Meetings Second Wednesday of each Month, 6:00pm, at Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building.
126 First Street West, Sonoma, CA 95476
The Army’s Birthday: 14 June 1775
When the American Revolution broke out, the rebellious colonies did not possess an army in the modern sense. Rather, the revolutionaries fielded an amateur force of colonial troops, cobbled together from various New England militia companies. They had no unified chain of command, and although Artemas Ward of Massachusetts exercised authority by informal agreement, officers from other colonies were not obligated to obey his orders. The American volunteers were led, equipped, armed, paid for, and supported by the colonies from which they were raised.
In the spring of 1775, this “army” was about to confront British troops near Boston, Massachusetts. The revolutionaries had to re-organize their forces quickly if they were to stand a chance against Britain’s seasoned professionals. Recognizing the need to enlist the support of all of the American seaboard colonies, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress appealed to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to assume authority for the New England army. Reportedly, at John Adams’ request, Congress voted to “adopt” the Boston troops on June 14, although there is no written record of this decision. Also on this day, Congress resolved to form a committee “to bring in a draft of rules and regulations for the government of the Army,” and voted $2,000,000 to support the forces around Boston, and those at New York City. Moreover, Congress authorized the formation of ten companies of expert riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, which were directed to march to Boston to support the New England militia.
George Washington received his appointment as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army the next day, and formally took command at Boston on July 3, 1775.
John R. Maass
US Army Center of Military History
Flag Day –
In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The United States Army also celebrates the U.S. Army Birthdays on this date; Congress adopted “the American continental army” after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775.
The Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES or MFR) (also known as the United States Marine Corps Reserve (USMCR) and the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve) is the reserve force of the United States Marine Corps. It is the largest command in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Marine Forces Reserve is the headquarters command for approximately 40,000 Reserve Marines and 184 Reserve Training Centers located throughout the United States. The mission of Marine Forces Reserve is to augment and reinforce active Marine forces in time of war, national emergency or contingency operations, provide personnel and operational tempo relief for the active forces in peacetime, and provide service to the community (for example, through Toys for Tots).
The United States Marine Corps Reserve was established when Congress passed the Naval Appropriations Act of 29 August 1916 and is responsible for providing trained units and qualified individuals to be mobilized for active duty in time of war, national emergency or contingency operations. Marine forces Reserve also provides personnel and operational tempo relief for active component forces in peacetime.
MARFORRES comprises two groups of Marines and Sailors. The first, known as the Selected Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR), are Marines who belong to reserve units and drill one weekend a month and two weeks a year. The second group is known as the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). The IRR is composed of Marines who have finished their active duty or USMCR obligations, however their names remain on record to be called up in case of a war or other emergency – the Individual Ready Reserve is administered by the Marine Corps Individual Reserve Support Activity. IRR Marines participate in annual musters to check in with the Corps. Reserve Marines are equipped and trained to the same standards as active Marine forces.
The Coast Guard is one of America’s five armed forces and traces its founding to Aug. 4, 1790, when the first Congress authorized the construction of 10 vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling, and protect the collection of federal revenue. Responsibilities added over the years included humanitarian duties such as aiding mariners in distress.
The service received its present name in 1915 when the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to form a single maritime service dedicated to the safety of life at sea and enforcing the nation’s maritime laws.
The Coast Guard is a multi-mission, maritime, military service and the smallest of the five Armed Services. Its mission is to protect the public, the environment and U.S. economic interests in the nation’s waterways, along the coast, on international waters, or in any maritime region as required to support national security.
PURPLE HEART DAY
During the American Revolutionary War, the Badge for Military Merit decorated six known soldiers. Purple Heart Day on August 7 commemorates the creation of the oldest American military decoration for military merit, the Purple Heart and honors the men and women who are of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Created by General George Washington in 1782 to be presented to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action”, the decoration was a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk bound with a thin edge of silver and the word Merit embroidered in silver across the face.
It is unknown who designed the Badge of Merit. It is also unknown how many soldiers may have received the honor symbolizing the courage and devotion of an American Patriot. According to The Badge of Military Merit by Professor Ray Raymond, The “Book of Merit” where the names of possible recipients and their deeds were recorded has long been missing. According to the Badge of Military Merit by Professor Ray Raymond,
Until Washington’s 200th birthday, the Purple Heart remained a Revolutionary War footnote. Through the efforts of General Douglas MacArthur, the U.S. War Department created the Order of the Purple Heart. Today the medal bears a bust of George Washington and his coat of arms.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Honor everyone you know that has received a Purple Heart. Learn more about the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Use #PurpleHeartDay to post on social media and inform others to do so as well.
Since 1932, Purple Heart Day has been celebrated on various days. Sometimes commemorated on Washington’s birthday, other times on Valentine’s Day or at other times declared during the year in different cities and states across the country. Each declaration encouraged citizens to support wounded veterans with the purchase of a purple viola. Purple Heart Day recognizes not only the merit but more importantly the men and women killed and wounded in combat who have earned the badge of honor. As the day evolved it more commonly was observed on the day the Purple Heart was created. In 2014, the Military Order of the Purple Heart recognized this with a media release.
The official date of the founding of the US Air Force is 18 September 1947. It was a momentous event that over six decades later has demonstrated the achievement of an Air Force second-to-none, yet the Air Force’s history and heritage goes back a lot further.
From the time that the US military purchased its first aircraft in 1909 up to 1947, the US Air Force did not exist as a separate and independent military service organization. It went through a series of designations: Aeronautical Section, Signal Corps (1909); Aviation Section, Signal Corps (1914); United States Army Air Service (1918); United States Army Air Corps (1926), United States Army Air Forces (1941).
WWII illustrated the value of airpower, and the need to change the basic organization of the US Military Forces. The result was the creation of a single Department of Defense with a strong Joint Chiefs of Staff with Army, Navy, and Air Force chiefs. In 1947 President Truman signed the National Security Act which established this new defense organization, and along with it the creation of the US Air Force as an independent service, equal to the US Army and US Navy. The official birthday of the US Air Force is 18 September 1947.
Through the years history has shown the wisdom and foresight of the creation of a separate Air Force. The US Air Force emerged quickly from its cradle and began to create its own history and heritage.
1949: The flight of the “Lucky Lady II” demonstrated the Air Force’s capability to fly, non-stop round the world, showing it could take off from the U.S. and drop bombs anywhere in the world.
1950-1953: USAF engaged in the first completely jet aerial combat During the Korean War. The F-86 Saberjet scored impressive aerial victories against the enemy MiG-15.
1954: The first B-52 Stratofortress came into the USAF Inventory and has served in every conflict since its appearance.
1960s: The development and deployment of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) as a major component of the aerial defense capability of the United States.
1964-1973: War in Vietnam
1970s: The development of laser-guided bombs and TV-guided air to ground missiles. Air mobility took a major step forward with the introduction of the C-5 Galaxy in the Air Force Inventory. Other aircraft systems introduced in this decade were the F-15, A-10, AWACS, and F-16.
1980s: Stealth Technology was revealed advent of the F-117; strategic bomber capability was increased with the deployment of the B-1.
1990s: USAF played a major role in the swift defeat of the Iraqi military forces in the first Persian Gulf War: The Air Force underwent a major reorganization with the formation of Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, and Air Force Materiel Command. The USAF supported the war in the Balkans, and the US intervention Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti.
2000 — Present: The Expeditionary Air Force concept was a major transition in how the Air Force employed forces. The Global War on Terrorism brought the USAF into Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.