Today is the birthday of the United States Army. I first joined the Army on December 3, 1968. I had three breaks in service over the years, but I finally managed to retire on February 28, 2009.
Such a lengthy association means that I have served with men who fought in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan and other lesser-known battlefields throughout the world. I served alongside my fellow soldiers in both Vietnam (1970-71) and Iraq (2004).
The following is a description of the birth of the United States Army taken from Robert Wright, The Continental Army. Read more at http://www.history.army.mil/html/faq/birth.html :
"The June 14 date is when Congress adopted 'the American continental army' after reaching a consensus position in The Committee of the Whole. This procedure and the desire for secrecy account for the sparseness of the official journal entries for the day. The record indicates only that Congress undertook to raise ten companies of riflemen, approved an enlistment form for them, and appointed a committee (including Washington and Schuyler) to draft rules and regulations for the government of the army. The delegates correspondence, diaries, and subsequent actions make it clear that they really did much more. They also accepted responsibility for the existing New England troops and forces requested for the defense of the various points in New York. The former were believed to total 10,000 men; the latter, both New Yorkers and Connecticut men, another 5,000."
Please take time to thank a soldier for your freedom. They have been protecting all of us for a long, long time.
Charles M. Grist
First Lieutenant, USAR, Retired