KEY POINTS

  • The Army celebrates its birthday on June 14
  • The U.S. Army is now the largest branch of the military
  • Below are some fast facts about the U.S. Army

It's time to celebrate a rather special birthday. On June 14, we celebrate the 246th anniversary of the creation of the U.S. Army.

The U.S. Army was formed by the Continental Congress with mostly volunteer soldiers and amateur troops to fight the British in 1775. It wasn't quite as strong as the Army we know today, but the soldiers had the will and passion to defend their land. From those humble beginnings, the U.S. Army has now become the largest branch of the U.S. military.

To celebrate its birthday, let's look at some interesting facts about the military branch. (Courtesy, Military.com, the United Service Organizations (USO), the U.S. Army and National Today)

  1. The U.S. Army is actually older than the country it serves as it was formed before America declared its independence.
  2. The Army is said to be "marginally responsible" for inventing the microwave. It was a World War II engineer who first realized that the radar the Army was using could also be used to heat products.
  3. June 14 is also Flag Day. It commemorates the adoption of the national flag in 1777.
  4. The Army typically names its helicopters after Native American tribes.
  5. The youngest general in Army history is said to be Galusha Pennypacker, who was promoted to brigadier general when he was just 20 years old during the American Civil War.
  6. The famed Lewis and Clark Expedition was an Army affair tasked to map and explore the continent.
  7. The Army has an official song called "The Army Goes Rolling Along," which was adopted in 1956. 
  8. During cake-cutting ceremonies held on the Army's birthday, an Army saber is used by the highest and lowest ranking officials to signify teamwork.
  9. The U.S. Air Force was a part of the Army until 1946. It was called the Army Air Corps.
  10. Most of the U.S. presidents who served in the military were part of the Army.
  11. The U.S. Army owns so much land across the U.S. that if it was a state, it would be the 42nd largest one.

U.S. Army Members of the U.S. Army Drill Team perform in Times Square in New York City in honor of the Army's 240th birthday in New York City, June 12, 2015. Photo: Getty Images