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Guess Who Is Nearly a Quarter-Millenium Old?

On June 14, 2015, the United States Army celebrated its 240th birthday. The oldest and largest of our military services has a venerable history going back to June, 14, 1775, when the Continental Congress created it to fight the British in our War of Independence.

George Washington was named the first commander at that same time. Under his leadership and using tactics that the Colonists had learned from the Native Americans, the Continental Army was able to defeat the most powerful military force on the planet. Their efforts and sacrifices won our independence and their efforts and countless sacrifices have helped to insure the success of this longest living experiment in democracy that we call the United States of America.

After the Revolutionary War, the Army was briefly disbanded. This was done because of the former colonists natural distrust for standing armies, which was based on their experience with their British overlords. It was re-established in 1791. In its new iteration it was known as the Legion of the United States, but it was renamed the United States Army in 1796.

The United States Military Academy was established by President Thomas Jefferson in 1801 at the site of an Army Post along the Hudson River, called West Point. It would be West Point that would graduate such famous names in Army history as Ulysses S. Grant, George Armstrong Custer, John Pershing, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Norman Schwarzkopf.


The United States Army has, since our Independence, fought for and defended this nation through:

  • The War of 1812
  • The Civil War
  • The Mexican American War
  • The Indian Wars
  • The Spanish American War
  • WWI
  • WWII
  • Korea
  • The Vietnam War
  • The Gulf Wars
  • Iraq
  • Afghanistan
    • It has engaged in smaller efforts in the Dominican Republic, Granada, and Panama as well.

During most of its history, the enlisted men were made up of volunteers and draftees. As of 1973, the U.S. Army and all of the other military forces have become all-volunteer forces.


The current Army is divided into three components: the Regular Army, the Army National Guard, and the Army Reserves. The Regular Army is comprised of the infantry, combat support branches like the Signal corps, combat service support units like the Nurse Corps, and special branches. There are around one million soldiers currently serving in the Regular Army, National Guard, and Army Reserves.

The United States Army has borne the responsibilities to defend this nation and its interests since the very beginning. Those who have worn the uniform in War and in Peacetime service have done so with honor and dignity.

They have given meaning to the words “duty,” “honor,” and “country” by their countless sacrifices.

Their training, skills, courage, and determination have brought the nation through many a dark and threatening time in our history. From the beginning, they have won and preserved our freedom from the threats of external attack and internal rebellion. They have fought and given their lives on foreign shores to defend our friends and allies when they were threatened by the forces of tyranny, and they remain ready and able to do so today. They have been called upon to aid us in disasters, and when there was a need to return order to our streets in times of chaos and riot. Those who have served in the Army can be rightfully proud of their history.


The Veterans Site wishes to congratulate the Unites States Army on the occasion of its 240th birthday. We thank all who have served and who are currently serving in the Army. Your service and sacrifices and that of your families has made us great and kept us strong. You have every right to be proud on the occasion of this auspicious birthday. You are Army Proud.

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.