By Yvette Smith, Courier staff June 13, 2013
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- When the American Revolution broke out, the colonies did not have an army in the contemporary sense. Rather, the revolutionaries fielded an inexpert force of colonial groups, formed together from various New England militia companies. They had no formal chain of command, and although Artemas Ward of Massachusetts exercised authority by casual agreement, officers from other colonies were not obligated to follow orders. The American volunteers were led, equipped, armed, funded for, and supported by the colonies from which they came from, according to the U.S. Army Center of Military History.
"Two hundred and thirty eight years ago, on June 14, 1775, a small band of patriots joined together to set in motion events that would transform the Nation, and at the time, their ideals were considered to be nothing less than revolutionary," said Brig. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, acting commander of the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell. "That 'band of brothers' set us on the path to a democratic government and a sense of freedom that is still a beacon around the world."
As this makeshift "Army" prepared to confront British troops near Boston, Massachusetts, the revolutionaries quickly scrambled to re-organize their forces, realizing a change was necessary in order to stand against Britain's more seasoned troops, according to the U.S. Army Center of Military History. Recognizing the need to enlist the support of all of the American seaboard colonies, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress appealed to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to assume authority for the New England army.
Although there is no written record, allegedly Congress voted to "adopt" the Boston troops on June 14, at John Adams' request. George Washington received his appointment as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army the next day, and formally took command at Boston on July 3, 1775.
"The volunteer Soldiers of today, just like those 238 years ago responded to the 'Call to Duty,' said Stammer. "Serving one's country is a noble calling and, I believe, among life's greatest work. Nothing illustrates our Nation's commitment more than putting our boots on the ground where they are needed."
"Tomorrow, as we celebrate the birthday of the United States Army, we reflect on the character -- and the awesome achievements -- of the generations of brave Soldiers who have put their boots on the ground, and borne arms in defense of American ideals," said Stammer.
According to the Department of Army, leadership encourages the commemoration of its rich heritage of successfully defending this great Nation and celebrates the continued honor, loyalty and bravery of Army Soldiers.
As the Army's takes this time to reflect on its great history, it looks toward its future as well. Army Public Affairs plans to use the celebration of the Army's 238th Birthday as a communication platform to emphasize several key messages for the today's Army, according to www.army.mil. Three Army initiatives currently at the forefront are the Ready and Resilient, the Army Profession and Soldier for Life.
The Ready and Resilient campaign integrates and synchronizes multiple efforts and programs to improve the readiness and resilience of the Army Family -- Soldiers (Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard), Army civilians and Families. Ready and Resilient creates a holistic, collaborative and coherent enterprise to increase individual and unit readiness and resilience.
The Soldier for Life initiative assists Army, governmental and community efforts in facilitating successful reintegration of Soldiers, Veterans and Families, once they leave military service. The initiative helps them find an established network of enablers and aids with linking them with the employment, education and health care required to successfully reintegrate into civilian society.
The third initiative being promoted during the Army's 238th Birthday is Army professional development, intended to provide professional development opportunities for America's Army.
Additional information on these initiatives can be found at http://www.army.mil/readyandresilient/, http://www.army.mil/soldierforlife and http://www.army.mil/professional.
In celebration of the Army's 238th birthday, Fort Campbell and organizations from the surrounding area are hosting several events on post to commemorate.
The Tennessee-Kentucky Chapter of AUSA will host its annual Army Birthday Ball Friday at Valor Hall located in Oak Grove, Ky. The ball begins at 6 p.m. Friday. For information and tickets, contact (270) 605-1234.
In celebration of the Army's Birthday, the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation has schedule the following events:
The Zone will host two celebration events. On Friday it will host an Army Birthday Special from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. The Zone will be offering an all American all beef hot dog, fries and a non-alcoholic drink for $2.38. Cake will also be served during this time. The Zone will also host its Shake, Rattle and Roll Army Birthday Celebration Friday, from 7:30 until 11:30 p.m. Dueling pianos will perform in celebration of the Army's birthday. Located at 3910 Indiana Avenue, the Zone is open to those ages 18 and over. For more information, contact (270) 461-0603.
On Saturday, MWR and USAA will host a Summer Splash Family Pool Party and Army Birthday Celebration from noon until 6 p.m. at Baldonado Pool, located at 2570 Screaming Eagle Blvd.
Tickets are $3 per person, with children ages 3 and under admitted free. A military identification card will be required for ticket purchases. There will be music with a DJ, games, body art, water inflatables, crafts and prizes. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. For more information, contact (270) 798-7535