The United States Army (USA) is the
land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice o ...
service branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the national armed forces of a sovereign nation or state. Types of branches Unified forces The Canadian Armed Forces is the unified arm ...
of the
United States Armed Forces The United States Armed Forces are the Military, military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the United States Army, Army, United States Marine Corps, Marine Corps, United States Navy, Navy, United States Air Force, Air Forc ...

United States Armed Forces
. It is one of the eight U.S. uniformed services, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the
U.S. Constitution
U.S. Constitution
.Article II, section 2, clause 1 of the
United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the Supremacy Clause, supreme law of the United States, United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first t ...

United States Constitution
See als
Title 10, Subtitle B, Chapter 301, Section 3001
As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the
Continental Army The Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the former Thirteen Colonies, thirteen British colonies that later became the United States, United States of America. E ...
, which was formed 14 June 1775 to fight the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress, ...
(1775–1783)—before the United States was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the
Congress of the Confederation The Congress of the Confederation, or the Confederation Congress, formally referred to as the United States in Congress Assembled, was the governing body of the United States of America from March 1, 1781, to March 4, 1789. A unicameral body wi ...
created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army.Library of Congress
Journals of the Continental Congress, Volume 27
/ref> The United States Army considers itself to be a continuation of the Continental Army, and thus considers its institutional inception to be the origin of that armed force in 1775. an excerpt from Robert Wright, ''The Continental Army'' The U.S. Army is a uniformed service of the United States and is part of the
Department of the Army The United States Department of the Army (DA) is one of the three military departments within the United States Department of Defense, Department of Defense of the United States of America. The Department of the Army is the Federal Government ...
, which is one of the three military departments of the
Department of DefenseDepartment of Defence or Department of Defense may refer to: Current departments of defence * Department of Defence (Australia) The Department of Defence (DoD) is a Government department, department of the Government of Australia charged with ...
. The U.S. Army is headed by a civilian senior appointed civil servant, the
secretary of the Army The secretary of the Army (SA, SECARM or SECARMY) is a senior civilian official within the United States Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an United States federal executive departments, exec ...
(SECARMY) and by a chief
military officer An officer is a member of an armed forces or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. In its broadest sense, the term "officer" refers to commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers, and warrant officers. However, when used ...
, the chief of staff of the Army (CSA) who is also a member of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is the body of the most senior uniformed leaders within the United States Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an United States federal executive departments, ...
. It is the largest military branch, and in the 2020, the projected end strength for the
Regular Army A regular army is the official army of a state or country (the official armed forces), contrasting with irregular forces, such as volunteer irregular militias, private armies, mercenaries, etc. A regular army usually has the following: * a standi ...
(USA) was 480,893 soldiers; the
Army National Guard The Army National Guard (ARNG), in conjunction with the Air National Guard, is an organized Militia (United States), militia force and a Reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, federal military reserve force of the United States Ar ...
(ARNG) had 336,129 soldiers and the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) had 188,703 soldiers; the combined-component strength of the U.S. Army was 1,005,725 soldiers. As a branch of the armed forces, the mission of the U.S. Army is "to fight and win our Nation's wars, by providing prompt, sustained land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders". The branch participates in conflicts worldwide and is the major ground-based offensive and defensive force of the United States.


The United States Army serves as the land-based branch of the
Section 7062 of Title 10, U.S. Code
defines the purpose of the army as: * Preserving the peace and security and providing for the defense of the United States, the Commonwealths and possessions and any areas occupied by the United States * Supporting the national policies * Implementing the national objectives * Overcoming any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United States In 2018, the ''Army Strategy 2018'' articulated an eight-point addendum to the Army Vision for 2028.The Army Strategy
While the Army Mission remains constant, the Army Strategy builds upon the Army's Brigade Modernization by adding focus to Corps and Division-level echelons.
Modernization Modernization theory is used to explain the process of modernization within societies. Modernization refers to a model of a progressive transition from a 'pre-modern' or ' traditional' to a 'modern' society. Modernization theory originated from the ...
, reform for high-intensity conflict, and Joint multi-domain operations are added to the strategy, to be completed by 2028. The Army's five core competencies are prompt and sustained land combat, combined arms operations (to include combined arms maneuver and wide–area security, armored and mechanized operations and airborne and air assault operations), special operations, to set and sustain the theater for the joint force, and to integrate national, multinational, and joint power on land.



