HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ARMY! SALUTING OUR SOLDIERS TODAY & EVERY DAY
By Michael Madrid
Happy birthday, Army! 2022 marks the 247th birthday of the United States Army. Make sure to wish a currently serving, former, or retired member of the United States Army a happy historical birthday for their service branch if you see them. The Army is the oldest of the six branches of the military and one in which many of our great presidents served. The yearly commemoration celebrates the formation of the Continental Army under the Second Continental Congress in 1775, which General George Washington led to defend against Britain. So let's jump into some interesting facts about why we wish the Army a happy birthday in June every year.
When Was the United States Army Founded?So, when's the Army's birthday? The short answer is June 14, 1775, but the long answer is much deeper than that. According to the United States Army website, it all started in 1775 during the Revolutionary War when the original 13 colonies assembled to defeat the British and gain sovereignty. Notably, the Revolutionary War began on April 19, 1775, with British fighters in Lexington and Concord exchanging musketry with militiamen from Massachusetts. Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire answered the call of danger, and all four colonies formed together to defend against the British government. An army of New Englanders known as the Army of Observation surrounded Boston and placed the British forces who seized it under a siege of their own, but they needed assistance. They urged representatives from all thirteen colonies to join them in the fight for American independence. On May 10, 1775, delegates of the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to discuss how armed men commanded by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold seized British strongholds in Crown Point on Lake Champlain in New York and Ticonderoga. Despite the fact that many delegates wished for peace, the legislators knew they now had to deal with the new military situation. That's when the local rebellion that defended their territory transformed into the Continental Army, which eventually molded into the U.S. Army as we know it today. Days following the establishment of the Continental Army, Congress voted to appoint George Washington as the first General and Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the United Colonies.
Happy Birthday, United States ArmyYou may be wondering, "How is the Army birthday celebrated?” Well, the Army birthday isn't an official federal holiday, so banks and schools will be open on June 14, and no financial markets or post offices will be closed. On the other hand, every year, groups such as the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), sports organizations, and individual U.S. Army MWRs host localized festivities, picnics, Army Balls, and athletic events to commemorate the Army's birthday. Besides all those fantastic festivities, the Army likes to celebrate by having a ball. This year, the Army birthday 2022 was celebrated with the WSMR Army Ball in New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on June 11. Another unique way the Army celebrates its birthday is by cutting a specially-made Army birthday cake. Usually, it is done and hosted at Capitol Hill and the Pentagon. Army soldiers from the highest and lowest ranks get to cut the cake. This tradition symbolizes the shared brotherhood and teamwork the Army trains to instill daily. So, if you need any Army birthday party ideas, one would be to make sure to bring cake so that members can continue the tradition.
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Why Is the Army Birthday Important?This question may be a no-brainer, but the answers are important. First off, it celebrates the brave men and women who sacrifice everything for the country we live in and enjoy. By observing the day, you honor those who proudly wear the uniform and serve our country in times of peace and war. Second, it recognizes and celebrates present and past service members. So, when you observe the Army's birthday, you celebrate roughly 50 million members who have served in the Army throughout its lifetime – including those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. The Army has done it all, from the Revolutionary War to battles in Iraq and Afghanistan, from its modest beginnings as an amateur force of colonial soldiers cobbled together from numerous militias to its current prominence as the largest arm of the U.S. military. On June 14, we say happy birthday, Army, to our soldiers, past and present, and thank you for your service in the oldest U.S. Armed Forces branch.
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