Happy 240th Army Birthday!
Two hundred forty years ago, our nation's leaders established the Continental Army. Today, the Army is the strategic landpower of the joint force; called upon to prevent, shape, and win against our adversaries.
This year, we celebrate 240 years of selfless service to the nation. Selfless service is at the core of what it means to be a Soldier - putting the welfare of others ahead of oneself. The willingness of our Soldiers - to place themselves in harm's way and to protect our nation's freedoms - is what makes us the premier all-volunteer force. The Army has served proudly, faithfully, and selflessly for 240 years, and we remain steadfast in our commitment.
240 Years of Selfless Service to the Nation
The Army continues to serve the United States with extraordinary Soldiers, Families and civilians, who display exceptional character in defense of our nation. The Soldiers of the Continental Army helped forge a bond with Americans built on duty and victory, which sustains our profession 240 years later. As we answer the nation's call, we remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in our fight for freedom.
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Key Messages & Events
Honoring gallantry in combat is essential to the foundational values upon which our Army stand.
Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, 35th Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
The men and women of the U.S. Army can always be counted upon to deliver and to serve with honor and integrity.
John M. McHugh, Secretary of the Army
On our Army's 240th birthday, we remember who we are, Soldiers - America's trusted professionals.
Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
Nationals Park, Washington, DC
1815 - 2030
Warner Theater, Washington, DC
1930 - 2130
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. (Military ID required)
1900 - 2000
New York Celebration
Times Square, New York City, N.Y.
0945 - 1130
Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington, DC
1700 - 2400
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington, Va.
0930 - 1000
Preserving the Army Profession
America's Army was founded, June 14, 1775. Under the new Constitution enacted in 1789, it became a military department of the federal government, a hierarchical bureaucratic institution. Many decades later, by the early 1900s, generations of foresighted Army leaders slowly transformed the Army into the modern professional entity of which we are members today.
The first cohort professionalized by today's standards was the officer corps. It developed a codified body of expert military knowledge in land warfare doctrine, instituted formal programs of career-long military education, and cultivated a unique military culture grounded in the Army ethic of honorable service to the nation. Because of these and other such advancements listed above, bonds of trust between the Army and the American people began to grow.
For many years, some believed that only officers were professionals. But in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, while rebuilding the hollow Army of the 1970s, such status was extended through professional development to warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and Army civilians as their vital contributions and value to the profession gained recognition.
The Army as an institution has a dual character. It is both a governmental occupation within a military department organized as a hierarchical bureaucracy and, more recently, recognized collectively as a military profession. These two aspects of the institution - bureaucracy and profession - have very different characteristics, ethics, and ways of behaving. Both aspects are necessary within the variety of organizations and functions within the Army, but overall the challenge is to keep the predominant culture and climate of the Army as that of a military profession.
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