantry
(1851-1886

Light Blue
(aka Saxony Blue)

NO PIPING


Infantry
(1886-1902)

White

NO PIPING


Infantry
(Since around 1903)

Light blue
65014 cloth
67120 yarn
PMS 5415
#607c8c

NO PIPING

In 1917, the cape was still lined with light blue but the Infantry trouser stripes were of white as were the chevrons for enlisted men. The infantry color is light blue; however, infantry regimental flags and guidons have been National Flag blue since 1835. White is used as a secondary color on the guidons for letters, numbers, and insignia.

Cavalry
(Obsolete)

Yellow
65002 cloth
67108 yarn
PMS 123
#ffc61e


In March 1855, two regiments of cavalry were created and their trimmings were to be of "Yellow". In 1861, the designation of dragoon and mounted rifleman disappeared, all becoming Cavalry with "yellow" as their colors.

Yellow was continued as the color for cavalry units subsequent to abolishment as a branch. Although the regimental flags for cavalry units are yellow, the troop guidons are red and white without an insignia on the guidon.

Armor

Yellow
65002 cloth
67108 yarn
PMS 123
#ffc61e

NO PIPING

Armor was assigned the colors green and white by circular 49 on 21 February 1947. When the Cavalry branch was abolished, the present Armor was assigned the former Cavalry color yellow by SR 600-60-1 dated 26 October 1951.

Artillery

Scarlet
65006 cloth
67111 yarn
PMS 200
#c41e3a

NO PIPING

The uniform for the Corps of Artillery, which was formed in 1777, included red trimmings. The plume on the hat was also red. Except for a short period at the beginning of the 1800's when yellow was combined with it, scarlet has been the color of the Artillery throughout the history of the branch. Scarlet has been used by the Coast, Field, and Air Defense Artillery.

Chemical Corps

Cobalt Blue
65011 cloth
67122 yarn
PMS 281
#002868

Golden yellow
65001 cloth
67104 yarn
PMS 116
#fcd116

The colors were originally those of the American Chemical Society and were adopted by the Army in 1918.

Aviation

Ultramarine Blue
65010 cloth
67118 yarn
#2b2c7c (Not sure)

Golden Orange
65003 cloth
67109 yarn
PMS 1375
#fca311

The branch colors for aviation were approved concurrently with the branch insignia on 7 August 1983 by the Chief of Staff Army. These colors were used by the Army Air Corps during its existence.

Special Forces

Jungle Green
80066 cloth
67191 yarn
PMS 343
#00563f

NO PIPING

The establishment of jungle green as the branch color was approved by the DCSPER on 22 May 1987. Silver Gray is used as a secondary color on flags and guidons.

Service Arms

Branch

Primary Color

Piping Color

Notes

Adjutant Generals

Dark Blue
65012 cloth
67126 yarn
PMS 539
#003049

Scarlet
65006 cloth
67111 yarn
PMS 200
#c41e3a

The pompons on the Adjutant Generals' caps were topped with white in 1851. The facings were listed in the specification for the Adjutant General's uniform in September 1915 as dark blue. In Circular number 70 dated 28 October 1936, the Adjutant General's Corps and the National Guard Bureau exchanged colors and the present colors were established for the Adjutant General's Corps. The blue used in the branch insignia is ultramarine blue rather than the branch color.

Army Security
(Obsolete)

Teal Blue and White


The Army Security branch USAR was merged with the newly established Army Intelligence and Security Branch on 1 Jul 62. The branch was subsequently redesignated to the Military Intelligence Branch on 1 Jul 1967.

Chaplain Corps

Black
cloth 65018
yarn 67138

NO PIPING

Chaplains have used black since 1835. In regulations dated that year, a black coat was prescribed for Chaplains.

Civil Affairs

Purple
65009 cloth
67115 yarn
PMS 267
#4f3595

White
65005 cloth
67101 yarn
PMS white.

The colors were approved for civil affairs units in June 1956.

Corps of Engineers

Scarlet
65006 cloth
67111 yarn
PMS 200
#c41e3a

White
65005 cloth
67101 yarn
PMS white.

Scarlet and white were established as the Corps of Engineers colors in 1872. Before that date, several other colors had been associated with the Engineers.

Finance Corps

Silver Gray
65008 cloth
67137 yarn
PMS 422
#afaaa3

Golden yellow
65001 cloth
67104 yarn
PMS 116
#fcd116

Silver gray piped with golden yellow was prescribed for the Finance Corps in 1920.

Command Sergeant Major

Teal Blue and Yellow.


Colors do not vary; is branch immaterial.

Inspector General

Dark Blue
65012 cloth
67126 yarn
PMS 539
#003049

Light blue
65014 cloth
67120 yarn
PMS 5415
#607c8c

The Inspector General's Department in 1851 had pompons of buff with upper one third in scarlet. In 1915, specifications established the facings as dark blue. The 14 October 1921 regulation established the colors as dark blue piped with white. Circular #70, dated 18 October 1936 announced the exchange of colors with the Judge Advocate General's Department that resulted in the present colors.

Insular Affairs
(1902-1939)

Dark Blue
65012 cloth
67126 yarn
PMS 539
#003049


The Division of Customs and Insular Affairs was organized on 13 December 1898. This Division was responsible for the administration of U.S. possessions and islands under military occupation. The War Department managed some of the possessions and the State Department managed some of the affairs. In 1902, the Bureau was established with the War Department responsible for all of the possessions. The insignia was authorized on 31 December 1902 in General Regulations and amended by General Orders No. 132 on the same date. The Bureau was transferred from the War Department to the Department of Interior in 1939.

