USAG Fort Detrick Commander
Today we celebrate the 238th birthday of the United States Army. An Army established to defend the principles of freedom, a team of teams of all voluntary members, representing all traditions of American society, and sacrificing all for the defense of their Nation.
During the spring of 1775, the American Revolution was underway, a collection of 13 British colonies fighting to free themselves from unjust treatment at the hands of the government thousands of miles away.
Those engaged in the Revolution, which was not supported by the majority of those living in the colonies, were fighting what was one of the world’s premiere militaries with an amateur force of colonial troops, cobbled together from various New England militia companies.
There was no unified chain of command, just an informal agreement. Artemas Ward of Massachusetts led the officers though they were not obligated to obey his orders. The volunteers were led, equipped, armed, paid for, and supported by the colonies which they represented.As this haphazard “army” moved to confront British troops near Boston, the revolutionaries understood they had to reorganize their forces, and do so with haste, if they were to stand a chance against the experienced British army.
The Massachusetts Provincial Congress, understanding that the coastal colonies were vital for support due to the seaports, appealed to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to assume authority for the New England army.
Reportedly, at John Adams’ request, Congress voted to “adopt” the Boston troops on June 14, and Congress resolved to form a committee “to bring in a draft of rules and regulations for the government of the Army,” and voted $2 million to support the forces around Boston, and those at New York City.Congress also authorized the formation of ten companies of expert riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, which were directed to march to Boston to support the New England militia.
These actions signified the birth of the United States Army, under the command of George Washington.
Today, the Army colors count 187 streamers to commemorate the 187 campaigns we have fought in, from those desperate, frigid days at Valley Forge, to the hilltops of San Juan Hill, the beaches of Normandy, the jungles of Vietnam and Panama, to the deserts of Iraq and Kuwait, and to the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan.
Over 170,000 Soldiers serve in over 160 countries, supported by Families and Civilians dedicated to ensuring the Warfighter is properly trained and equipped. Lest not forget the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this Nation and the U.S. Army.
Thank you to all who help celebrate and support the United States Army, past, present, and future! ‘For where e’er we go, you will always know, that the Army goes rolling along!’