Birth of the United States Army By: CADET P

The United States Army was established on June 14th 1775

When the American Revolution broke out, the rebellious colonies did not possess an army. The revolutionaries fielded an amateur force of colonial troops, cobbled together from various New England militia companies.

Sco Army

In the spring of 1775, this “Army” was about to confront British troops near Boston, Massachusetts. The revolutionaries had to re-organize their forces quickly if they were to stance a chance against Britain’s seasoned professionals. Recognizing the need to enlist the support of all of the American seaboard colonies, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress appealed to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to assume authority for the New England Army.

Revolutionary War 1775
  • Monumentally, George Washington received his appointment as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army the next day, and formally took command on July 3, 1775

Development of U.S Army Branches

Infantry - 14 June 1775

  • Ten companies of riflemen were authorized by a resolution of the Continental Congress. However, the oldest Regular Army infantry regiment the 3d, was constituted on 3 June 1784, as the First American Regiment

Adjutant General Corps - 16 June 1775

  • The post of Adjutant General was established 16 June 1775, and has been continuously in operation since that time. The adjutant General’s department was established by the act of 3 March 1813. It became The Adjutant General’s Corps per The Army Organization Act of 1950
  • Human resources, administrative support to the Army

Corps of Engineers - 16 June 1775

  • Continental Congress authority for a “Chief Engineer for the Army.” A corps of Engineers as it is known today came into being on 16 March 1802, when the President was authorized by congress on 11 March 1779. The corps of Engineers as it is known today came into being on 16 March 1802.
  • The president was authorized to “organize and establish a Corps of Engineers, that the said Corps shall be stationed at West Point in the State of New York and shall constitute a Military Academy.” A Corps of Topographical Engineers, authorized on 4 July 1838, was merged with the Corps of Engineers in March 1950

Finance Corps, 16 June 1775

  • The Finance Crops is the successor to the old Pay Department, which was created in June 1775. The Finance Department was created by law on 1 July 1920. It became the Finance Corps with the passage of The Army Organization Act of 1950.

Quartermaster Corps -16 June 1775

  • The Quartermaster Corps, originally designated the Quarter Department was established on 16 June 1775. While numerous additions, deletions, and changes of function have occurred, its basic supply and service support functions have continued in existence.

Air Defense Artillery and Field Artillery - 17 November 1775

  • The Continental Congress unanimously elected Henry Knox "Colonel of the Regiment of Artillery" on 17 November 1775. The regiment formally entered service on 1 January 1776. Both Air Defense Artillery (previously Coast Artillery) and Field Artillery share this common heritage.
  • On 14 June 1968 the Army established Air Defense Artillery as a separate branch and on 12 June 1969 directed that the Title 10 reference to "Artillery" will instead refer to "Field Artillery" pending formal change to the code. To date, this has not yet occurred. However, the Army made clear in 1969 that "for the purposes of lineage and history, Field Artillery and Air Defense Artillery shall both be considered a continuation of Artillery."

Armor - 12 December 1776

  • The armor branch traces it origin to the Cavalry. A regiment of cavalry was authorized to be raised by the Continental Congress Resolve of 12 December 1776. Although mounted units were raised at various times after the Revolution, the oldest Regular Army cavalry units date to 1833.
  • The Tank Service was formed on 5 March 1918. The Armored Force was formed on 10 July 1940. Armor became a permanent branch with the passage of The Army Organization Act of 1950.

Ordnance Corps - 14 May 1812

World War I
  • The Ordnance Department was established by act of Congress on 14 May 1812. During the Revolutionary War, ordnance material was under supervision of the Board of War and Ordnance. Numerous shifts in duties and responsibilities have occurred in the Ordnance Corps since colonial times.
World War II

Signal Corps - 21 June 1860

  • The Signal Corps was authorized as a separate branch of the Army by act of Congress on 3 March 1863. However, the Signal Corps dates its existence from 21 June 1860
  • When Congress authorized the appointment of one signal officer in the Army, and a War Department order carried the following assignment: “Signal Department – Assistant Surgeon Albert J. Myer to be Signal Officer, with the rank of Major, 27 June 1860, to fill and original vacancy.

Chemical Corps - 28 June 1918

  • The Chemical Warfare Service was established on 28 June 1918, combining activities that until then had been dispersed among five separate agencies of Government. It was made a permanent branch of the Regular Army by the National Defense Act of 1920. In 1945, it was redesigned the Chemical Corps

Military Police Corps -26 September 1941

  • A Provost Marshal General’s Office and Corps of Military Police were established in 1941. Prior to that time, except during the Civil War and World War I, there was no regularly appointed Provost Marshal General or regularly constituted Military Police Corps, although a “Provost Marshal” can be found as early as January 1776, and a “Provost Corps” in 1778

Transportation Corps - 31 July 1942

  • The historical background of the Transportation Corps starts with World War I. Prior to that time, transportation operations were chiefly the responsibility of the Quartermaster General. The Transportation Corps, essentially in its present form, was organized on 31 July 1942.

Military Intelligence - 1 July 1962

  • Intelligence has been an essential element of Army operations during war as well as during periods of peace. In the past, requirements were met by personnel from the Army Intelligence and Army Security Reserve branches, two-year obligated tour officers, one-tour levies on the various branches, and Regular Army officers in the specialization programs.
  • To meet the Army’s increased requirement for national and tactical intelligence, an intelligence and Security Branch was established in the Army effective 1 July 1961, by General Orders No. 38, dated 3 July 1962. On 1 July 1967, the branch was redesigned as Military Intelligence

Aviation - 12 April 1983

  • Following the establishment of the U.S Air Force as a separate service in 1947, the Army began to develop further its own aviation assets (light planes and rotary wing aircraft) in support of ground operations. The Korean War gave this drive impetus, and the war in Vietnam saw its fruition, as Army aviation units performed a variety of missions, including reconnaissance, transport, and fire support.
  • After the war in Vietnam, the role of armed helicopters as tank destroyers received new emphasis. In recognition of the growing importance of aviation in Army doctrine and operations, Aviation became a separate branch on 12 April 1983, and a full member of the Army’s combined arms team.

Special Forces - 9 April 1987

  • The first Special Forces unit in the Army was formed on 11 June 1952, when the 10th Special Forces Group was activated at Fort Bragg, NC. A major expansion occurred in the 1960s, with additional groups organized in the Regular Army, Army Reserves, and Army National Guard. As a result of renewed emphasis on special operations in the 1980s, the Special Forces branch was established as a basic branch of the Army effective 9 April 1987, by AGO No. 35, 19 June 1987.

U.S Army Special Forces

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- Cadet P.


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