Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Army Birthday

On this date in 1775, the Congress of the 13 colonies created the United States Army.  The U.S. is in a minority of countries, in that it's armed forces, including it's army, can trace their lineage to before the actual creation of the country itself.  While the Army was formed in 1775, the country itself wasn't officially created until the Constitution was ratified in 1789.

The United States Army has had its glory, it's shame, it's elation, and its heartbreak.  Our soldiers have fought in the mud of trenches, the dust of deserts, the spray of the surf, and the snow of mountains.  They fly through the sky, parachute from the heights, drive war machines such as have never been seen before, and of course, they march to the sound of the guns.  Today we have soldiers in one form or another in hundreds of places around the world.  Sometimes their exploits are on the evening news, sometimes we will never know what they do for us.
"I, Daddy J. Bear, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."
Our armed forces do not swear allegiance to the government, or even to the country.  They swear to protect and defend our Constitution, from which our country flows, and follow orders that are in accordance with regulations.  Never in our history have our soldiers pledged allegiance to a general, or a president, or a party.  That alone goes a long way in explaining why our democracy has never gone down to military dictatorship, as have so many since 1775.  While she has never been truly apolitical, our Army has always followed the example of Washington and refrained from interfering in the conduct of the government.

236 years is a long time for any organization to exist, even one that evolves and adapts as much as our Army does.  I have to admit that I am awed by the thought of the generations of warriors who have come before me, and I envy the generations that will follow me.  So long as the Army remembers its proper role in a healthy republic, the country will be safe.

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