Washington’s rank was marked by three general stars.
On June 15, 1775, George Washington became Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army. He was previously a colonel in the army of Virginia (one of the 13 colonies that wanted to fight for independence from Great Britain). George Washington was awarded the title of General and Commander-in-chief in the newly created US Army, formed the previous day.
Interestingly, the U.S. military had relatively few generals during the Revolutionary War. After Washington’s specific rank of General and Commander-in-chief, the highest possible rank was Major General, which was assigned to only five people in the United States by the end of the 18th century. This rank was marked by two general stars, and lower than it was the rank of brigadier general with one star.
Washington’s act marked with three general stars. As commander-in-chief, he wore a light blue ribbon, which marked his position. Ribbons of other colors were intended for other generals: a light purple ribbon was intended for major generals, and a light pink ribbon for brigadier generals. A year before his death, George Washington was awarded the rank of Lieutenant General, which at the time was the highest, and was later not awarded for nearly fifty years.