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US Army

Beginnings

Created on 3 June 1784, the US Army (USA), replaced the Continental Army that was formed 14 June 1775 to fight the American Revolutionary War. Formed by the Second Continental Congress this new Continental Army led by George Washington, provided a coordinated command structure for the colonies in their fight with Great Britain. Many campaigns and battles were fought both won and lost at places like Trenton, Princeton, New York and Yorktown where a decisive victory completed the break from the British. Following independence and a number of concepts many molded by the politics of the day it was officially named the United States Army in 1796.

Wars and Campaigns

War of 1812

A second war with Great Britain occurred in what was called the War of 1812. Battles were waged from Canada in the north to New Orleans in the south. Lake Erie, York, Baltimore and even Washington which the British burned. Noteworthy was the leadership of General Andrew Jackson.

Indian Wars 1818-1858

Fought in Florida against the Seminole Indians and upon completion moved them to Oklahoma. The army would wage many campaigns in the west and southwest versus various tribes for many years establishing many forts and outposts.

Mexican-American War 1846-1848

A southwestern continent war resulting in the U.S. acquisition of territory that eventually became all or parts of the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming and New Mexico.

American Civil War

Broken up into the Confederate States Army and Union Army, each was led by men from the formerly regular U.S. Army. General Ulysses Grant, General William Sherman and Confederate General Robert E. Lee were leaders and participants in major battles including those in Atlanta, Vicksburg (1862-1863), and Gettysburg.

Spanish-American War 1898

Most of the key battles were fought by the Navy, but the U.S. Army did defeat Spain in a land campaign in Cuba.

Pancho Villa and the Mexican Revolution 1910-1918

The US Army was deployed along the border and in border towns in order to protect citizens and property. In 1916 rebel leader, Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico prompting the Army to strike back into Mexico. The soldiers would battle both the rebels and Mexican federal troops until 1918.

World War I

Germany had started a complete war on the European Continent. The United States joined the Allies in 1917 deploying the Army to the Western Front where they would fight until what became known as Armistice Day on November 1918.

Army Divisions were formed with each drawing its members from individual states or regions and their state national guards. The identity of the division was thus linked to that state or geographic region. For example, the 29th Division (Blue & Grey) was made up of units from the mid-Atlantic states, the 28th (Keystone) from Pennsylvania and the 36th from Texas.

A new sub-component of the Army made its appearance on the battlefield. The Army Air Service and its Aero Squadrons encompassed a new realm where adversaries would fight and play a role in future conflicts. Armored units with tanks would see limited work and results in World War I but both would play pivotal roles in the next global conflict.

World War II

The US officially entered the war one day after the 7 December 1941 attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor in the Territory of Hawaii. Guard units were recalled to augment the regular army and many of the WWI lineages remained. Along with a number of new units and even some specialty units including the Army Rangers and 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions began their own rich histories. A large number of Armored units were formed along with the new Army Air Forces and would form their own legacies.

U.S. Army troops fought in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and throughout all of Europe. They also participated in many campaigns of the Pacific. The Army Air Forces had commands spread across the globe and employed bomb and fighter groups as well as Air Transport that handled everything from supplies, troop and medical functions.

Following the surrender of the Axis powers, US Army troops were deployed as occupying forces in both Germany and Japan.

Cold War 1945–1960

Loosely held alliances of World War II participants gave way to future enemies as was the case with the U.S. and Russia. Ideological rifts bubbled to the surface between democratic and communist countries. The Cold War period consisted of many non-traditional conflicts and played out in many clandestine operations. There would be two shooting wars that would further shape nations.

Korean War (1950-1953)

The U.S. sided with South Korea in their fight against communist North Korea on which side was entered by the Chinese People's Volunteer Army. The fighting ended by armistice but a final treaty has never been executed. The Army still maintains a strong presence on the border between the two nations.

Vietnam War (1955-1975)

The conflict had been going on for years between North and South Vietnam but officially Army advisors were stationed there in 1959. Large deployments began in 1965. An unusual characteristic of this conflict was that the army was fighting two enemies at once, the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army sometimes in the same battle. This war contained a much different non-conventional component, the guerilla fight. World War II showed the Army had a larger need for clandestine operations as evidenced by their work with the French Resistance. Vietnam would require a vast number of these Special Forces soldiers for all types of operations and this is an integral component of all branches of service today. Another new tactical innovation was born on this battlefield, the Air Cavalry and their new steeds, the helicopter.

Grenada (1983)

Invasion of Panama Operation Just Cause (1989)

Operation Desert Storm 1991

The nation of Kuwait was invaded by Iraq in 1990 and the U.S. Army deployed forces to protect Saudi Arabia. An offensive drove the Iraqi forces back across their border and Armored units played pivotal roles in some of the largest tank battles in history recalling some of the armor battles of North Africa and Europe in World War II. The Battles of Medina Ridge and Norfolk are to be remembered and studied.

OIF/OEF, Afghanistan, Syria

The U.S. Army has been on the front of this centuries conflicts with Rangers and Special Forces units leading the way.

Army components

The U.S. Army is comprised of many branches often referred to by their acronym or initials.

Acquisition Corps (AC)
Air Defense Artillery (AD)
Adjutant General's Corps (AG)
Armor (AR)
Cavalry (CV)
Army Bands (AB)
Aviation (AV)
Civil Affairs Corps (CA)
Chaplain Corps (CH)
Chemical Corps (CM)
Cyber Corps (CY)
Dental Corps (DC)
Corps of Engineers (EN)
Field Artillery (FA)
Finance Corps (FI)
Infantry (IN)
Judge Advocate's General Corps (JA)
Logistics (LG)
Medical Corps (MC)
Military Intelligence Corps (MI)
Military Police Corps (MP)
Medical Service Corps (MS)
Medical Specialist Corps (SP)
Army Nurse Corps (AN)
Ordnance Corps (OD)
Psychological Operations (PO)
Public Affairs (PA)
Quartermaster Corps (QM)
Signal Corps (SC)
Special Forces (SF)
Transportation Corps (TC)
Veterinary Corps (VC)

Legacy of the oldest branch of service the U.S. Army begins during the Revolutionary War and lead to the 1st President of the United States, General George Washington. He was followed by Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant. Then Spanish-American War Teddy Roosevelt. John Pershing led the Army during World War I. World War II brought forth generals George C. Marshall , Dwight David Eisenhower (IKE), George Patton and Omar Bradley. Medal of Honor recipients included Audie Murphy and Desmond Doss; the former for dispatching the enemy the later for saving American soldiers.

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