The Army – The nation’s first institution

Every year our nation celebrates its independence, commemorating its official “Declaration of Independence” made on July 4, 1776.

Many do not realize that the birth of the nation through that declaration was preceded by the establishment of the Continental Army on June 14, 1775. After the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Army became known as the Army of the United States, the nation’s first national institution. The Army has played a role in the development of this country for 245 years.

Read the full history in a special web edition on the U.S. Army website.

Declaration of Independence, painting created by artist John Trumbull in 1818, depicts the moment on June 28, 1776, when the first draft of the Declaration of Independence was presented to the Second Continental Congress. The document stated the principles for which the Revolutionary War was being fought, which remain fundamental to the nation. The Declaration was officially adopted, July 4, 1776 and later signed on Aug. 2, 1776. (Courtesy of Architect of the Capitol via

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