WWI AEF US Combat Medic Armband
Original WWI AEF (American Expeditionary Force) and later US Army (when they entered the war) medical red cross armband / brassard. I have seen these listed combat medic or officer's medical armband, however it appears to have much more broad usage.
The use of red cross (or Geneva cross) in the US Army started in 1882. The usage explained in the 1912 Army regulations states that the following people were entitled to wear the armband: chaplains attached to armies, the personnel charged exclusively with the removal, transportation, and treatment of the sick and wounded, and those charged with the administration of sanitary formations and establishments, – e.g., surgeons, members of the Hospital Corps, and nurses… Red Cross brassards will be worn by those entitled to wear them, when equipped for field duty… They will be furnished by the Medical Department.
This armband has no markings. The AEF issued out a lot of non marked armbands, but started marking them near the red cross with a control number in 1918 because HQ became aware that men were impersonating medical personnel to avoid combat. In addition to the number armband, medical personal were given an ID card with the same number.
Most WWI era armbands/brassards were typically in the neighborhood of 2 ¾ inches wide/tall - this one is just a tiny bit bigger. WWII era armbands by comparison were approximately 4 inches in height.
It is made of a lightweight cotton(?) material with felt. One end is finished and the other is not. Overall good condition.