US Army Finance Training Command
The U.S. Army Finance Corps originated on June 16, 1775, when the Second Continental Congress introduced a resolution appointing a Paymaster General of the Army. Since that day, the U.S. Army has always been provided financial services by Finance soldiers who were either organized in separate elements or integrated into existing units of the Army.
In 1816, the Pay Department became a separate department. Paymasters usually with the rank of Major, had the principal duty of paying soldiers in the regiments. The Paymaster at Army headquarters computed monthly payrolls in his office and went to the field with his "box" of gold and a military guard. Obviously, payday was not the last day of each month at every site, but once a routine was established, the soldiers could expect payday to fall on approximately the same day each pay period.
The Pay Department remained unchanged until 1912, when, in a major reorganization, it joined the Quartermaster Corps. During World War 1, the Quartermaster Corps expanded to such a degree that it had a difficult time controlling disbursing and logistical activities. In October 1918, Congress authorized the Finance Service and in June 1920, it approved the Finance Department to become a separate branch of the War Department under Brigadier General Herbert M. Lord. Unlike its predecessors, the Finance Department handled not only military pay and travel expenses, but also all financial activities of the War Department, including centralized disbursing, auditing, and budgeting. In 1933, President Roosevelt directed that the Finance Department assume the obligation of paying the Civilian Conservation Corps.
The Finance Department remained a separate entity until World War 11, when it joined the office of the Fiscal Director, Army Services Forces. Under this structure, it took on additional responsibilities such as the sale of War Bonds and the promotion of National Service Life Insurance. After the war, the Office of the Fiscal Director was dissolved and the Finance Department again became an independent Army staff agency. The Army Organizational Act of 1950 redesignated the Finance Department as a basic branch of the Army, the Finance Corps. The Finance Corps underwent further change when, on May 7, 1987, the Finance Corps Regiment was activated.
Progress has been an important element of the Finance Corps' history. Today's Finance Corps has advanced immeasurably over the first Paymaster General's Office, not only in size but also in quality of service provided. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service is currently building sophisticated systems to enhance finance support in the future, both in garrison and on the battlefield. The U.S. Army Finance School will continue to train the highest quality soldiers in the Army to operate these systems and provide the best finance support possible to soldiers, families, and DoD civilians, wherever they may be. These organizations, together with our many field finance units, work together "To Support and Serve" the Army, other services, and our great nation.
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