SHAKO: Happy Birthday U.S. Army

June 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

238 Years Young

(U.S. Army photo by xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx)

(Defense Dept. photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

Most Americans know that today, June 14, is Flag Day — when people are encouraged to show the colors at home, work and elsewhere. On this date in 1777, Congress approved the 13-Star, 13-Stripe, red, white and blue banner as the national flag.

Many Americans, don’t know that June 14 is also the birthday of the U.S. Army. That’s when the Continental Congress voted in 1775 to consider the rebel New England militia besieging the Redcoats in Boston as the united colonies’ Continental Army and also authorized $2 million to pay for it all.

Less than a month later, George Washington — French and Indian War veteran, Virginia planter and future president — took command of the “rabble in arms” at Cambridge, Massachusetts and began the daunting task of turning farmers, shopkeepers and apprentices into an organized fighting force..

Washington Takes Command (Courtesy of the xxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx)

Washington Takes Command, an 1876 rendering. (Courtesy of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association via the National Institutes of Health)

The photo at the top shows Army brass at a Pentagon cake-cutting ceremony (with sword) on June 13.

From left, Army Col. Arthur Wittich, the oldest soldier serving in the Military District of Washington; Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno; Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (a Vietnam War Army veteran); Army Secretary John M. McHugh; Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III and Pfc. Andrew Segla, the youngest soldier serving in the Military District of Washington.

In the audience, the faces of today's Army. (Defense Dept. photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

In the audience, the faces of today’s Army. (Defense Dept. photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)


SHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.


Entry filed under: National Security and Defense, Photos, SHAKO, Traditions. Tags: , , , , .

FRIDAY FOTO (June 14, 2013) MARITIME SECURITY: Satellite-based ship tracking conference in Cork, Ireland

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