LATHAM, NY (06/13/2017) (readMedia)-- The New York Army National Guard marks the 242nd birthday of the United States Army on Wednesday, June 14 at the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs Headquarters with a traditional cake-cutting ceremony. One of the oldest Soldiers present will join the youngest Soldier in cutting the Army Birthday cake.
WHO: New York Army National Guard Col. James Freehart, a Troy resident, who has 36 years of military service and PFC Jade Richards, age 18, a Watervliet resident who has served for two years and Brig. Gen. Raymond Shields, commander of the New York Army National Guard.
WHAT: A traditional cake-cutting ceremony commemorating June 14, 1775 which the United States Army considers its birthday. On that date the Continental Congress voted to adopt the New England colonial militia troops assembled outside of Boston to confront British troops there. This is considered the creation of the Continental Army. Freehart will join Richards and Shields to cut the Army birthday cake. The Capital Region Chapter of the Association of the United States Army is providing the cake.
At this ceremony the new colors -- or flag-- of the New York Army National Guard's Joint Force Headquarters - New York contingent will also be uncased for the first time.
WHERE: New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs Headquarters, 330 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham N.Y., 12110
WHEN: 2 p.m., Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
Reporters can interview New York Army National Guard Officers and Soldiers and obtain imagery of the cake cutting ceremony.
For access to this secure military facility, please contact the public affairs office at 786-4581.
The Army Birthday:
When the American Revolution broke out in 1775, the rebellious colonies did not possess an army. The revolutionaries fielded a 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 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.
The Army National Guard is one of three components of the Army of the United States along with the Active Army and the Army Reserve.