Army history in October.Beyond its role in defense of the nation, the Army and its Soldiers have contributed to medicine, technology, exploration, engineering and science. The milestones listed in this monthly chronology offer only a small glimpse of that proud story of selfless service. It is also your story.
1759 -- Rogers' Rangers attack the Indian village of St. Francis, Quebec, then begin the long march back to New England. The return takes nearly a month, and nearly half of Rogers' men die on the way, many from starvation.
1777 -- Battle of Bemis Heights The Battle of Bemis Heights on October 7, 1777, is also known as the 2nd Battle of Saratoga since it was the second and last major engagement in the Battle of Saratoga of the American Revolutionary War. , N.Y., Oct. 7. Although ordered out of the fighting by MG Horatio Gates, BG Benedict Arnold assumes command of the American left flank and captures two British positions. Gates proposes court-martial charges.
Army General Orders of Oct. 2 establish blue as the basic color of the Continental Army uniform and specifies trim colors for specialized units.
1802 -- Joseph G. Swift and Simon M. Levy, the first graduates of the new U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., are commissioned on Oct. 12 as lieutenants in the Corps of Engineers.
1803 -- The Corps of Discovery for territories of the Louisiana Purchase begins to take shape as CPT CPT
See: Carriage Paid To Meriwether Lewis swears in the first nine enlisted members.
1861 -- The Battle of Ball's Bluff The Battle of Ball's Bluff, also known as the Battle of Harrison’s Landing or the Battle of Leesburg, took place on October 21, 1861, in Loudoun County, Virginia, as part of Major General George B. . On Oct. 21, Union forces cross the Potomac River near Leesburg, Va., but are driven back.
1867 -- At Sitka, elements of the 9th Infantry and 2nd Artillery regiments accept possession of Alaska from Russia on Oct. 8.
On Oct. 7 the Army changes from its traditional two-tone blue woolen campaign uniform to a khaki field uniform.
1900 -- On the Philippine island of Luzon, rebels ambush members of the 28th U.S. Volunteer Inf. on Oct. 21.
1909 -- The first solo flights by the Army's original pilots, LT Frank P. Lahm and LT Fredric E. Humphreys, occur on Oct. 26, from a field in College Park, Md. Each flight lasts approximately three minutes.
1918 -- On Oct. 2 elements of the 308th and 307th Inf. regiments are cut off in the Argonne Forest, but refuse to surrender. The "Lost Battalion" holds for five days before relief arrives.
1939 -- On Oct. 1 Fort Humphreys in Washington, D.C., becomes the Army War College. After World War II the post's name is changed to Fort Leslie J. McNair.
1942 -- The 164th Inf. Div. arrives on Guadalcanal Island on Oct. 13 to reinforce the Marines in battle against the Japanese. The Soldiers quickly go into action near Henderson Field.
1943 -- On Oct. 27 the War Department establishes the Combat Infantryman and Expert Infantryman badges.
1944 -- On Oct. 5 the 9th Inf. Div. launches two regiments into Germany's Hurtgen Forest, approaching key objectives commanding the Rohr River dams.
1950 -- On Oct. 9 the U.S. Eighth Army's I Corps, led by the 1st Cavalry Div., crosses the 38th Parallel near Kaesong and advances north towards Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.
1951 -- The Battle of Heartbreak Ridge The Battle of Heartbreak Ridge was a month-long battle in the Korean War fought between September 13 and October 15, 1951. The Battle of Heartbreak Ridge was one of several major engagements in an area known as "The Punchbowl", which served as an important Communist staging area. . On Oct. 15 the 2nd Inf. Div., supported by South Korean units and a French battalion, seizes the ridge but suffers nearly 3,700 casualties in the process.
1956 -- In response to the Hungarian Uprising, the 6th Armored Cav. Regt. is placed on alert on Oct. 23, and deploys along the East German border.
The Women's Army Corps Women's Army Corps: see WAC.
Women's Army Corps (WAC)
U.S. Army unit. It was established (as the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps) by Congress to enlist women for auxiliary noncombat duty in World War II. Its first head was Oveta C. Hobby. is inactivated on Oct. 20. Its director, BG Mary E. Clarke, becomes commander of Fort McClellan, Ala., eventually becoming the first female promoted to the rank of major general.
1962 -- On Oct. 12 President John F. Kennedy "John Kennedy" and "JFK" redirect here. For other uses, see John Kennedy (disambiguation) and JFK (disambiguation).
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917–November 22, 1963), was the thirty-fifth President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in authorizes special-forces Soldiers to wear the green beret.
1965 -- The 1st Inf. Div. arrives outside Saigon, South Vietnam, on Oct. 2.
1967 -- On the Imjim River, Oct. 7, a patrol boat from the 2nd Inf. Div. is attacked by North Korean raiders.
1970 -- In Thua Thien Province, the 101st Airborne Div. completes the last major U.S. ground operation of the Vietnam War.
1993 -- On Oct. 3 MSG MSG: see glutamic acid. Gary Gordon and SFC SFC
sergeant first class Randall Shugart are killed in their attempt to rescue Soldiers shot down in a fire fight in Mogadishu, Somalia. Each man is later awarded the Medal of Honor.
2000 -- The black beret becomes the standard Army headwear head·wear
A hat or other covering for the head. . Rangers adopt a tan beret as their distinctive headwear, special-forces Soldiers continue to wear green and airborne Soldiers continue to wear maroon.
2001 -- Operation Enduring Freedom begins on Oct. 7. The mission is to seek out and destroy terrorist camps and infrastructure within Afghanistan, capture al Qaeda leaders and remove the Taliban regime.
2002 -- On Oct. 2 the U.S. Total Army Personnel Command and the Reserve Personnel Command merge into the U.S. Army Human Resources Command. Three days later the U.S. Army Civilian Human Resources Agency is established.
For more about Army history, go to www.ArmyHistoryFnd.org and www.Army.mil/cmh.
COL Raymond K. Bluhm Jr. (Ret.)
An officer of the Army History Foundation and co-author of "The Soldier's Guide" and "The Army."