On May 23, 1776 at Sag Harbor, New York, Patriot troops under the command of Lieutenant Colonel R. Jonathan Meigs captured several British vessels and burned tons of Redcoat supplies.
With the help of two local men, Meigs and his Connecticut raiders grabbed the British garrison commander from his bed in the wee hours of the morning, firing only one gunshot. Instead of guns, the Patriots used bayonets to capture the British fort, successfully avoiding announcing their presence with gunfire.
With six Redcoats dead and 53 captive from their success on land, the Patriots moved from the hilltop fort towards the harbor. The British ships anchored there eventually noticed the body of men in long boats moving towards them and opened fire. The Patriots, though, went on to burn 24 British ships and their cargoes of hay, rum, grain and other merchandise. With an additional 37 prisoners in custody, the 170 Yankee raiders returned to Connecticut without having lost a single man in their party.
The Sag Harbor ambush was the only successful Patriot attack on Long Island between the British takeover in 1776 and their departure following the Treaty of Paris in 1783.
[From AUSA National]
On April 17, 1917, with Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Hugh Scott overseas trying to get the Russians to stay in the war, U.S. Secretary of War Newton Baker has his staff flushing out one of Scott’s ideas for universal conscription to grow the Army rather than solely depending on volunteers. They’ll have to sell Congress on the idea.
World War I did not make the world safe for democracy, as President Woodrow Wilson hoped when he asked Congress to declare war in 1917. As we now know, the war with Germany that started for the United States on April 6, 1917, did not end all wars. However, it made the U.S. a leading world power and created five important legacies that continue to shape our Army.
Among the war’s lasting legacies:
- Compulsory military service and organization of state militias into an organized federal army deployable beyond the nation’s borders happened because of the Selective Service Act of 1917.
- The concept of a planning staff, first introduced in the early 1900s by then-Secretary of War Elihu Root, matured under the leadership of Wilson’s brilliant secretary of war, Newton D. Baker.
- Professional education and a systematic approach to training took root during World War I.
- Divisions became the module for deployment and employment.
- Three generations of officers gained important experience during World War I, managing mobilization or fighting in France. Their experience, informed by education and reflection during the interwar period, enabled them to raise, train and lead the enormous Army that fought and won World War II.
The featured first exhibit of the Delaware Military Museum will honor the centennial of the First World War. Delaware played an outsize role before the United States had even entered the war, with Powder mills, shipyards and armament manufacture.
[Editor’s Note: As we remember the 100th anniversary of the “War to End All Wars,” we should all be mindful of the contributions of first state Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen. There is an excellent online exhibit on Delaware’s contribution to World War I called “Drawing America To Victory: The Persuasive Power of the Arts” | An online exhibit by the Delaware Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs.]
[News Release from the Delaware Military Museum]
WILMINGTON DE. – April 1, 2017: The featured first exhibit of the Delaware Military Museum will honor the centennial of the First World War. Delaware played an outsize role before the United States had even entered the war, with Powder mills, shipyards and armament manufacture.
On display in the museum visitors will re-live the era on the home front and overseas with uniforms, maps, images, and artifacts of the “Great War”. Reproductions of images in the collection of the Delaware National Guard by Delaware artists such as Gayle Hoskins and Frank Schoonover of the Brandywine School will be on view.
The collection highlights the experience of Lieutenant S.B.I. Duncan, a Delaware National Guardsman from New Castle with the 59th Infantry Pioneers who served in France. His photos, uniform, helmet, and documentation will be on view to tell his unique story.
Kennard Wiggins author of Delaware in World War I, will give a talk on his book at 2 PM.
Delaware’s first museum dedicated to its military will open Saturday April 15, at 10 AM. The museum includes Delaware’s most extensive military library and archive.
The new museum is co-located with the Delaware National Guard Wilmington Readiness Center and the Mid County Senior Center on First Regiment Road, just off McKennan’s Church Road. It will be open on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 10 AM to 4 PM.
The Delaware Military Heritage and Education Foundation, Inc.
First Regiment Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19808-2191
About us: The Delaware Military Heritage and Education Foundation has preserved and restored military artwork throughout the State of Delaware. The Foundation has compiled an extensive collection of military artifacts and archival materials. The DMHEF library and archives are a rich source for Delaware history educators and researchers.
Contact: Kennard Wiggins, Curator. firstname.lastname@example.org, 443-553-6314
The Delaware National Guard announced that on May 1, 2017, Chelsea Schellinger will be the new Military One Source consultant on the Family Program Team. She is the MDAY Commander of the 126th Aviation Unit. She will be taking over the reins from the former State Command Chief and Military One Source consultant, Dan Young, who is retiring. We wish him all the best for a well-earned retirement.
[From AUSA National] March 22, 2017
By the end of September, the Army’s end strength will receive a boost of 28,000 soldiers above the original troop levels authorized for the current fiscal year.
The increase was authorized as part of the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and leaders say it is expected to markedly improve readiness. Leaders were informed of the increase in December.
“The No. 1 problem we have right now is that formations are manned at 95 percent,” Lt. Gen. Joe Anderson, deputy chief of staff for operations, told the House Armed Services Committee. Compounding that problem, he explained, are other variables in soldiers’ availability such as those who are nondeployable, retired, on permanent change of station or attending school, which bring formation levels down as low as 78 percent.
Across the force, the Regular Army will grow by 16,000 soldiers to an end strength of 476,000; National Guard levels will jump by 8,000 to 343,000 soldiers; and the Army Reserve will end the fiscal year with 199,000 soldiers, a bump of 4,000 troops.
To achieve the higher end strength by Sept. 30, the Army will raise its accession mission to 68,500 and boost training resources. Enlisted retention is set to increase with incentives, and officer accessions and retention is expected to increase officer strength by 1,000.
Soldiers will go to undermanned tactical units and fill other gaps following recommendations of ongoing Army analysis.
Feb. 28, 2017 (From AUSA National)
Cyber warfare will only intensify in the future, with a strong possibility that the U.S. Army will not be able to completely defend itself from attacks, a new report warns.
The Army Cyber Institute report says the U.S. Army and the rest of the military “cannot defend all of the digital, individual, social, physical and kinetic domains.” Called “A Widening Attack Plain,” the report was written in collaboration with Arizona State University and represents the work of more than two dozen experts from the military, government, academia and industry. The Army Cyber Institute is located at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.
Cyber threats over the past decade have been limited mainly to “data only” threats like espionage, leaks and hacks but threats are changing as attacks become more targeted and aggressive.
The report suggests the Army should work on improving encryption of crucial infrastructure, identifying vulnerabilities and should also champion closer bonds with industry and academia to share ideas.
The Army has been working on new leadership doctrine to prepare officers to operate if communication and data feeds are attacked, while also stepping up defenses.
“In the next decade, we will see a continuing widening of the attack plain,” the report says “The attack surface in the future broadens out, including more people, increasing targets, and changing the very nature of security and threat.”
The complete report is online at http://www.usma.edu/acc/SitePages/Threatcasting.aspxcvc.