- Historical event:
- 15 june 1775
- George Washington’s rank insignia was three general's stars. As commander-in-chief, he wore a blue sash, indicating his status.
On this day in 1775, George Washington became the supreme commander of the U.S. Army.
He had previously served as a colonel in the army of Virginia (one of the 13 colonies that wished to fight for independence from Great Britain).
George Washington was appointed commander-in-chief of the newly established Continental Army, formed the previous day.
It is interesting that the U.S. military had a relatively small number of generals at the time of the War of Independence.
Higher ranking than Washington’s specific rank of “General and Commander-in-chief” was the rank of major general, awarded to only five people in the United States by the end of the 18th century.
This rank’s insignia was two general’s stars, while the lower rank of brigadier general had one star.
Washington’s rank insignia was three general’s stars.
As commander-in-chief, he wore a blue sash, indicating his status. Other generals had sashes in different colors: major generals had purple and brigadier generals pink.
A year before his death, George Washington was awarded the rank of lieutenant general, which was the highest at the time and was not awarded for nearly fifty years after that.