The United States Army celebrates its birthday on June 14. On that date, in 1775 the first shots were fired in the Revolutionary War against the British. At that time the “army” was really a group of revolutionary guerrillas fighting against British oppression. Regardless, June 14 has become the official birthday of the Army.
This event is not celebrated as a national holiday and there are no school or government closures on June 14. The birthday celebration occurs on Army bases and other installations where social events and parties are held locally. One event is the Army Birthday Ball, which is a full-dress or “Mess Dress” event for military personnel who attend. The events held to celebrate the Army birthday are steeped in years of tradition to honor both the Army and those who served and died in support of our country.
The origins of the Army go back to that summer of 1775 when colonists showed up to fight the British without any kind of military organization we know today. They were paid and equipped by the various colonies they called home. It wasn’t long before the Massachusetts Provincial Government petitioned to control troops there prior to a battle in Boston. The result was the creation of a colonial army led by Gen. George Washington beginning in the summer of 1775.
The Army’s first official training period is reported to have occurred between winter 1777 and 1778 in Valley Forge Pennsylvania. It was headed by Prussian military officer Baron Von Stuben. A more significant step occurred in 1787 when the United States Constitution was signed. It authorized the President to be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, and eventually all armed forces.
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Photo Courtesy of United States Army Facebook