JAG Corps

Dark Blue
65012 cloth
67126 yarn
PMS 539
#003049

White
65005 cloth
67101 yarn
PMS white.

In 1851, the pompon for the Judge Advocate was prescribed as all white. Specifications in 1915 indicated that the facings of the Judge Advocate General were dark blue. AR 600-35, October 1921 assigned dark blue piped with light blue to the Judge Advocate General. Circular 70, 28 Oct 1936, announced the exchange of colors of the Inspector General's Department with the Judge Advocate General's Department so that dark blue and white were adopted on that date for the Judge Advocate General.

Logistics

Soldier Red
80095 cloth
67157 yarn
PMS 209
#75263d



Medical Department

Maroon
65017 cloth
67114 yarn
PMS 504
#511e26

White
65005 cloth
67101 yarn
PMS white.

Green was prescribed as the first Medical Department color in 1847 when the sash for Medical Officers was described. The green was established in the insignia of the Hospital Stewards uniform on 31 October 1851 and in 1857 the green was piped with yellow and the pompon was topped with medium or emerald green. Later the pompon was green piped with white until 1902 when the maroon color was adopted. In 1903, the Hospital Corps chevrons were maroon piped with white. Maroon and white were established for all branches of the Medical Department by the uniform specifications dated October 1916.

Military Intelligence

Oriental Blue
80176 cloth
67172 yarn
PMS 285
#3a75c4

Silver Gray
65008 cloth
67137 yarn
PMS 422
#afaaa3

DA GO 38 dated 3 July 1962 announced the establishment of the Army Intelligence and Security Branch.  In October 1962, DCSPER approved the colors for the branch.  The branch was redesignated as the Military Intelligence Corps by GO 25 dated 16 June 1967.  The same colors were used when the name was changed.

Military Intelligence (Obsolete)

Golden Yellow and Purple



Military Police
(1922-1951)

Yellow
65002 cloth
67108 yarn
PMS 123
#ffc61e

Green
65007 cloth
67129 yarn
PMS 357
#215b33

The color yellow piped with green was assigned to the Military Police by AR 600-35 dated 20 April 1922.

Military Police
(1951-Present)

Green
65007 cloth
67129 yarn
PMS 357
#215b33

Yellow
65002 cloth
67108 yarn
PMS 123
#ffc61e

With the establishment of yellow for the Armor and the use of green for the insignia on the Armor flag, the colors for the Military Police were reversed. The current colors, green piped with yellow, were assigned by regulation 600-60-1 dated 26 October 1951.

National Guard Bureau

Dark Blue
65012 cloth
67126 yarn
PMS 539
#003049



Ordnance Corps

Crimson
65013 cloth
67112 yarn
PMS 220
#aa004f

Yellow
65002 cloth
67108 yarn
PMS 123
#ffc61e

In 1835, the Ordnance Corps had a red plume - the same as Artillery. Crimson was prescribed as the Ordnance color in 1851. In 1902, it was changed to black and scarlet. Crimson and yellow were established as the branch colors on 14 October 1921.

Psychological Operations

Bottle Green
65025 cloth
67191 yarn
PMS 343
#00563f

Silver Gray
65008 cloth
67137 yarn
PMS 422
#afaaa3

The colors were traditionally used on the Psychological Operations flags and guidons.

Public Affairs



Since the public affairs functions are multi-branch, teal blue (branch unassigned) is the color used on the plaque and guidons. Yellow is used as the secondary color for the insignia and numbers on guidons.

Quartermaster Corps

Buff
65015 cloth
67135 yarn
PMS 465
#c1a875


The plumes for the Quartermasters in 1835 were prescribed to be light blue. In 1851, the pompon on the caps of all members of the staff corps consisted of the lower two-thirds in buff and the upper third of the color of the corps. Light or saxony blue was used for the Quartermaster Department. In 1884, the color buff was adopted which is presently used. Light blue is still used as the secondary color on flags for Quartermaster units.

Signal Corps

Orange
65004 cloth
67110 yarn
PMS 1655
#f95602

White
65005 cloth
67101 yarn
PMS white

Orange was selected in 1872 as the Signal Corps branch color. In 1902, the white piping was added to conform to the custom that prevailed of having piping of a different color for all branches except the line branches.

Staff Specialist

Green
65007 cloth
67129 yarn
PMS 357
#215b33



Transportation Corps

Brick Red
65020 cloth
67113 yarn
PMS 202
#8c2633

Golden Yellow
65001 cloth
67104 yarn
PMS 116
#fcd116

During World War I, the personnel of the Motor Transport Corps wore purple piping on overseas caps. In 1919, the Transportation Corps was assigned the colors scarlet piped with green. Under the requirement of an Act of Congress of 1920, these services were combined under the Quartermaster Corps. When the Transportation Corps was established in 1942, the brick red piped with golden yellow was assigned as the branch color.

Warrant Officers (Obsolete)

Brown

NONE

Brown has been used as the color to represent warrant officers

Women's Army Corps
(1942-1978)

Mosstone Green and Old Gold



Bibliography:
Institute of Heraldry Web Site