From Washington's Farewell Address to the Army to Roosevelt's Patrol

by MILITARY HISTORY, W. THOMAS SMITH, JR. November 4, 2010
 
John J. Pershing.
 

This Week in American Military History:
 
Nov. 1, 1904:  The new U.S. Army War College opens its doors to three majors and six captains, among them Capt. (future General of the Armies) John J. “Black Jack” Pershing.

According to Samuel J. Newland writing for Parameters, during the college’s formative years, “the instructional methodology … was reminiscent of the Prussian system of training general staff officers.”
 
 
 
Painting of Washington’s Farewell to his Officers by Alonzo Chappel (1828–1887).

Nov. 2, 1783:  Gen. George Washington delivers his “Farewell Address to the
 Army” near Princeton, N.J., in which he refers to the Continental Army as “one patriotic band of brothers.”

Of his soldiers, whom he says displayed “invincible fortitude in action,” Washington offers his “prayers to the God of Armies,” adding that “may the choicest of Heaven's favors both here and hereafter attend those, who under the divine auspices have secured innumerable blessings for others.”
 

Navy aviator Henry C. Mustin
 
Nov. 5, 1915:  Nearly five years to the day after aviation pioneer Eugene B. Ely makes the first airplane takeoff from a ship, Lt. Commander (future Capt.) Henry Mustin becomes the first American to make a catapult launch from a ship underway. Mustin is catapulted from USS North Carolina (the second of six so-named American warships, including one submarine and one Confederate ironclad) in a Curtiss AB-2 flying boat.

Mustin, considered in some circles to be the “father of Naval aviation,” is also the grand patriarch of the Mustin Naval dynasty.

Of that dynasty, Capt. Louis Colbus (U.S. Navy, Ret.) former commander of Destroyer Squadron Two and the former chief of staff for Carrier Battle Group Eight, says, “Mustin flag-officers and others have led our Navy for nearly a century from aviation firsts to shipbuilding design and concepts to nuclear testing at the South Pole to battle-group tactics at sea, and at the same time inspiring generations of American sailors.”
 
 
Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
 
Nov. 5, 1917:  U.S. Army Maj. (future Brig. Gen.) Theodore Roosevelt Jr. and his younger brother Lt. (future Lt. Col.) Archibald Roosevelt, both sons of former Pres. Theodore Roosevelt (a former U.S. Army cavalry colonel who will receive the Medal of Honor in 2001 for actions during the Spanish-American War), lead the first American patrol into “No Man’s Land” during World War I.

No enemy contact is reported.

Like his presidential father, Theodore Jr. will receive the Medal of Honor, but the younger Roosevelt’s Medal will be for actions during the Normandy invasion, June 6, 1944.
 
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor W. Thomas Smith Jr. is a former U.S. Marineinfantry leader and shipboard counterterrorism instructor, who writes about military/defense issues and has covered conflict in the Balkans, on the West Bank, in Iraq and Lebanon. Visit his website at uswriter.com.
 

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