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The official birthday of the United States Army is June 14th, 1775. It’s easy to assume that this date implies the creation of a fully-realized standing army, but the truth is that when the first shots were fired in the American Revolution, the troops involved in fighting the British could be compared to a guerrilla force; colonists from a variety of militias in the area banded together to fight the “Redcoats.”

The U.S. Army operates with close to half a million active-duty soldiers. The service has come a long way since it was created approximately a year prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

How Is The Army Birthday Celebrated?

Since the Army Birthday is not an official Federal or State holiday, banks and schools remain open on June 14th, and there are no closures of financial markets or post offices. Army and Department of Defense agencies celebrating the Army Birthday usually do so on the base/local level with special events, ceremonies, social occasions, and more.

Military service organizations such as the USO, AMVETS, The American Legion, VFW, and others also recognize the Army Birthday on a local or agency-wide level. If you are interested in learning how the birthday is being honored in your area, it’s best to consult the local chapter of your preferred VSO to see what may be scheduled for the day or week of June 14th.

The U.S. Army Birthday Ball

The Army Birthday Ball is a unique event held to celebrate the creation of the U.S. Army. This event is celebrated around the world at military bases, community centers, civilian hotels or other establishments. The Army Birthday Ball is even held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, home of the most notorious military detainees in American history.

The Army Birthday Ball is a black-tie formal event with military members wearing the full-service dress (“Dress Blues” or “Mess Dress” for military attendees). There are many traditions associated with the Army Ball; these usually have to do with paying respect to those who sacrificed life and limb to serve, but also to the newest members of the service and the future of the Army in general.

Formal events like this are steeped in tradition; many look back to World War II when it comes time to plan ceremonies and recognition of those who have gone before. The Army Birthday Ball is an event held on the local level, but in conjunction with a larger worldwide group of events.


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