Happy Birthday! June 14, 2021, marks the celebration of the 246th anniversary of the formation of the United States Army Forces.
With the Revolutionary War beginning April 19, 1775, a little over a year before the Declaration of Independence was signed, many residing in the then 13 colonies were seeking freedom from Britain and King George III who was relentless in his taxation without representation among other hardships he placed on the Colonists.
The war kicked off with gunfire between militia in Massachusetts and the British forces at Lexington and Concord.
As citizen soldiers from the surrounding colonies began to respond, a state of war began, and the call was sounded to delegates representing the thirteen colonies to join in the fight and send men.
“When the delegates to the Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia on 10 May, they soon learned that armed men commanded by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold had captured the British forts at Ticonderoga and Crown Point on Lake Champlain in New York,” the U.S. Army Center of Military History (UACMH) said. “The constitutional crisis in which Americans sought a redress of grievances from the British king and Parliament, had become open hostilities. The delegates realized that even though many desired reconciliation, they would now have to address the new military situation. The Congress took the next step that eventually transformed a local rebellion into a war for independence when it established the Continental Army: the force we know today as the U.S. Army.”
On June 14, 1775, Congress resolved to create six companies of expert rifleman in Pennsylvania, two in Maryland and two in Virginia.
Once the companies were completed, they were dispatched near Boston to be employed as light infantry.
“The delegates then prescribed an oath of enlistment that required the soldiers to swear:
‘I have, this day, voluntarily enlisted myself, as a soldier, in the American continental army, for one year, unless sooner discharged: And I do bind myself to conform, in all instances, to such rules and regulations, as are, or shall be, established for the government of the said Army’,” UACMH said. “The next day Congress voted to appoint George Washington ‘to command all the Continental forces’ and began laying the foundation for ‘the American Army’.”
To learn more about the history of the Army visit https://api.army.mil/e2/c/downloads/2021/05/10/b4954dcc/updated-2021-army-birthday-outreach-guide-for-army-mil.pdf