Happy Birthday to the United States Army! On this day in 1775, the Second Continental Congress passes the resolution establishing the Continental Army.
Here is the text of that resolution:
Resolved, That six companies of expert riflemen [sic], be immediately raised in Pennsylvania, two in Maryland, and two in Virginia; … [and] that each company, as soon as completed [sic], shall march and join the army near Boston, to be there employed as light infantry, under the command of the chief Officer in that army.
So, this Army represented not just New England, but all 13 colonies. In addition, the United States Army became America’s first national institution.
Of course, the Congress named General George Washington Commander-in-Chief. Washington stated the following in his General Orders on July 2, 1776:
The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this army—Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect—We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own Country’s Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world—Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions… .”
Also, the Army Cadet song includes this stirring line:
“May God give me the compassion and judgment to lead and the gallantry in battle to win.”
Lastly, here is the third chorus of the Army Song, “The Army Goes Rolling Along”:
“Men in rags, men who froze,
Still that Army met its foes,
And the Army went rolling along.
Faith in God, then we’re right,
And we’ll fight with all our might,
As the Army keeps rolling along.”