The Continental Army was created on 14 June 1775 by the
Second Continental Congress The Second Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies in America which united in the American Revolutionary War. It convened on May 10, 1775, with representatives from 12 of the colonies in Philadelphia, Pennsylva ...
as a unified army for the colonies to fight
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the List of European islands by area, largest European island, and the List of i ...

Great Britain
, with
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American soldier, statesman, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Appointed by the Continenta ...

George Washington
appointed as its commander. The army was initially led by men who had served in the
British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 Army Reserve (United Kingdom), reserve personnel. ...
or colonial militias and who brought much of British military heritage with them. As the Revolutionary War progressed,
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consistin ...
aid, resources and military thinking helped shape the new army. A number of European soldiers came on their own to help, such as
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand von Steuben (born Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben; September 17, 1730 – November 28, 1794), also referred to as Baron von Steuben (), was a Prussian Prussia, , Old Prus ...

Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben
, who taught Prussian Army tactics and organizational skills. The Army fought numerous pitched battles and in the South in 1780 and 1781, at times using the
Fabian strategy The Fabian strategy is a military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek word ''strategos Image:Greek strategist Pio-Clementino Inv306.jpg, ...
hit-and-run tactics Hit-and-run tactics are a tactical doctrine of using short surprise attacks, withdrawing before the enemy can respond in force, and constantly maneuvering to avoid full engagement with the enemy. The purpose is not a decisive victory against ...
, under the leadership of Major General
Nathanael Greene Nathanael Greene (June 19, 1786, sometimes misspelled Nathaniel) was a major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the Am ...
, hit where the British were weakest to wear down their forces. Washington led victories against the British at Trenton and
Princeton Princeton University is a private Ivy League The Ivy League (also known as The Ancient Eight) is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research universities in the Northeastern United States. The term '' ...
, but lost a series of battles in the
New York and New Jersey campaign The New York and New Jersey campaign was a series of battles in 1776 and the winter months of 1777 for control of the Port of New York and the state of New Jersey New Jersey is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Atlant ...
in 1776 and the
Philadelphia campaign The Philadelphia campaign (1777–1778) was a British effort in the American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by del ...
in 1777. With a decisive victory at
YorktownYorktown or York Town may refer to: Places Australia *York Town, Tasmania United Kingdom * York Town, also known as Yorktown (and sometimes Yorkshiretown), a part of Camberley, Surrey (adjoining Sandhurst) *York, North Yorkshire United States *Yor ...
and the help of the French, the Continental Army prevailed against the British. After the war, the Continental Army was quickly given land certificates and disbanded in a reflection of the
republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of government that is not a monarchy or dictatorship, and is usually associated with the rule of law. ** Republicanism, the ideology in support of republics or against ...
distrust of standing armies. State militias became the new nation's sole ground army, with the exception of a regiment to guard the Western Frontier and one battery of artillery guarding
West Point The United States Military Academy (USMA), also known as West Point, Army, Army West Point, The Academy, or simply The Point, is a four-year federal service academy in West Point, New York. It was originally established as a fort that sits o ...
's arsenal. However, because of continuing conflict with
Native Americans Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
, it was soon realized that it was necessary to field a trained standing army. The
Regular Army A regular army is the official army of a state or country (the official armed forces), contrasting with irregular forces, such as volunteer irregular militias, private armies, mercenaries, etc. A regular army usually has the following: * a standi ...
was at first very small and after General at the Battle of the Wabash, where more than 800 Americans were killed, the Regular Army was reorganized as the
Legion of the United States The Legion of the United States was a reorganization and extension of the Continental Army from 1792 to 1796 under the command of Major General Anthony Wayne. It represented a political shift in the new United States, which had recently adopte ...
, which was established in 1791 and renamed the United States Army in 1796. In 1798, during the
Quasi-War The Quasi-War (french: Quasi-guerre) was an undeclared war fought from 1798 to 1800 between the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous Unite ...
with France, Congress established a three-year " Provisional Army" of 10,000 men, consisting of twelve regiments of infantry and six troops of light dragoons. By March 1799 Congress created an "Eventual Army" of 30,000 men, including three regiments of cavalry. Both "armies" existed only on paper, but equipment for 3,000 men and horses was procured and stored.

