The Continental Army was established 14 June 1775, by resolution of the Continental Congress. It's purpose was to coordinate military actions against the British during the Revolutionary War. The first Commander-in-Chief of the army was General George Washington, and he remained so throughout the war.
After the war, the Continental Army was decommissioned in favor of a peace time armed force subject to civilian congressional control. There were many proposals for the scale, strength, and composition of such a standing army. Ultimately each state was levied for 700 men with enlistments of one year, formed into 8 infantry companies and 2 artillery companies, with a system of levies against each state to maintain unit cohesion and strength.
The United States Army was thus established on 3 June 1784. The Army has expanded and solidified over the last 236 years since 1775. It is the largest and oldest branch of the American military establishment, with 561,979 active duty personnel and 567,296 Reserve and National Guard personnel as reported in 2010.
The US Army is responsible for all land-based military operations undertaken by direction of Congress, supported by active duty and reserve troops.
In the 1990s, the Army adopted the 7 Army Values of LDRSHIP - Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.
The US Army has seen action in the Revolutionary War, Indian Wars, War of 1812, Mexican-American War, Utah War, American Civil War, Spanish-American War, Philippine-American War, Banana Wars, Boxer Rebellion, Border War, World War I, World War II, Korean Conflict, Vietnam, Gulf War, Somali Civil War, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
The current Secretary of the Army is the Honorable John Michael McHugh. The Army Chief of Staff is General Raymond T Odierno. The Vice Chief of Staff is General Lloyd Austin. Sgt Major of the Army is Sergeant Major Raymond F Chandler.
The Infantryman's Creed
I am the Infantry. I am my country's strength in war. Her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight -- wherever, whenever. I carry America's faith and honor against her enemies. Never will I fail my country's trust. Always I fight on -- through the foe to the objective, to triumph over all. If necessary, I fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won two hundred years of freedom. I yield not -- to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, for I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not -- my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
United States Army
"This We'll Defend"