U.S. Army’s Birthday– Images from 1775 to Today

By Callie Oettinger
Washington taking command of the American Army at Cambridge, 1775. Credit: National Archives.

Washington taking command of the American Army at Cambridge, 1775. Credit: National Archives.

Battle of New Orleans, January 1815. Copy of lithograph by Kurz and Allison, published 1890. Credit: National Archives.

Battle of New Orleans, January 1815. Copy of lithograph by Kurz and Allison, published 1890. Credit: National Archives.

Engineers of the 8th New York State Militia in front of a tent, 1861. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

Engineers of the 8th New York State Militia in front of a tent, 1861. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

 

President Abraham Lincoln and His Generals After Antietam, 1862. Credit: National Archives.

President Abraham Lincoln and His Generals After Antietam, 1862. Credit: National Archives.

Federal observation balloon Intrepid being inflated. Battle of Fair Oaks, Va., May 1862. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

Federal observation balloon Intrepid being inflated. Battle of Fair Oaks, Va., May 1862. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

Scouts and guides for the Army of the Potomac, Berlin, Md., October 1862. Image and caption: National Archives.

Scouts and guides for the Army of the Potomac, Berlin, Md., October 1862. Image and caption: National Archives.

 

Ringgold, Ga., battery at drill. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

Ringgold, Ga., battery at drill. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

Dismounted parade of the 7th New York Cavalry in camp, 1862. Some mounted troops are in the background. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

Dismounted parade of the 7th New York Cavalry in camp, 1862. Some mounted troops are in the background. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

 

Soldiers at rest after drill, Petersburg, Va., 1864. The soldiers are seated reading letters and papers and playing cards. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

Soldiers at rest after drill, Petersburg, Va., 1864. The soldiers are seated reading letters and papers and playing cards. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

 

Council of war near Massaponax Church, Va., May 21, 1864. General Grant is looking over General Meade's shoulder at a map Meade holds. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

Council of war near Massaponax Church, Va., May 21, 1864. General Grant is looking over General Meade’s shoulder at a map Meade holds. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

 

Soldier Taking the Oath of Enlistment, ca. 1898. Credit: National Archives.

Soldier Taking the Oath of Enlistment, ca. 1898. Credit: National Archives.

 

Battery B, 4th Artillery, shelling the blockhouse at Coamo, Porto Rico., 08/09/1898. Credit: National Archives.

Battery B, 4th Artillery, shelling the blockhouse at Coamo, Porto Rico., 08/09/1898. Credit: National Archives.

 

Receiving the news of the surrender of Santiago, Cuba. Credit: National Archives.

Receiving the news of the surrender of Santiago, Cuba. Credit: National Archives.

American troops on way to the front march thru London amid the plaudits of the multitudes, crossing Westminster Bridge. Underwood and Underwood., 09/05/1917. Credit: National Archives.

American troops on way to the front march thru London amid the plaudits of the multitudes, crossing Westminster Bridge. Underwood and Underwood., 09/05/1917. Credit: National Archives.

This shattered church in the ruins of Neuvilly furnished a temporary shelter for American wounded being treated by the 110th Sanitary Train, 4th Ambulance Corps. France, September 20, 1918. Credit: National Archives.

This shattered church in the ruins of Neuvilly furnished a temporary shelter for American wounded being treated by the 110th Sanitary Train, 4th Ambulance Corps. France, September 20, 1918. Credit: National Archives.

 

Squad of American soldiers listening to one of their comrades playing the organ in the half-wrecked old church in Exermont, in the Argonne. France, October 11, 1918. Credit: National Archives.

Squad of American soldiers listening to one of their comrades playing the organ in the half-wrecked old church in Exermont, in the Argonne. France, October 11, 1918. Credit: National Archives.

 

American troops entering Perth, Scotland, 1918. Credit: National Archives.

American troops entering Perth, Scotland, 1918. Credit: National Archives.

 

President Harding placing wreath of flowers on casket of Unknown Soldier in rotunda of the Capitol., 11/09/1921. Credit: National Archives.

President Harding placing wreath of flowers on casket of Unknown Soldier in rotunda of the Capitol., 11/09/1921. Credit: National Archives.

 

An MP on motorcycle stands ready to answer all calls around his area. Columbus, Georgia." April 13, 1942. Pfc. Victor Tampone. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

An MP on motorcycle stands ready to answer all calls around his area. Columbus, Georgia.” April 13, 1942. Pfc. Victor Tampone. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

"In an underground surgery room, behind the front lines on Bougainville, an American Army doctor operates on a U.S. soldier wounded by a Japanese sniper." December 13, 1943. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

“In an underground surgery room, behind the front lines on Bougainville, an American Army doctor operates on a U.S. soldier wounded by a Japanese sniper.” December 13, 1943. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

 

Silhouette of troops at Pandu Ghat. 124th Cavalry Regiment, 5332nd Brigade (Provisional) on move from Ramgarh Training Center to Myitkyina, Burma., 10/25/1944. Credit: National Archives.

