The U.S. Army is 247 years old today. That’s a BIG cake with a LOT of birthday candles! The annual celebration marks the date in history on June 14 in 1775 when the Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress and commanded under General George Washington to fight against Britain. The original ‘army’ was formed from volunteer soldiers, amateur troops, and minutemen, who just had the passion and dedication to defend their land against the British.
The Revolutionary War started in America on April 19, 1775, with exchanges of musketry between Massachusetts militiamen and British regulars at Lexington and Concord. As soldiers were alerted in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, they responded to the alarm, and war began between the British government and the four colonies. Called the Army of Observation, a force of New Englanders surrounded Boston and had the British troops who occupied it under siege. Requesting help, delegate representatives of all 13 colonies joined them in the battle for American liberty.
When the Continental Army delegates assembled on May 10 in Philadelphia, they learned that British forts at Ticonderoga and Crown Point on Lake Champlain in New York were captured by armed men led by Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen. The situation quickly turned into a crisis, as the delegates realized that the military coup would need to be addressed if the desired reconciliation was to happen. The next step was taken by the Congress, which eventually transformed the small rebellion into a full war for independence. The establishment of the Continental Army resulted in the U.S. Army that we know today.
Today, the United States Army boasts over one million soldiers on duty, with an additional 800,000 Reserve and National Guard members. The resilience of the U.S. Army and its history is a testimony to how integral the military is in peacekeeping.