9 Facts about the Field Artillery & Air Defense Artillery Branches

The U.S. Army Field Artillery and Air Defense Artillery (ADA) branches were founded on November 17, 1775 by the Continental Congress. They unanimously elected Henry Knox to serve as “Colonel of the Regiment of Artillery.” The regiment formally entered service on January 1, 1776. Although Field Artillery and Air Defense Artillery are separate branches, both inherit the traditions of the Artillery branch.

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Learn more about the Field Artillery and ADA branches below:

1) The mission of the Field Artillery is “to destroy, defeat, or disrupt the enemy with integrated fires to enable maneuver commanders to dominate in unified land operations.”

2) The mission of Air Defense Artillery is “to protect the force and selected geopolitical assets from aerial attack, missile attack, and surveillance.”

3) Mortars are not field artillery weapons.

4) The ADA’s motto is “First to Fire!”

5) Field artillery is called the “King of Battle.”

6) Members of the Field Artillery are referred to as “redlegs” because during the American Civil War they were distinguished by scarlet stripes down the legs of their uniform pants. The use of colors to distinguish branches of the United States Army dates to 1851.

7) (Cpt.) Harry S. Truman is the only “redleg” to become President of the United States.

8) In 1968 the Air Defense Artillery Branch (United States Army) was split from the artillery.

9) The 38th Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Raymond ‘Ray’ Odierno is a ‘redleg.’

Are you a member of the Field Artillery or Air Defense Artillery branch of the Army? Share with us your most memorable experience in the comments section below!

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9 Facts about the Field Artillery & Air Defense Artillery Branches