The History and Roles of the US Army

Revolutionary War reenactment
Retired U.S. Army Col. Tom Phlegar, a part-time Revolutionary War reenactor, gives a presentation about the Revolutionary War to officers of the 108th Training Command at the command headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., Jan. 10, 2015. (Sgt. Ken Scar/U.S. Army)

The Second Continental Congress founded the Army in 1775; it is the oldest service of the United States military. Originally formed to protect the freedom of the first 13 colonies, the Army has evolved and grown from this small militia force into the world's premier fighting force.

The Army exists to serve the American people, defend the nation, protect vital national interests and fulfill national military responsibilities. Our mission is enduring: to provide necessary forces and capabilities to the combatant commanders in support of the national security and defense strategies.

The Army recruits, organizes, trains and equips soldiers who, as vital members of their units and the joint team, conduct prompt, sustained combat and stability operations on land. The Army also is charged with providing logistics and support to enable the other services to accomplish their missions, and supporting civil authorities in time of emergency, when directed.

The Army continues to provide combatant commanders with a wide range of forces and capabilities to prevail in the war on terror, sustain our global commitments and build effective multinational coalitions. In addition to supporting the Global War on Terrorism, the Army also assists with:

  • Multinational exercises that reflect our longstanding leadership of, and commitment to, an expanding North Atlantic Treaty Organization and many other alliances
  • The defense of South Korea, Japan and many other friends, allies and partners
  • Ongoing peacekeeping operation
  • The security of our borders
  • Operations and equipment to counter the flow of illegal drugs

The bottom line: Just because the Army is the oldest doesn't mean you won't be working with today's most high-tech equipment. Most of what the Army does, it does on land. It is the largest of the military branches and has many different jobs to offer.

If the Army sounds interesting, get your career started by talking with a recruiter.

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