15 MAR 1916 – In response to a perceived lack of preparedness, Congress passed the National Defense Act of 1916. The law was an update of the Militia Act of 1903 and saw the expansion of both the US Army and National Guard. It also created a reserve Officers’ and Enlisted Reserve Corps and the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. The act was passed during the “preparedness controversy” which came about from Pancho Villas raid in New Mexico and the growing risk of the US entering WW1.
15 MAR 2010– Last surviving US Soldier from WW1 dies. Frank Buckles would enlist in the US Army in 1917, driving ambulances and motorcycles near the front lines in Europe. He was captured and held as a civilian prisoner by the Japanese during the early years of WW2. He would work on his farm in West Virginia until he was 105 and die at the age of 110. His death marked the end of the American generation that fought in WW1 and he would be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
17 MAR 1967 – USMC Master Sergeant Barbara Dulinsky becomes the first woman Marine to report for duty in Vietnam. MSgt Dulinsky was assigned to Military Assistance Command in Saigon, where she would work in the Marine Corps Personnel Section.
19 March 1941– The 99th Pursuit Squadron, the Tuskegee Airman, is activated. Along with several other squadrons they would form the first African-American flying unit. They would deploy to fight in North Africa and Southern Europe. Four Tuskegee Airman would later become Generals in the US Military.