Silhouette of troops at Pandu Ghat. 124th Cavalry Regiment, 5332nd Brigade (Provisional) on move from Ramgarh Training Center to Myitkyina, Burma., 10/25/1944. Credit: National Archives.

 

A youngster, clutching his soldier father (home for Christmas), as his father lifts his wife from the ground 12/1944. Credit: National Archives.

A youngster, clutching his soldier father (home for Christmas), as his father lifts his wife from the ground 12/1944. Credit: National Archives.

 

Chow is served to American Infantrymen on their way to La Roche, Belgium. 347th Infantry Regiment." Newhouse, January 13, 1945. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

Chow is served to American Infantrymen on their way to La Roche, Belgium. 347th Infantry Regiment.” Newhouse, January 13, 1945. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

A U.S. Army soldier and a Chinese soldier place the flag of their ally on the front of their jeep just before the first truck convoy in almost three years crossed the China border en route from Ledo, India, to Kunming, China, over the Stilwell road." February 6, 1945. Sgt. John Gutman. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

A U.S. Army soldier and a Chinese soldier place the flag of their ally on the front of their jeep just before the first truck convoy in almost three years crossed the China border en route from Ledo, India, to Kunming, China, over the Stilwell road.” February 6, 1945. Sgt. John Gutman. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

 

Pvt. Jonathan Hoag,...of a chemical battalion, is awarded the Croix de Guerre by General Alphonse Juin, Commanding General of the F.E.C., for courage shown in treatingwounded, even though he, himself, was wounded. Pozzuoli area, Italy." March 21, 1944. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

Pvt. Jonathan Hoag,…of a chemical battalion, is awarded the Croix de Guerre by General Alphonse Juin, Commanding General of the F.E.C., for courage shown in treatingwounded, even though he, himself, was wounded. Pozzuoli area, Italy.” March 21, 1944. Image and caption credit: National Archives.

 

Easter morning, T/5 William E. Thomas...and Pfc. Joseph Jackson...will roll specially prepared eggs on Hitler's lawn." March 10, 1945. 1st Lt. John D. Moore. Image and caption: National Archives.

Easter morning, T/5 William E. Thomas…and Pfc. Joseph Jackson…will roll specially prepared eggs on Hitler’s lawn.” March 10, 1945. 1st Lt. John D. Moore. Image and caption: National Archives.

 

A grief stricken American infantryman whose buddy has been killed in action is comforted by another soldier. In the background a corpsman methodically fills out casualty tags, Haktong-ni area, Korea.: 08/28/1950. Credit: National Archives.

A grief stricken American infantryman whose buddy has been killed in action is comforted by another soldier. In the background a corpsman methodically fills out casualty tags, Haktong-ni area, Korea.: 08/28/1950. Credit: National Archives.

 

Audience reaction to the Bob Hope show at Seoul, Korea., 10/23/1950. Credit: National Archives.

Audience reaction to the Bob Hope show at Seoul, Korea., 10/23/1950. Credit: National Archives.

 

Personnel and equipment needed to save a man's life are assembled at HQs of the 8225th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, Korea., 10/14/1951. Credit: National Archives.

Personnel and equipment needed to save a man’s life are assembled at HQs of the 8225th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, Korea., 10/14/1951. Credit: National Archives.

1st Lieutenant. Alvin Anderson, one of the many repatriated Prisoners of War to return home aboard the USNS Marine Phoenix, embracing his mother and sister as other members of his family look on. Fort Mason, California, September 14, 1953. Credit: National Archives.

1st Lieutenant. Alvin Anderson, one of the many repatriated Prisoners of War to return home aboard the USNS Marine Phoenix, embracing his mother and sister as other members of his family look on. Fort Mason, California, September 14, 1953. Credit: National Archives.

 

A soldier of the 1st Infantry Division motions to a woman refugee to keep her children's heads down during a fight with Viet Cong who had attempted to ambush the unit during a move through an area criss-crossed with bamboo hedgerows., 01/16/1966. Credit: National Archives.

A soldier of the 1st Infantry Division motions to a woman refugee to keep her children’s heads down during a fight with Viet Cong who had attempted to ambush the unit during a move through an area criss-crossed with bamboo hedgerows., 01/16/1966. Credit: National Archives.

Private First Class David Sletten, medic, Company B, !st Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, paddles a three-man assault boat down the canal toward a breaking point during Operation Tong Thang I., 05/13/1968. Credit: National Archives.

