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Happy 241ST Army Birthday!

Two hundred forty-one 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.

The U.S. Army's 241st Birthday is June 14, 2016, a day we celebrate the Total Army Force comprised of multi-component Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians and their contributions to national defense. The American Soldier trains, deploys, engages, and destroys enemies of the United States in combat operations as the world's premier land force.

The American Soldier -- Always Ready, Always Leading

Today, as in years past, Soldiers serve as the cornerstone of the Army Profession. As Army Professionals, we are grateful for the opportunity to maintain the trust and confidence of the American people while adding to our legacy of 241 years strong.

How well do you know your nation's Army? How well do you know your nation's Army?

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    Key Events

    June

    14

    Arlington National Cemetery Wreath Laying

    Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington, Va.

    0930 - 1000

    June

    15

    Capitol Hill Cake Cutting

    Capitol Visitor Center Atrium

    1400 - 1500

    Twilight Tattoo

    Summerall Field, Ft. Myer, Va.

    1900 - 2000

    June

    15

    Twilight Tattoo

    Summerall Field, Ft. Myer, Va.

    1900 - 2000

    June

    16

    Pentagon Cake Cutting

    Pentagon Courtyard

    1100 - 1200

    June

    18

    Army Birthday Ball

    Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington, DC

    1700 - 2400

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    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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