Today marks the 235th birthday of the U.S. Army. On this day in 1775 the Second Continental Congress “…undertook to raise ten companies of riflemen, approved an enlistment form for them, and appointed a committee to draft rules and regulations “for the government of the army.” (Army.mil)
Officially, the new army did not exist. Ten companies of riflemen had been authorized, but the Soldiers still had to be recruited. Unofficially and not a part of the official record, Congress also assumed control over some 15,000 troops massing around Boston after Lexington and Concord.
Officially, George Washington was the first Soldier. For awhile, he was quite literally an Army of One. Two days later, after the Battle of Bunker (Breed’s) Hill, the Army of One was at war.
From the explosive and desperate days of the Revolution to today’s fighting in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan, the U.S. Army has fought relentlessly for the liberty of the citizens it protects. It never sleeps. It never stops. It never blinks.
I am always drawn to the image of the American Soldier, as seen through the eyes of suffering people throughout the world. He is seen as a liberator by those who are suffering under oppression. He is seen as a protector by those paralyzed by fear. He is a rescuer. An inspiration. A benevolent representative of a country founded on the principle that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are God-given and unalienable rights.
He’s the good guy.
Happy Birthday, Army.