The Army’s Birthday: June 14, 1775
When the American Revolution broke out, the rebellious colonies did not possess an army in the modern sense. Rather, the revolutionaries fielded an amateur force of colonial troops, cobbled together from various New England militia companies. They had no unified chain of command, and although Artemas Ward of Massachusetts exercised authority by informal agreement, officers from other colonies were not obligated to obey his orders. The American volunteers were led, equipped, armed, paid for, and supported by the colonies from which they were raised.
In the spring of 1775, this “army” was about to confront British troops near Boston, Massachusetts. The revolutionaries had to re-organize their forces quickly if they were to stand a chance against Britain’s seasoned professionals. 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. Reportedly, at John Adams’ request, Congress voted to “adopt” the Boston troops on June 14, although there is no written record of this decision. Also on this day, Congress resolved to form a committee “to bring in a draft of rules and regulations for the government of the Army,” and voted $2,000,000 to support the forces around Boston, and those at New York City. Moreover, Congress authorized the formation of ten companies of expert riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, which were directed to march to Boston to support the New England militia.
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 US Marine Corps’ Birthday: November 10, 1775
During the American Revolution, many important political discussions took place in the inns and taverns of Philadelphia, including the founding of the Marine Corps.
A committee of the Continental Congress met at Tun Tavern to draft a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore.
The resolution was approved on November 10, 1775, officially forming the Continental Marines.
As the first order of business, Samuel Nicholas became Commandant of the newly formed Marines. Tun Tavern’s owner and popular patriot, Robert Mullan, became his first captain and recruiter. They began gathering support and were ready for action by early 1776.
Each year, the Marine Corps marks November 10th with a celebration of the brave spirit which compelled these men and thousands since to defend our country as United States Marines.
The US Air Force’s Birthday: September 18, 1947
The United States Air Force was officially formed on September 18th, 1947 as separate and equal element of the United States armed forces. Although various forms of air defense were used since 1907, the Air Force as it stands today was not an independent entity until after the Second World War.
President Harry Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, forming the Department of the Air Force, which manages the U.S. Air Force.
The fledging Air Force quickly established its own identity. Army Air Fields were renamed Air Force Bases and personnel were soon being issued a sassy new uniform. The "brown shoe days," were over.
Organization remained pretty much the same as the Strategic Air Command, Tactical Air Command and Air Defense Command were still its combat arms. The group organization carried over from World War II remained in place.
During the spring, SAC headquarters became ambitious and began a large expansion. On July 1, 1947, seven new Bomb Groups were activated at Andrews Field. That is, they were established on paper. But there were not enough aircraft and personnel for them to become operational. Only two of the groups received B-29s. On September 24, 1947, the 2nd Bomb Group moved to Davis-Monthan in Arizona and the 98th Bombardment Group to Spokane, Washington. The other five groups were nothing more than "paper tigers." They were the 44th, 90th, 303rd, 305 and 306th. They remained at Andrews - unmanned and unequipped until September 6, 1948, when they were deactivated. The only group to survive this fate was the 306th Bombardment Group which moved to MacDill in August of 1948. It soon received the B-29 Superfortress.
The US Navy’s Birthday: October 13, 1775
The United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on 13 October 1775, by authorizing the procurement, fitting out, manning and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America. The legislation also established a Naval Committee to supervise the work. All together, the Continental Navy numbered some fifty ships over the course of the war, with approximately twenty warships active at its maximum strength.
After the American War for Independence, Congress sold the surviving ships of the Continental Navy and released the seamen and officers. The Constitution of the United States ratified in 1789, empowered Congress "to provide and maintain a navy." Acting on this authority, Congress ordered the construction and manning of six frigates in 1794, and the War Department administered naval affairs from that year until Congress established the Department of the Navy on 30 April 1798.
Not to be confused with the Navy Birthday or the founding of the Navy Department is Navy Day. The Navy League sponsored the first national observance of Navy Day in 1922 designed to give recognition to the naval service. The Navy League of New York proposed that the official observance be on 27 October in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt, who had been born on that day.
In 1972 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized recognition of 13 October as the Navy’s birthday. In contrast to Navy Day, the Navy Birthday is intended as an internal activity for members of the active forces and reserves, as well as retirees, and dependents. Since 1972 each CNO has encouraged a Navy-wide celebration of this occasion "to enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage, and to provide a positive influence toward pride and professionalism in the naval service."
The US Coast Guard’s Birthday: August 4, 1790
The US Coast Guard’s official history began on 4th August 1790 when the first Congress authorized the construction of ten vessels to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling which is known variously through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the Revenue Marine and the Revenue Cutter Service.
The service received its present name in 1915 under an act of Congress that merged the Revenue Cutter Service with the Life-Saving Service, thereby providing the nation with a single maritime service dedicated to saving life at sea and enforcing the nation's maritime laws. The Coast Guard began to maintain the country's aids to maritime navigation, including operating the nation's lighthouses, when President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the transfer of the Lighthouse Service to the Coast Guard in 1939. In 1946 Congress permanently transferred the Commerce Department's Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation to the Coast Guard, thereby placing merchant marine licensing and merchant vessel safety under the US Coast Guard’s purview.