Almanac: U.S. Army Established (June 14, 1775)
The establishment of the United States Army dates back to the early days of the Revolutionary War, when the Continental Congress authorized the formation of a standing army to fight against British forces.
Background: In the early stages of the Revolutionary War, which began in April 1775, the American colonists who sought independence from British rule relied mostly on local militias composed of volunteer citizen-soldiers. However, as the war intensified and the need for a more organized and trained military force became apparent, the Continental Congress realized the necessity of establishing a formal standing army.
Resolution: On June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution authorizing the establishment of a Continental Army, which was to be composed of troops from the 13 colonies that had declared their independence from Britain. The resolution called for the recruitment of soldiers and the appointment of officers to lead the army.
Commander-in-Chief: The Continental Congress appointed George Washington, a prominent military leader from Virginia, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army on June 15, 1775. Washington took command of the army on July 3, 1775, and went on to lead the American forces throughout the Revolutionary War.
Organization: The Continental Army was initially composed of various units from the colonial militias, which were brought together to form a more cohesive fighting force. The army faced numerous challenges, including a lack of training, equipment, and supplies. However, over time, the Continental Army was gradually organized and trained, and it played a crucial role in the eventual victory of the American colonies in the Revolutionary War.
Role in the Revolutionary War: The Continental Army fought in numerous battles and campaigns during the American Revolutionary War, including the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Battle of Saratoga, and the Battle of Yorktown, among others. The army faced significant challenges, including shortages of troops, supplies, and funding, but persevered and ultimately secured independence for the American colonies.
Continued Existence: After the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army was disbanded, and a new United States Army was established by the United States Constitution in 1787. The U.S. Army has since played a vital role in defending the nation, participating in conflicts and wars, providing security and defense, and supporting peacekeeping and humanitarian missions around the world.