AEF General Staff Brassards
To ensure the free circulation of the members of the AEF General Staff, General Pershing adopted a series of special insignia, in the form of brassards that were based on the system that was then in place in the French Army. In fact, with the exception of the insignia that was embroidered onto the AEF brassards, they were identical to those used worn by French General Staff officers. The AEF General Staff Brassards were fabricated in France from grosgrain silk with hand embroidered General Staff insignia made from silver and gold bullion thread. The 3 inch wide brassards were sewn from various colors of silk and were fastened to the arm by a brass or bronze, double tongue buckle. The color or colors of the brassard represented the particular headquarters to which the officer wearing it was attached. AEF, General Orders detailed the purpose and design of the various General Staff Brassards:
Special insignia to be worn by General Staff Officers, other members of General Staff sections, and Aides de Camp when moving about on duty in congested areas at the front, where such a distinguishing mark is necessary to insure their free circulation, is authorized as follows:
To be worn on the left arm of the service coat, midway between the elbow and shoulder, an arm band of grosgrain silk, 3 inches wide, conforming to pattern on file with the Chief Quartermaster, and bearing the device of the General Staff embroidered in gold:
For the General Staff at G. H. Q. – red, white and blue.
For an army – red and white.
For a corps – white and blue.
For a division – red.
To be worn on the breast, slipped over the outer thickness of the overcoat or the raincoat, just above the second button, a spring clip about 4 inches long and about one inch wide, conforming to pattern on file with the Chief Quartermaster, and bearing the insignia of the General Staff in miniature embroidered in gold, colors corresponding to those for arm bands.
The staffs of the Chief of Artillery of an army or corps are authorized to wear similar insignia, but bearing crossed cannons embroidered in gold in place of the General Staff insignia.
The members of the staff of a Division Artillery Commander are authorized to wear similar insignia, the color of the band and clip being blue. The Chief Engineer of an army or corps, a Division Engineer Officer, a Chief Signal Officer of an army or corps, a Division Signal Officer and officers on the staff of an Infantry Brigade Commander are authorized to wear corresponding insignia, but without device in gold.
The staffs of the Commander of the Tank Corps and of a commander of a Tank Center are authorized respectively to wear insignia similar to that of the General Staff of G.H.Q. and of an army, but without device in gold.
AEF General Orders, 1918, date and number unknown
Photo No. 62: From left to right the colors of the AEF General Staff Brassards were as follows:
- Gold edged brassards were often worn by general officers and their staff
- Red, white and blue silk brassards were worn by the staff of AEF Headquarters (GHQ), and by the staff of a commander of a tank corps or tank center
- Red over white silk brassards were worn by the headquarters staff of all numbered armies
- White over blue silk brassards were worn by the headquarters staff of all numbered corps
- Red silk brassards were worn by the headquarters staff of all divisions
- Blue silk brassards were worn by the staff of a division artillery commander; the staff of a chief engineer or signal officer of an army; corps or division, and the staff of an infantry brigade commander.