the continental army

On July 18, 177[5], the Congress requested all colonies form militia companies from "all able bodied effective men, between sixteen and fifty years of age." It was not uncommon for men younger than sixteen to enlist as most colonies had no requirement of parental consent for those under twenty-one (adulthood).

The army went through several distinct phases, characterized by official dissolution and reorganization of units.

Too learn more check out this Wikipedia post.