The U.S. Army’s birthday is today, and we are celebrating with the history of how the Army got started 243 years ago
By Courtney Cooper
A fan of Team Army waves the Army flag during the cycling competition at the 2018 DoD Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo. on June 7, 2018. (Photo by Courtney Cooper)
The Army is the oldest service of the United States (U.S.) military. Since 1775, the U.S. Army has been serving our country in countless wars. The Army has fought in the Indian Wars of the 1790s, the War of 1812, American Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan.
The Army was founded by the Second Continental Congress, exactly 243 years ago, to protect the freedom of the first 13 colonies and fight against the forces of Britain. On June 15, 1775, the Congress unanimously elected George Washington as Commander-In-Chief of the Army where he succeeded in forcing the British out of Boston by 1776. After many ups and downs, victory had been achieved in 1783.
U.S. Army veteran, Brent Garlic, cheers on his fellow Army teammates at a sitting volleyball match at the 2018 DoD Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo. on June 8, 2018. (Photo by Courtney Cooper)
Since then, the Army has continued to defend the nation and fulfill national military responsibilities. The Army is the largest branch of the U.S. armed forces with about 1,018,000 soldiers, including active duty and Army reserve personnel, as of 2017.
Not only does the Army serve on their own missions, but they are also tasked with other military branches to provide logistics and support. The Army offers an extensive amount of different careers and jobs, including specialties in mathematics, science, technology, engineering and even arts and media, to name a few.
Although the Army birthday is not a Federal or State holiday, the birthday is still widely celebrated, especially on Army bases around the country. Each year, the U.S. Army Birthday Ball takes place around the country at military bases, community centers or other establishments, depending on how the local community chooses to celebrate. It is a black-tie formal event with military members wearing the full-service dress. They have many traditions that they carry on each year, that include paying respects to those who sacrificed to serve and also to celebrating the newest members of the service as well as the future of the Army.
The U.S. Army grows each year, with thousands of people joining. Today, the Army is a very diverse and multicultural force. In the past, the branch was exclusively male, and as of 2014 women took up approximately 14 percent of active duty soldiers. The Army continues to challenge its service members and make them proud to serve their country.
“When joining the military, I wanted to be challenged, and I felt the Army would challenge me the most,” says U.S. Army veteran Brent Garlic.