The history of the Army Inspector General system dates back to 1777 and offers Inspectors General today a unique perspective on how the system served our Army throughout various periods of war and peace. Such a historical perspective is even more relevant today as we help our Soldiers, commands, and commanders increase their readiness to fight by applying the four Inspector General functions that have emerged over the last two centuries: Inspections, Assistance, Investigations, and Teaching and Training. The best sources of Army Inspector General history appear on this Web page starting with the two capstone volumes written by Joseph W.A. Whitehorne and David A. Clary. All Inspectors General should take a moment to consult these two volumes and other attached sources of IG history in order to develop a greater appreciation for the historical impact that all Army IGs have had in the past--and are still having today! Droit et Avant!

Major General (Baron) Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben and the "Blue Book."
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Download Book: "Von Steuben Blue Book"
Podcast: “Von Steuben Was the Right Man at the Right Place and the Right Time,” by Jack Giblin and Jacqueline E. Whitt, presented by the Army War College.

The Inspectors General Of The United States Army 1777 - 1903

The office of The Inspector General, with its attendant inspection and investigation functions, has been part of the Army for more than 244 years. It has served throughout that period as the eyes and ears of the Army's leaders and often as the Army's conscience as well. As such, it has come into contact with nearly every issue, problem, or triumph in which the Army has been involved.

The Inspectors General Of The United States Army 1903 - 1939

As the companion work to the The Inspectors General of the United States Army, 1777-1903, this volume continues the story of the Inspector General Department and its corps of inspectors during the years from 1903 and 1939. This period was a time of revolutionary reform and reorganization, with the department shifting to the detail system and adapting to the newly created General Staff.

Washington and von Steuben

Major General Friedrich Wilhelm Augustin Freiherr (Baron) von Steuben has always stood as the U.S. Army's defining inspiration for the role of the Inspector General. As General George Washington's expert drillmaster and organizer of the Continental Army in 1778, von Steuben not only trained the bedraggled American troops at Valley Forge for immediate success on the battlefield but also defined a role for the IG that would ensure the continued growth and refinement of the Continental Army for years to come. Von Steuben wrote the Army's first set of regulations, known as the "Blue Book."

The Shaping of von Steuben in the Service of Frederick the Great

Major General von Steuben played a key role in the American Revolution. When he arrived in the American colonies in December of 1777, he brought with him a unique wealth of knowledge and experience gained during his military service under Frederick the Great of Prussia.