The United States Army celebrates its birthday every year on June 14th – the day of its creation.
On June 14, 1775, the Second Continental Congress created a Continental Army of existing militias (some that still exist today) to protect the Northern colonies from British troops. This makes the Army the oldest branch of the U.S. military.
Formed from amateur troops of volunteer soldiers defending colonies against British tyranny, the oldest military force in the United States began before the U.S. formally existed. Their forces consisted of mostly inexperienced militiamen commanded by independent colonial armies. According to battlefields.org, there were never more than 48,000 Continental soldiers at one time. Today, the United States Army consists of over one million active-duty service members and an additional 800,000 National Guard and Reserves members.
The enduring history of the U.S. Army means they have been integral to many of the United State’s military, peace-keeping and humanitarian efforts. During the Army’s Birthday, these and many advancements will be recognized through events and ceremonies.
In 2019 as the US Army celebrated its 244 birthday, two Soldiers from the South Carolina and Pennsylvania National Guard are the first enlisted National Guard females to graduate from U.S. Army Ranger School. As the first female National Guard enlisted Soldiers to graduate from the school, Smiley and Farber join a small group of women who have earned a Ranger tab since the Pentagon lifted the ban on women serving in combat arms positions.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jessica Smiley, a South Carolina National Guard military police non-commissioned officer serving with the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, and U.S. Army Sgt. Danielle Farber, Pennsylvania National Guard 166th Regional Training Institute Medical Battalion Training Site instructor, completed the mentally and physically challenging school at Fort Benning Dec. 13. The school prepares Soldiers to be better trained, more capable, and more resilient leaders.