Private First Class David Sletten, medic, Company B, !st Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, paddles a three-man assault boat down the canal toward a breaking point during Operation Tong Thang I., 05/13/1968. Credit: National Archives.

 

A member of the 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) Looks out over the fog-shrouded A Shau Valley., 1969. Credit: National Archives.

A member of the 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) Looks out over the fog-shrouded A Shau Valley., 1969. Credit: National Archives.

 

Maj. Gen. Michael T. Harrison, the commanding officer for U.S. Army Japan I-Corps (Forward), high-fives a toddler, displaced by the Great East Earthquake in Matsushima, Japan, April 15, 2011. Harrison visited schools, train stations, shower points and shelters for displaced citizens to reaffirm the U.S. military's commitment to the helping the Japanese people. Credit: Spc. Cody Thompson, DVIDSHUB.

Maj. Gen. Michael T. Harrison, the commanding officer for U.S. Army Japan I-Corps (Forward), high-fives a toddler, displaced by the Great East Earthquake in Matsushima, Japan, April 15, 2011. Harrison visited schools, train stations, shower points and shelters for displaced citizens to reaffirm the U.S. military’s commitment to the helping the Japanese people. Credit: Spc. Cody Thompson, DVIDSHUB.

 

Army Sgt. Anthony Valdez, infantryman, Charlie Company, 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, and an Afghan Customs Police officer from the Kandahar inland customs depot, aim their weapons at paper targets during reflexive-fire training at Forward Operating Base Walton, Afghanistan May 27, 2011. Valdez, a Fayetteville, N.C., native based out of Fort Bragg, N.C. told the ACP officers to rely on their instinctive reactions while engaging close target silhouettes. Credit: Senior Airman Jessica Lockoski, DVIDSHUB.

Army Sgt. Anthony Valdez, infantryman, Charlie Company, 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, and an Afghan Customs Police officer from the Kandahar inland customs depot, aim their weapons at paper targets during reflexive-fire training at Forward Operating Base Walton, Afghanistan May 27, 2011. Valdez, a Fayetteville, N.C., native based out of Fort Bragg, N.C. told the ACP officers to rely on their instinctive reactions while engaging close target silhouettes. Credit: Senior Airman Jessica Lockoski, DVIDSHUB.

 

Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division-Center, make their way along the course of a 12-mile ruck march as part of a unit competition at Camp Taji, Iraq, May 27, 2011, for the opportunity to attend Ranger School. The competition included the ruck march as well as testing on weapons tasks, map reading and other tactical skills and was designed to give the prospective Ranger candidates a small taste of the physical and mental requirements of Ranger School. Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy, DVIDSHUB.

Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division-Center, make their way along the course of a 12-mile ruck march as part of a unit competition at Camp Taji, Iraq, May 27, 2011, for the opportunity to attend Ranger School. The competition included the ruck march as well as testing on weapons tasks, map reading and other tactical skills and was designed to give the prospective Ranger candidates a small taste of the physical and mental requirements of Ranger School. Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy, DVIDSHUB.

 

Capt. Mathew Ingles, executive officer with Headquarter Headquarters Troop, 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – Center and a New Athens, Ill., native, gives the oath of re-enlistment to Spc. Allen Rice, supply specialist with 5th Sqdn, 4th Cav. Regt. and a Zion, Ill., native, June 4, 2011, in the International Zone, Iraq. “I’m happy that I was given the opportunity to re-enlist at the Crossed Sabers—it was something I’ve wanted to see for a long time,” said Rice. Credit: Staff Sgt. Ashley Weikamp, DVIDSHUB.

Capt. Mathew Ingles, executive officer with Headquarter Headquarters Troop, 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – Center and a New Athens, Ill., native, gives the oath of re-enlistment to Spc. Allen Rice, supply specialist with 5th Sqdn, 4th Cav. Regt. and a Zion, Ill., native, June 4, 2011, in the International Zone, Iraq. “I’m happy that I was given the opportunity to re-enlist at the Crossed Sabers—it was something I’ve wanted to see for a long time,” said Rice. Credit: Staff Sgt. Ashley Weikamp, DVIDSHUB.

International Security Assistance Force soldiers team-up to move a monster-sized ceremonial birthday cake following an observance ceremony held June 14, 2011 to honor the U.S. Army's 236th birthday. The ceremony took place at ISAF Headquarters located in Kabul, Afghanistan and was attended by approximately 200 soldiers and coalition forces. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin L. Hill, the Command Sergeant Major of the ISAF and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, spoke about past and present history of today's Army and the importance of the annual observance. Credit: Master Sgt. Michael O'Connor, DVIDSHUB.

