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June 14th: The Birthday of the U.S. Army
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Select Chronology of Army History for the Army’s 240th Birthday
This chronology includes a selection of significant events in U.S. Army history compiled for the Army’s 240th birthday on 14 June 2015.  It should not be considered all-inclusive or comprehensive.


14 June 1775 The Continental Congress votes to raise ten companies of riflemen in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.  This was the effective birth of the United States Army.
15 June 1775 George Washington appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army.
June 1776 Congress sets up a Board of War and Ordnance, the lineal ancestor of the War Department.
22 August 1776 Battle of New York (Brooklyn Heights).
26 December 1776 Washington and his army cross the Delaware and defeat the Hessian garrison at Trenton.
11 September 1777 Battle of Brandywine.
17 October 1777 British forces under Burgoyne surrender at Saratoga.
Winter 1777-1778 The Army receives its first real military training at Valley Forge from Prussian officer Baron von Steuben.
27 July 1778 Battle of Monmouth.
17 January 1781 Battle of Cowpens.
19 October 1781 Lord Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown.
September 1787 The US Constitution, which specifically provided that the President should be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, is adopted and signed.       
7 August 1789 Congress establishes the Department of War
16 March 1802 Congress authorizes the creation of a Corps of Engineers and a military academy under its control at West Point, New York
1803-1806 The Lewis and Clark Expedition.
18 June 1812-24 December 1814 War of 1812.
25 July 1814 Battle of Lundy’s Lane
13-14 September 1814 British fail to capture Baltimore when Fort McHenry withstands naval bombardment.
8 January 1815 Battle of New Orleans. British forces repulsed at Chalmette Plantation by American troops under the command of Andrew Jackson.
1817-1818 First Seminole War
1835-1842 Second Seminole War
13 May 1846-2 February 1848 War with Mexico.
8 May 1846 Battle of Palo Alto
9 March 1847 American forces land at Vera Cruz.
20 August-13 September 1847 Battles around Mexico City result in defeat of the Mexican Army and capture of the capitol.
12-3 April 1861 Confederate batteries bombard Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor.
15 April 1861 President Lincoln calls for 75,000 volunteers to augment the reduced Regular Army
21 July 1861 First battle of Bull Run.
April-July 1862 The Peninsula Campaign ends outside Richmond with the U.S. forces under McClellan defeated by Confederate forces under Robert E. Lee.
6-7April 1862 Battle of Shiloh.
17 September 1862 Battle of Antietam. 
12-14 December 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg
3 March 1863 Congress passes the Enrollment Act, which establishes national conscription.
1-3 July 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. 
4 July 1863 Vicksburg surrenders.
18 July 1863 The 54th Massachusetts, an African-American regiment, leads the assault on Battery Wagner near Charleston, SC.  
18-20 September 1863 Battle of Chickamauga.
9 March 1864 Grant is promoted to lieutenant general and appointed as General in Chief of all Union armies.
May-June 1864 Grant’s Overland Campaign in Virginia.
May-September 1864 Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign culminates in the capture of Atlanta on 2 September.  
July 1864-April 1865 Siege of Petersburg.
12 November-21 December Sherman’s “March to the Sea” ends with the capture of Savannah.
30 November 1864 Battle of Franklin, Tennessee.
15 December 1864 Battle of Nashville.
January- April 1865 Sherman’s Carolina’s Campaign.
9 April 1865 Robert E. Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox Court House
1862-1890 The Army engages in an almost continuous series of campaigns and battles with Native American tribes on the western frontier.
25 June 1876 Battle of Little Bighorn.
29 December 1890 Battle of Wounded Knee.
25 April-12 August 1898

Spanish-American War.

1899-1902 Philippine Insurrection.
November 1901 Secretary of War Elihu Root directs that the Army War College be established. 
6 April 1917

Congress declares war on Germany.

