Today, the responsibility of walking guard duty is the Institute's oldest tradition, and every cadet participates in it. The first recorded evidence that VMI had a guard duty system was written by Captain John Smith who noted in his journal on November 11, 1608 that "this morning after breakfast, I saw the young men exercise themselves by running up and down the parade ground."
In 1838, the Board of Visitors approved the establishment of a uniformed police force at the school. These officers were known as "guardians" and they were required to be between 17 and 20 years old. Their duties included patrolling the campus at night and acting as an early warning system for potential burglars. In 1872, the board decided that only those students living within 10 miles of the school should be eligible to become guardians. That same year, the number of guardians was reduced to 15 due to budget cuts. In 1918, with World War I still being fought, the board once again approved a raise in tuition which resulted in more wealthy parents sending their children to VMI. The number of guardians increased to 75.
In 1929, the board decided to limit guardianship to sons of veterans who had served during the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War, or the World War.
Military tradition refers to a family's practice of methodically selecting one of its sons for a military profession. This is reflected in the significantly larger participation of Southerners in the United States Military now and throughout the country's history. The South has always had a large population of soldiers due to its reliance on agriculture and slavery for economic success. The traditional Southern lifestyle was one that involved much travel for work or adventure, so it made sense that many families would send out one son to serve as a soldier for several years before he returned home to take over the farm or business.
In addition to being a practical decision for most Southern families, sending their young men to war was also a way for them to show honor and respect for their boys. Many states in the South had laws requiring male children to be apprentices until age 21 so they could be given an opportunity to make their own decisions later. Those who did not apprentice were expected to go to war.
The traditional Southern military tradition continues today with many Southerners choosing to have one son serve in the U.S. Army while another serves in the U.S. Navy. These families often participate in recruitment events together to show support for each other's services and encourage others to do the same.
The National Guard. Created in 1797, it is the oldest branch of the armed forces.
It is estimated that about 1 in 5 Americans lives down to someone who served in the National Guard. That's more than 9 million people! In fact, there are nearly 6 million active-duty soldiers in the United States Army and another 3 million or so members of the Navy, Air Force, and Marines who are not on active duty but who are still part of their respective services.
The National Guard comprises approximately 150,000 troops organized into two components: state national guards and federalized outposts. State national guards are organized within each state's own militia laws, while federalized outposts are assigned to serve under a single commander at a military installation outside their home state. Both state and federalized troops have the ability to be called up for emergency situations throughout the country.
State and federal authorities work together to manage their shared responsibilities when National Guard units are mobilized for war or other major emergencies. During such times, state governors can call up individual units for service, or they can order all units to report for duty.
1819 The American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy was established in Norwich, Vermont, in 1819. It is the oldest of six senior military colleges and is designated as the "Birthplace of ROTC" (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) by the United States Department of Defense.
Its first commander was Colonel John Chapman, who had been president of New York University before taking over at the academy. The institution closed after nine months due to low enrollment. It was reopened in 1821 with a new president (Dr. Asa Danforth) and a faculty of three men. It closed for good this time in 1824 because there were only eight students enrolled during its third year of operation.
In 1826, Congress authorized the creation of a second military college in the country. The American Military Institute opened its doors in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the following year under the leadership of Colonel William Jones. This institute also failed and was closed in 1829 when its buildings were sold at public auction.
Thus, it can be said that the American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy was the first successful government-run military school in the country and the American Military Institute was the second.
Both these institutions played an important role in the training of officers for the Army and Navy respectively.
The minimum age to enroll for active duty in each branch is:
The Household Division regiments are always mentioned first since they are the most senior, followed by the line regiments. The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery is the most senior of all the regiments of the Royal Artillery and has been since its creation in 1465. It is only natural that it should be so, as it is the oldest continuous unit in the British Army.
The Queen's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery dates from 1661 and is therefore older than any of the current line regiments. However, since it is a troop rather than a regiment, it does not have the same status as the Household Division regiments. Instead, it is an elite unit within the Royal Horse Artillery and serves as their mascot team. They perform at state events including the Trooping the Colour ceremony which marks the official start of summer celebrations at the Palace.
The Royal Artillery was founded in 1672 when the guns of the old Royal Artillery Regiment were divided up between the new King's and Queen's Regiments. Therefore, both these regiments are more recent than the Household Division regiments. However, since they are not full battalions they do not have the same status as the Household Division regiments.
1. The army. The United States Army is the military's oldest arm. It was founded on June 14, 1775.
2. The navy. The United States Navy is the military's oldest agency. It was established by the Congress on March 16, 1791.
3. The marines. The United States Marine Corps is the armed force of the United States responsible for its coastal defenses. It was formed on November 10, 1798, during the administration of President John Adams.
4. The air force. The United States Air Force is the national authority for aviation forces of the United States. It was created by the National Security Act of 1947.
5. The coast guard. The United States Coast Guard is a federal agency within the Department of Homeland Security that aids in the protection of America's waters. It was formed by Congress on January 13, 2003.
6. The lance corps. The British Lance Corps was formed in 1558 and is the oldest standing unit in the British Army. It has been awarded the George Cross for heroism several times.
7. The artillery. The art of firing weapons from horseback originated with the cavalry.