(WWTI) — June 14 honors the day the U.S. Army was formed back in 1775.

This dates back to the American Revolution when colonial leaders were preparing for an armed conflict between British regulars and colonial militiamen.

However, because militiamen were considered unequipped for a proacted siege, the Continental Congress authorized expert riflemen to enlist and serve the United Colonies for a year during the American Revolution, making it the oldest service of the U.S. military.

Each Soldier then had to recite an oath of enlistment to join the newly formed Army. This oath can be read below:

“I have, this day, voluntarily enlisted myself, as a soldier, in the American continental army, for one year, unless sooner discharged: And I do bind myself to conform, in all instances, to such rules and regulations, as are, or shall be, established for the government of the said Army.”

The Continental Army continued to serve for seven years before being disbanded in 1783. However, the Army was almost immediately reinstated as the need for national defense was apparent.

In 247 years, the Army’s organization and structure have changed greatly. The Army recruits, organizes and trains Soldiers who conduct combat and stability operations on land.

There are also now 12 branches of the Army, including Adjutant General, Air Defense Artillery, Armor, Aviation, Chemical Corps, Corps of Engineers, Cyber Corps, Field Artillery, Finance, Infantry, Medical Services, Military Intelligence, Military Police, Ordnance, Quartermaster, Signal Corps and Transportation.

As of September 2021, there were 426,624 active-duty Soldiers in the Army. The Soldiers were spread across over 450 military bases across the world.

The Army also recognizes official branch birthdays, including basic branches such as infantry, corps of engineers, aviation and air defense artillery, as well as special branches such as the Army Medical Department.

More information the U.S. Army’s birthday can be found on the U.S. Army Center of Military History website.