Army History

The Army was founded by the Second Continental Congress in 1775 and is the oldest service of the U.S. military.  Although the Army has evolved, it was originally formed to protect the freedom of the first 13 colonies. The Army serves the nation and the people of America by defending national interests and fulfilling military responsibilities. The Army does this by recruiting, training, and equipping soldiers, and by providing logistics and support to other services.

Important Dates in Army History:

1775-1783 The Revolutionary War
1775 May 10 The Battle of Fort Ticonderoga (The action for which the Army was awarded it’s first battle streamer)
1775 Jun 14 The infantry branch was established in the U.S. Army.  The U.S. Army was created by the Second Continental Congress. Six Companies of expert riflemen formed in Pennsylvania, Two in Maryland and Two in Virginia
1775 Jul 03 George Washington became the first Commander in Chief of the Continental Army
1776 Jul 04 The Declaration of Independence was esablished
1778 During the winter the Army received it’s first real training by a former Prussian Officer named Baron Friedrich Von Steuben at Valley Forge
1787 The Constitution of the United States was written (Ratified in 1789)
1812-1815 The war of 1812
1861-1865 The Civil War
1862 Jul 12 The Medal of Honor was established by a Congressional Act
1898 The United States emerged as a world power with the outbreak of the Spanish American War
1903 Aug 16 The first Chief of Staff of the Army took office
1908 LT. Edmund L. Gruber composed the “Caisson Song” which was later to be known as “the Army goes rolling along”.  It was dedicated on Veterans day of 1956 by the Secretary of the Army.
1926 Congress changed the name of the Air Service to the Army Air Corp
1931 Mar 03 “The Star Spangled Banner” officially became the National Anthem by law (title 36, U.S. Code 170)
1941 Dec 07 The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor
1944 Jun 06 D-Day, France was liberated when the U.S. and it’s Allies stormed Normandy Beach (the password used was “Mickey Mouse”) The official name of the operation was “Operation Overlord”
1945 May 12 VE-Day, Germany surrendered
1945 Aug 06 The 1st atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan (dropped by a plane named the Enola Gay)
1945 Aug 09 the 2nd atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan
1947 The Department of the Army was established by the National Security Act of 1947.  It was previously known as  The War Department.
1947 Sep The Air Force separated from the Army
1949 Aug 10 Department of Defense was created
1950 May The Uniform Code of Military Justice was enacted
1955 Aug 17 President Eisenhower signed the Code of Conduct
1956 Jun 14 The Army flag was dedicated.  Also the 181st Anniversary of the U.S. Army
1956 Nov 11 The army song “The Army Goes Rolling Along” was dedicated by the Secretary of the Army.  It was not officially announced until Dec 12, 1957.  Originally known as the “Caisson Song”, it was composed by LT. Edmund L. Gruber in 1908
1957 Dec 12 The army officially announced that “The Army goes rolling along” was the Official U.S. Army song.  The song originally written by LT. Edmund L. Gruber in 1908 was originally known as the “Caisson Song” and was dedicated in 1956 by the Secretary of the Army.
1959 The draft was extended until this year due to the outbreak of the Korean war
1966 Jul 04 The position of Sergeant Major of the Army was established
1968 The Tet Offensive, the full scale assault on all major South Vietnamese cities by the enemy
1968 The American spy ship “USS Pueblo” was captured by the North Korean Forces
1973 The majority of American troops pulled out of Vietnam
1983 Oct 25 The Grenada Operation commenced
1989 Operation Just Cause – In December 1989, U.S. Army forces supported by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy, participated in Operation Just Cause – the invasion of Panama. Ground forces, consisting of combat elements of the XVIII Airborne Corps, the 82nd Airborne Division, the 7th Infantry Division, the 75th Ranger Regiment, a Joint Special Operations Task Force and U.S. Marines, executed a night assault into Panama
1991 Jan Marlin Fitzwater announces, “The liberation of Kuwait has begun…” The air war started Jan 17 at 2:38 a.m. (local time) or January 16 at 6:38PM EST due to an 8 hour time difference, with an Apache helicopter attack.  US warplanes attack Baghdad, Kuwait and other military targets in Iraq.
1992 Feb 1 US and Russia sign a treaty officially ending the Cold War
2001 Sept 11 Attacks Begin on United States Targets.  Also known as 9-11
2001 Sept 14 Operation Noble Eagle Begins
2001 Oct 07 Operation Enduring Freedom Begins
2002 Jan 06 Joint Task Force Guantanamo Begins
2003 Mar 19 Operation Iraqi Freedom Begins



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