It’s the Army’s birthday today. Happy 247th birthday, Army!
Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) got in on the well-wishing action this morning with a birthday message that included a photo of one of the branch’s most iconic moments — raising the flag at Iwo Jima. Err. Wait a minute…
Here’s the catch, though. Those were Marines in that photo. There’s even a statue of that very same moment at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. (Not to mention that it is one of the most iconic Marine Corps photos in history.)
The image was quickly replaced with one that managed to include only Army soldiers in it, but the original was captured for posterity before being taken down.
This kind of stuff tends to happen quite often when it comes to social media and birthday wishes for military branches — presumably aided by a hasty Google search with the keywords “Happy” “birthday” “soldiers” “America.”
In October 2021, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service tweeted out a birthday wish to the U.S. Navy, but did so using a picture of a Russian warship. They weren’t even the only ones to make the mistake that year, as Idaho Sen. Jim Risch sent out a birthday message to the Navy using a picture of a Royal Thai Navy vessel. Then there are the repeated times people have tweeted out a photo of a soldier carrying a wounded comrade to safety as part of a ‘support the troops’ message, only to later realize it’s actually a photo of two action figures.
So, when in doubt, try to take that extra five seconds to make sure that the birthday wish you’re sending out to the various service branches has a picture of, you know, that branch.
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