Why an Army?
The 246th birthday of the founding of America’s Army is Monday. On 14 June, 1775, the Continental Congress voted to raise “six companies of expert riflemen.” The very next day, George Washington was appointed to command these companies and the rest of Continental forces that would be formed.
Washington’s commissioning oath should sound familiar to all of us who have served in uniform:
“…reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, conduct, and fidelity” he was appointed “General and Commander in chief of the Army of the United Colonies, and of all the forces now raised, or to be raised by them, and of all others who shall voluntarily offer their services, and join the Defense of American liberty, and for repelling every hostile invasion…” (US Army Center of Military History)
As former Army Chief of Staff and current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley often says, we don’t take an oath to a king or queen or a president, we take an oath to an idea, which was soon formulated into our Constitution. And that idea is found in the very first sentence of our constitution: “…to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”
And that’s why we have an Army!
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