UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES Authority: Title 10, USC 113b, 133(b); DOD Directive 1005.8 dated 31 OCT 1977, certified as current on 21 NOV 2003 until further notice FOR USE WHEN IN PARADE OR INSPECTION FORMATION AND FOR DISPLAY OF FLAGS, SEALS, EMBLEMS, INSIGNIA, ETC. 

The Navy observes its official birthday on 13 October 1775

 and the Marine Corps observes its official birthday on 10 November 1775.

The Marine Corps is officially recognized as part of the Department of the Navy. However it has precedence over the Navy in official formations and when their respective flags, seals, emblems, insignia, etc. are displayed.

The Continental Congress officially authorized the already-existing standing Army in June, 1775. The Marine Corps was officially established on 10 November 1775, even though it was actually a force in readiness before the Army or the Navy. 

The first Captain of Marines was commissioned on 28 November 1775. Congress officially authorized the Navy by resolution in October 1775, however, the first commander-in-chief of the Navy was not commissioned until 22 December 1775. The process of procuring and outfitting ships and enlisting and commissioning personnel followed thereafter.

The U.S. Air Force has precedence over the U.S. Coast Guard, even though it was officially formed after the Coast Guard was authorized, because it was originally part of the U.S. Army and known as the U.S. Army Air Corps.  

14 June 1775


First Oath Of Enlistment

During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress established different oaths for the enlisted men of the Continental Army. The first oath, voted on 14 June 1775, was part of the act creating the Continental Army. 

3 December 1775


Grand Union

Our Nation's First Flag

The Grand Union Flag, {Continental Colors, Congress Flag, Cambridge Flag, First Navy Ensign}

 - Is adopted 3 December 1775


A survey conducted last spring showed 49 percent of young adults ages 17 to 35 couldn’t name the four largest branches of service. Only 17 percent could get all five to include the Coast Guard. In the same Military Ad Tracking Reserve Study, 60 percent of young adults said they’re not at all knowledgeable about the military.