International Security Assistance Force soldiers team-up to move a monster-sized ceremonial birthday cake following an observance ceremony held June 14, 2011 to honor the U.S. Army’s 236th birthday. The ceremony took place at ISAF Headquarters located in Kabul, Afghanistan and was attended by approximately 200 soldiers and coalition forces. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin L. Hill, the Command Sergeant Major of the ISAF and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, spoke about past and present history of today’s Army and the importance of the annual observance. Credit: Master Sgt. Michael O’Connor, DVIDSHUB.

 

Kicking off the 237th birthday of the U.S. Army. The U.S. Army Fife and Drum Corps performs for visitors at the Mt. Vernon home of Gen. George Washington, the country's first commander-in-chief. Secretary of the Army John McHugh kicked off the Army's 237th birthday week celebrations June 11 by laying a wreath at Washington's tomb and pinning Purple Hearts on three Soldiers. Image and caption credit: U.S. Army.

Kicking off the 237th birthday of the U.S. Army. The U.S. Army Fife and Drum Corps performs for visitors at the Mt. Vernon home of Gen. George Washington, the country’s first commander-in-chief. Secretary of the Army John McHugh kicked off the Army’s 237th birthday week celebrations June 11 by laying a wreath at Washington’s tomb and pinning Purple Hearts on three Soldiers. Image and caption credit: U.S. Army.

 

Troopers from 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment conduct a dismounted patrol at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin. Calif. Feb. 14, 2013. Image credit: Specialist Adam Hoppe. Caption credit: U.S. Army Flickr feed.

Troopers from 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment conduct a dismounted patrol at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin. Calif. Feb. 14, 2013. Image credit: Specialist Adam Hoppe. Caption credit: U.S. Army Flickr feed.

 

Two crew members keep watch on the rear ramp of a CH-47 Chinook while flying over the mountains in the Khas Uruzgan district of Afghanistan on March 16, 2013. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessi Ann McCormick

Two crew members keep watch on the rear ramp of a CH-47 Chinook while flying over the mountains in the Khas Uruzgan district of Afghanistan on March 16, 2013. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessi Ann McCormick

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, far left, applauds during a ceremony to induct Medal of Honor recipient Army Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Kapaun into the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon, April 12, 2013. Ray Kapaun, the chaplain's nephew, represented his uncle, who served in the Korean War, during the ceremony. Army Secretary John M. McHugh, second from left, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, second from right, and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, far right, participated in the ceremony. Image credit: Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo. Caption credit: U.S. Army Flickr feed.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, far left, applauds during a ceremony to induct Medal of Honor recipient Army Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Kapaun into the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon, April 12, 2013. Ray Kapaun, the chaplain’s nephew, represented his uncle, who served in the Korean War, during the ceremony. Army Secretary John M. McHugh, second from left, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, second from right, and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, far right, participated in the ceremony. Image credit: Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo. Caption credit: U.S. Army Flickr feed.

 

Soldiers wear period uniforms during the Army's 238th birthday at the U.S. Army Forces Command and U.S. Army Reserve Command headquarters, June 13, 2013, at Fort Bragg, N.C. The combined FORSCOM/USARC ceremony included music from the Army Ground Forces Band and Soldiers dress in period uniforms depicting the 238 year history of the U.S. Army. Image credit: Timothy Hale. Caption credit: U.S. Army Flickr feed.

Soldiers wear period uniforms during the Army’s 238th birthday at the U.S. Army Forces Command and U.S. Army Reserve Command headquarters, June 13, 2013, at Fort Bragg, N.C. The combined FORSCOM/USARC ceremony included music from the Army Ground Forces Band and Soldiers dress in period uniforms depicting the 238 year history of the U.S. Army. Image credit: Timothy Hale. Caption credit: U.S. Army Flickr feed.

 

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Brody O'Farrell, left, a platoon sergeant and Commander in Chief's Guard, assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and Secretary of the Army John McHugh, center, lay a wreath at the tomb of Gen. George Washington at Mount Vernon, Va., June 10, 2013. The wreath laying ceremony was conducted to commemorate the upcoming U.S. Army's 238th birthday observance, June 14. Image credit: Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr. Caption credit: DVIDSHUB

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Brody O’Farrell, left, a platoon sergeant and Commander in Chief’s Guard, assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and Secretary of the Army John McHugh, center, lay a wreath at the tomb of Gen. George Washington at Mount Vernon, Va., June 10, 2013. The wreath laying ceremony was conducted to commemorate the upcoming U.S. Army’s 238th birthday observance, June 14. Image credit: Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr. Caption credit: DVIDSHUB

 


CALLIE OETTINGER was Command Posts’ first managing editor. Her interest in military history, policy and fiction took root when she was a kid, traveling and living the life of an Army Brat, and continues today.

 

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