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US Army history - Essay Example

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US Army history

Today, four of America's five military branches are under the Department of Defense: United Sates Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air forces. The combined United States armed forces consist of 1.4 ml active duty personal along with several hundred thousand each in the Reserve. The United States Armed Forces are considered to be the most powerful millitery around the world (Luttwak, Koehl, 1998).

Historians suppose that from its first stand at Lexington, the Army has always had a non-negotiable contract with the American people to fight and win the nation's wars. Now, over 400 years since the first colonial militia was formed in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1565, the spirit and essence of the United States Army is celebrated for the first time. In retrospect, 1775 decision of the Continental Congress to create the Continental Army seems remarkably free from political strife. Delegates of all shades of opinion supported each step, and arguments largely concerned technical details.

In 1794 Congress established the Office of the Purveyor of Public Supplies in the Treasury and the Office of Superintendent of Military Stores in the War Department to continue the same broad supply functions established in the Confederation period. This organization of military supply remained in effect with only slight modification until 1812.Training and discipline were the key to an effective militia. It should be mentioned that the President first exercised his authority to employ militia for suppressing insurrection and executing the laws of Congress in 1794 when Washington sent a large force of militia under Maj. The conduct of the war in 1812 revealed deficiencies in the administration of the War Department that would plague the American cause to the end. Lack of transportation was a major problem of the Army. By the end of 1848 the Army had reverted to a peacetime strength somewhat smaller than the 10,000 authorized in 1815 (Luttwak, Koehl, 1998).
Congress in June 1850 approved "enlarging the companies serving on the frontier to 74 privates, a considerable increase over the 50 in the dragoons, 64 in the mounted rifles, and 42 in the artillery and infantry authorized at the end of 1848" (Millett, Maslowski, 1984). The new infantry units were armed with percussion-cap, muzzle-loading rifle muskets instead of smoothbore muskets. Nineteenth century technological developments had made possible an accurate, dependable muzzle-loading rifle with at least as fast a rate of fire as the smoothbore musket. At the U.S. Military Academy during this period, such great names as Robert E. Lee and Dennis Mahan (author of many works on engineering and fortification) appeared on the roster of staff and faculty (Millett, Maslowski, 1984).
During the middle of the XIXth century the severe forms of corporal punishment were abolished in the U.S. Army. Still, Civil War medical science was primitive in comparison with that of the mid-twentieth century, an effort was made to extend medical services in the Army beyond the mere treatment of battle wounds. As an auxiliary to the regular medical service, the volunteer U.S. Sanitary Commission fitted out hospital ships and hospital units, provided male and, for the first time in the U.S. Army, female nurses, and furnished clothing and fancier foods than the regular rations (Conn, 1980).
The industrial age, made a significant influence on military strategy, tactics, and organization. During 1907-1912 the U.S. Navy's ...Show more

Summary

The record indicates only that Congress undertook to raise ten companies of riflemen, approved an enlistment form for them, and appointed a committee (including Washington and Schuyler) to draft rules and regulations for the government of the army…
Author : russell94
US Army history essay example
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