US Army - Soldier's handbook 2008

Author : US Army
Title : Soldier's handbook 2008 TRADOC Pamphlet 600-4
Year : 2008

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1-1. Army history. a. “Resolved, that a General be appointed to command all the continental forces, raised, or to be raised, for the defense of American liberty.” The above resolution of the Second Continental Congress on 14 June 1775 established the beginnings of the United States (U.S.) Army, as we know it today. The next resolution unanimously selected George Washington as commanding general of the first Continental Army. b. From Lexington to Trenton to Valley Forge, the Continental Army proved the critical force in fighting and winning the war for American Independence (see Declaration of Independence extracts beneath military quotation section). The Army has been the keeper of American freedom ever since. c. From the outset, civilian control of the military was a governing principle of the American system. In 1787, the Constitution placed the military under the control of the President. His role as commander-in-chief requires every Soldier to follow and obey his orders. d. In 1789, Congress created the Department of War to administer the military forces. The Army, now under the direction of the newly created cabinet, remained at strength of 60,000 or less from the end of the Revolution through the beginning of the Civil War. Although Congress intended that the Regular Army serve only as a supplement to local militias, the “regulars” ultimately played the crucial role in both the War of 1812 and the Mexican War (1846-48). e. In December of 1860, the Army consisted of merely 16,000 officers and enlisted men. By 1865, Civil War expansion had increased that number to an astounding 1,000,000. Victory for the Union in the Civil War returned the Army to strength of only 25,000 troops. ...

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