It is the U.S. Army’s 248th birthday, time to make a wish and blow out the candles.
Not long after America’s Revolutionary War began in April 1775, an appeal was made to all thirteen states to join in the struggle for American liberty. The result was the delegates of the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia. They would soon learn that Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold had already captured critical British forts – the pursuit of a peaceful settlement was over and open war was upon them. Some still desired reconciliation, but they also recognized that the colonies still lacked an organized army and they needed to move fast to build one in time.
On June 14, 1775, Congress resolved to build companies of riflemen in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. They also wrote an oath of enlistment. The next day George Washington was appointed to command the Continental forces and to lay the foundation for an American army.
When they appointed Washington, the delegates wrote the language that looks familiar to all who have served and have ever been promoted in rank.
"The delegates of the United Colonies … reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, conduct, and fidelity” [of Washington] then appointed him “General and Commander in chief of the Army of the United Colonies, and of all the forces now raised, or to be raised by them, and of all others who shall voluntarily offer their services, and join the Defense of American liberty, and for repelling every hostile invasion…”
Much has changed in the course and speed of American history since that day. Today we celebrate the 248th birthday of the U.S. Army and I propose this wish list for those who have served and are still serving today. The reason for the list is so we can still have a free country in two years when the U.S. Army turns 250. It will take all of us to fulfill it.
Our military is under deliberate internal assault, destroying its readiness and warrior ethos. At a time when our nation faces constant threats from multiple foreign adversaries, we can ill afford to pursue anything that is not focused on winning wars when war is necessary. Unfortunately, it looks like this failure is a deliberate plan to undermine our Constitutional Republic and sell us off to the highest bidder.
For the posterity of our future, let us all hereby resolve to do all we can to fulfill this wish list. For if we fail, the candles we extinguished will instead be those that shined the light of liberty on a formerly free nation.
Lt Col (ret), US Army, Darin Gaub is a Co-founder of Restore Liberty, an international military strategist, foreign policy analyst, executive leadership coach, ordained Bible minister, and serves on the boards of multiple volunteer national and state level organizations. The views presented are those of the author and do not represent the views of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, or its components. He can be contacted at [email protected], and on Twitter - @Darin_Gaub and Substack