Happy Birthday to the United States Army!

Army soldier saluting245 years old! Congrats!  

It’s the time of COVID-19, so the big party you’re planning may have to wait. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate you! It just means no large white sheet cake and no blowing out the candles. For my birthday, I like to go to lunch with my friends. You, on the other hand, seem to like these crack-of-dawn “Fun Runs” with all the soldiers on the installation. You do you.

According to the US Council on Foreign Relations

“The Army is the oldest of the four services. It was created on June 14, 1775, so it’s four months older than the United States Navy, five months older than the United States Marine Corps, and 172 years older than the United States Air Force, which began as part of the Army.”

 

In honor of the Army’s 245th birthday on June 14th, here are a few things you might not know about the Army.

  • The Army was using technology that helped invent the microwave. The Army was using radar to scan for enemy missiles when a World War II engineer at Raytheon realized radiation from radar could heat things as well.  
  • The Air Force was part of the Army until 1947.
  • Eisenhower was the last general from any branch to be elected president.
  • 24 out of 44 of our presidents served in the Army or served in state militias before the Army was organized.
  • Don’t like the dress uniform colors? Blame George Washington – he picked them! Washington requested blue coats with differing facings for the different state troops, artillery, and artillery artificers. 
  • There have only been five 5-Star Generals in all of our country’s history: General George C. Marshall, General Douglas MacArthur, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, General Henry H. Arnold, and General Omar N. Bradley.

 

Army soldiers skydiving

What do you give to the branch that has everything?

Who knows, but here are some of the things you’ve given me:

  • The Army taught me that I don’t actually care if it’s 95 degrees outside and 95 percent humidity – I just want to hug my soldier after I can find him in the crown at Basic Training graduation. I learned that soldiers and spouses do and will cry because we go through some tough stuff. 
  • You’ve given me the chance to continue dressing up nearly yearly at Army Balls and dancing with my spouse for a fun night out. 
  • The Army has given me the chance to move around the country and world and experience chaos adventures with my family. We’re in Alaska right now, and I know I’m incredibly lucky to see the Northern Lights from my backyard. 
  • The Army Reserve and National Guard gave us drill weekends which helped to pay our rent while in graduate school. I also loved drill weekends because I watched  America’s Next Top Model while my spouse got to blow things up in the desert with his Army buddies.  Win-win.
  • The Army has given me skills I didn’t know existed or needed. I am such a good last minute, 11th-hour person. We have had to change PCS plans; we’ve done the hurry up and wait for things and scramble at the last minute. I’ve learned to rely on my fellow military spouses and am pretty proud of how quick I can find an emergency contact. 
  • Through the Army, I’ve learned a new language. Fifteen years ago if someone had said, “This OCONUS PCS is making me crazy, why can’t it just be a TDY?” I would have had no clue what they were talking about. The initial learning curve can be steep into military jargon, but you learn quickly when you live with a soldier and you remind them to translate.
  • Without the Army, I GUARANTEE I would not know the difference between desert tan, coyote brown, sand, olive drab camouflage, or BDU, ACU, or OCP. They have opened my eyes to a whole palette of muted dirt and grass colors. 

Army soldier saluting in the setting sun

So Hip, Hip, Hooray, and Hooah for the soldiers and their families who serve our country!

Hooah to the Army soldiers who put the welfare of others ahead of themselves.  Hooah to the grit and determination of soldiers and family who deal with the unexpected, grow, and thrive together as part of our military family. 

 

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Alicia
Alicia grew up in Utah and met her husband at Utah State University, where the fun began. In the last 13 years, they have become a National Guard, Army Reserve and now Active Duty Army family. Alicia has left part of her heart in the hills of Kentucky, the piney woods of East Texas, every taco in San Antonio area and now resides in the interior of Alaska at Ft. Wainwright. She loves books, especially children’s books and has been collecting (hoarding) them long before she had children. Today, Alicia spends her time loving her two girls, trying new foods, playing with her dog, volunteering in her community and trying to stay warm in Alaska.