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Every year on June 14th, the United States of America commemorates the creation of its army, which was first established by the Continental Congress back in 1775 to fight against the British during the American Revolutionary War. Throughout its history, the U.S. Army has played a vital role in protecting the security and interests of the United States, both domestically and abroad, so it comes as no surprise that the nation takes pride in this institution and wishes to celebrate it on the anniversary of its inception.  

History of the U.S. Army

In 1775, as tensions rose between the Colonies of America and the British, which inevitably led to war, the Second Continental Congress authorized the enlistment of ten companies of riflemen. The Congress also created a committee to establish rules and regulations for the newly created Army. Thus the Continental Army was born and was immediately placed under the leadership of General George Washington, who was leading the revolutionary efforts against British forces.

During the war for independence, the army was known as the Army of the United Colonies and, after the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, it changed its name to Army of the United States. The Army continued to expand and increase in numbers, and would have an active role in internal and external conflicts throughout its years in active service. It had an important role in the expansion of the U.S. borders, which were pushing to the west, entering into conflicts with the Native American tribes, as well as engaging in the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War in the 1840s.

In 1861, the Army found itself again at the center of another military conflict, the Civil War, and it fought to preserve the Union (the northern colonies) and end slavery. The war resulted in the largest loss of life of any conflict in U.S. history, with over 600,000 soldiers killed. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the U.S. Army had been mainly active in overseas conflicts, including the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War, and World War I. Although initially staying out of the war, the U.S. Army played a crucial role in defeating Germany, Japan, and their allies during World War II.

Over the past decades, the U.S. Army has continued to be involved in a number of conflicts around the world, including the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War, as well as having an active role in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Currently, the U.S. Army has more than 480,000 active members and is one of the largest armies in the world.

How to celebrate the Army’s Birthday

The Army’s Birthday is a day to honor the bravery and sacrifice of those who fight for their country and to recognize their ongoing service to their nation. In the spirit of this day, different Army-related organizations hold parades, picnics, luncheons, commemorative ceremonies, speeches by military officials, exhibitions and even an Army Ball to celebrate its anniversary. And just like any other birthday celebration, there is also a birthday cake! This long-standing tradition sees the longest-serving soldier in the Army with the youngest soldier in service cut together a slice of cake using the ceremonial military saber.

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