18 May 1917 Selective Service Act passed, initiating the first draft since the Civil War
July-August 1918 American forces participate in Second Battle of the Marne.
September 1918

St. Mihiel Campaign, the American Expeditionary Force’s first independent action in World War I

26 September-11 November 1918 Meuse-Argonne campaign
11 November 1918 Armistice ending fighting on the Western Front.
16 September 1940 President Roosevelt signs the first peacetime Selective Service and Training Law. 
8 December 1941 U.S. declares war on Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbor
8 May 1942 U.S. forces in the Philippines surrender to the Japanese.
8 November 1942 Operation Torch.  Allied forces land in Morocco and Algeria.
19-24 February 1943 Battle of Kasserine Pass, Tunisia.
7 August 1942-9 February 1943 Guadalcanal Campaign
December 1942- February 1943 Buna, New Guinea Campaign.
February 1943- September 1944 New Guinea Campaign. In a series of landings and operations aimed at bypassing major Japanese resistance, forces under MacArthur leapfrog along the northern New Guinea coast.
10 July 1943 American and British forces land on Sicily.
9 September 1943

American and British forces land at Salerno, Italy.

22 January 1944 U.S. and British forces land at Anzio, Italy.
January-May 1944 Battle of Monte Cassino, Italy.
6 June 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy.
15 June 1944 Marianas Campaign begins with landings on Saipan.
20 October 1944 Landings at Leyte signal the U.S. return to the Philippines.
16 December 1944-25 January 1945

Battle of the Bulge, Belgium.

9 January 1945 U.S. Sixth Army lands at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippines.
1 April 1945 American forces land on Okinawa
8 May 1945 Victory in Europe.  Germany surrenders.
2 September 1945 Victory over Japan.  Japanese surrender ceremony occurs aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
26 July 1947 President Truman signs the National Security Act into law.  The act creates a “National Military Establishment” consisting of three military departments (Army, Navy, and Air Force), with a Secretary of Defense.
25 June 1950-27 July 1953 Korean War
15 September 1950 Amphibious landing at Inchon, Korea
October 1950 Chinese forces intervene against United Nations forces in Korea.
May- July 1951 U.N. forces counterattack and drive Chinese and North Korean forces north across 38th Parallel.
July 1951- July 1953

Stalemate along the 38th parallel in Korea.

1961-1964 American advisors in South Vietnam increase from 900 to 16,000.
March 1965-January 1973 Major combat operations in Vietnam.
March 1965 First large-scale deployment of U.S. forces to Vietnam.
28 April 1965 Operation POWER PACK, intervention in Dominican Republic begins
14-18 November 1965 First major action between American and North Vietnamese forces in the Ia Drang Valley.
November 1967 Battle of Dak To, Vietnam.
30 January-March 1968 1968 Tet Offensive by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces. 
8 April 1968 1st Cavalry Division links up with U.S. Marines at Khe Sanh, opening a land corridor to the base.
May-June 1970 Incursion into Cambodia.
27 January 1973 Paris Peace Accords signed, effectively ending American involvement in Vietnam
25 October 1983 Operation URGENT FURY, intervention in Grenada begins. 
20 December 1989 Operation JUST CAUSE, intervention in Panama, begins. 
2 August 1990 Iraqi forces invade Kuwait. Operation DESERT SHIELD begins
17 January 1991 Operation DESERT STORM begins with air strikers in Iraq and Kuwait.
24-28 February 1993 Coalition ground forces liberate Kuwait and defeat Iraqi forces in southern Iraq. 
December 1992-March 1995 Operation RESTORE HOPE, intervention in Somalia.
September 1994-March 1995 Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, intervention in Haiti.
14 December 1995 The 1st Armored Division deploys in Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR
7 October 2001 Operation ENDURING FREEDOM begins in Afghanistan. 
19 March 2003 Operation IRAQI FREEDOM begins.
9 April 2003 Baghdad liberated by elements of the 3d Infantry Division and the 1st Marine Division.
13 December 2003 Saddam Hussein captured by soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.
November-December 2004 Second Battle of Fallujah, Iraq.
January 2007-November 2008 “The Surge” in Iraq during which U.S. forces were reinforced in order to stabilize the military situation.
18 December 2011 Last American combat troops leave Iraq
26 October 2014 The United States officially ends combat operations in Afghanistan after thirteen years