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HISTORY OF THE US ARMY

The US Army is a significant branch of the United States armed forces that are charged with the preservation of security, peace and the defence of the country. The US army constitutes most of the ground forces in the United States military organization. Just like every other sector of the armed forces, the US army has come a long way, and it has left a bit of a mark in the history of the United States.

The first regular US fighting force, the Continental Army was formed by the second continental congress on June 14, 1775, during the first few months of the American Revolution. It is regarded as the oldest service of the United States military. Originally formed to protect freedom of the early 13 colonies, since then the Army has grown and evolved. The continental army was made up of 22,000 militia troops then besieging Boston and an additional 5000 military men in New York. The continental Army, placed under the control of the five-member civilian board and the US military forces have been under civilian control since. George Washington formally took control of these colonial troops on the 3rd of July 1775, and he soon discovered that militiamen love to go home after a danger was past.

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In January 1776, the Continental Congress responded partially to the urgent appeals of Washington by forming a single force directly made from all the colonies from the different colonial militias. These continentals where enrolled for a more extended period and they were trained better than the militias. They provided George Washington small but stable centre which would work, and this later proved to be the major reliance in the dark times of the war.

As the revolution was coming to an end, the continental congress sought Washington for his recommendation for a peacetime military force. To honour this, he prepared sentiments on a peaceful establishment on May 1st, 1783 that is a clear assessment of the situation facing the country. Washington held the opinion that the US needed a small regular army to deal with Indian threats and to provide a centre for expansion by a well-structured militia in time of war. These sentiments were however ignored by the Congress, and on the 2nd of November 1783, the whole army was dissolved except for just twenty-five privates to protect the stores at Fort Pitt and fifty-five to preserve the stores at West Point. Indian disturbance on the frontier immediately forced an increase in the standing force.

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When Washington was sworn in as the president in 1789, the number of active men in service increased to 595. The constitution of 1787 placed the military forces under the control of the commander in chief which is the president, and in 1789 the civilian department of war was established to deal with the army forces. The first task assigned by Washington to the secretary of war, Maj. Gen. Hen Know was to prepare legislation for an army policy outlined in his rejected sentiments. The principal element of his proposed legislation was to establish a centrally coordinated militia system, and the Congress denied this in Militia Act of 1792. Washington later convinced the congress to expand the small regular army to deal with the Indians. Until 1812 the army transformed both positively and negatively depending on the immediacy of the foreign threat. The military changed from one regiment to three in 1781, 5 in 1792, 9 in 1798, 6 in 1800, and 11 in 1808.

During the war of 1812, the lack of the Militia Act of 1792 was seen vividly.  About 60,000 men worked in the regular army during a war of almost three years, and this made America weak in times of war. The Army reorganization act of 1866 provided for a regular army of about 54,000 men, but the figure decreased until 1874 when the authorized strength was pegged at 25,000.

The army still exists to serve the American people, defend the nation, fulfil national military responsibilities and protect the national interests. The mission is enduring to provide the essential capabilities and forces to commanders in support of the National Security and the Defence Strategies. The army organizes, trains, recruits and equips soldiers who as crucial members of their joint team and units conduct prompt, sustained combat and stability operation on land. The US army is also charged with providing logistic and supports to allow the other services to achieve their missions and even supporting civil authorities in times of need and emergency when directed.