19th century

Early wars on the Frontier

War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America and its Indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous allies against United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Great Britain and its al ...
, the second and last war between the United States and Great Britain, had mixed results. The U.S. Army did not conquer Canada but it did destroy Native American resistance to expansion in the
Old Northwest The Northwest Territory, also known as the Old Northwest and formally known as the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, was formed from unorganized western territory of the United States after the American Revolutionary War The Ameri ...
and it validated its independence by stopping two major British invasions in 1814 and 1815. After taking control of Lake Erie in 1813, the U.S. Army seized parts of western Upper Canada, and , which caused his
Western Confederacy The Northwestern Confederacy, or Northwestern Indian Confederacy, was a loose confederacy of Native Americans in the Great Lakes region The Great Lakes region of North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northe ...
to collapse. Following U.S. victories in the Canadian province of Upper Canada, British troops who had dubbed the U.S. Army "Regulars, by God!", were able to capture and burn Washington, which was defended by militia, in 1814. The regular army, however, proved they were professional and capable of defeating the British army during the and
Baltimore Baltimore ( , locally: ) is the most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city prope ...
, prompting British agreement on the previously rejected terms of a
status quo or is a Latin phrase meaning the existing state of affairs, particularly with regard to social or political issues. In the sociological Sociology is the study of society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved i ...
antebellum. Two weeks after a treaty was signed (but not ratified),
Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was an American lawyer, soldier, and statesman who served as the seventh president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of g ...

Andrew Jackson
defeated the British in the
Battle of New Orleans The Battle of New Orleans was fought on January 8, 1815 between the British Army under Major General Sir Edward Pakenham and the United States Army under Brevet Major General Andrew Jackson, roughly 5 miles (8 km) southeast of the French ...

Battle of New Orleans
and Siege of Fort St. Philip, and became a national hero. U.S. troops and sailors captured HMS Cyane,
Levant The Levant () is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the G ...
Penguin Penguins (order (biology), order Sphenisciformes , family (biology), family Spheniscidae ) are a group of Water bird, aquatic flightless bird, flightless birds. They live almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere: only one species, the Gal ...
in the final engagements of the war. Per the treaty, both sides (the United States and Great Britain) returned to the geographical status quo. Both navies kept the warships they had seized during the conflict. The army's major campaign against the Indians was fought in
Florida Florida is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. Florida is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia (U.S. state), Georg ...

Seminole The Seminole are a Native Americans in the United States, Native American people who developed in Florida in the 18th century. Today, they live in Oklahoma and Florida, and comprise three federally recognized tribes: the Seminole Nation of Oklahom ...
s. It took long wars (1818–1858) to finally defeat the Seminoles and move them to Oklahoma. The usual strategy in Indian wars was to seize control of the Indians' winter food supply, but that was no use in Florida where there was no winter. The second strategy was to form alliances with other Indian tribes, but that too was useless because the Seminoles had destroyed all the other Indians when they entered Florida in the late eighteenth century. The U.S. Army fought and won the (1846–1848), which was a defining event for both countries. The U.S. victory resulted in acquisition of territory that eventually became all or parts of the states of
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of the United States by population, most populous and the List of ...
Nevada Nevada (, ) is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, Western region of the United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast, and Utah to the east. Ne ...

Utah Utah ( , ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains, as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the wester ...

Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ' ...
Wyoming Wyoming () is a state in the Mountain West region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in Nor ...
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe, New Mexico, Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque, New Mexico, Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Albuquerque metropolitan area, Greater Albuque ...

New Mexico

American Civil War

American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865, fought between northern U.S. state, states loyal to the Union (American Civil War), Union and south ...
was the costliest war for the U.S. in terms of casualties. After most
slave state In the United States before 1865, a slave state was a state in which slavery and the slave trade were legal, while a free state was one in which they were not. Between 1812 and 1850, it was considered by the slave states to be politically im ...
s, located in the southern U.S., formed the
Confederate States The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederate States or the Confederacy, was an unrecognized breakaway state in existence from February 8, 1861, to May 9, 1865, that fought against the United States of Ame ...

Confederate States
, the
Confederate States Army The Confederate States Army, also called the Confederate Army or simply the Southern Army, was the military land force of the Confederate States of America The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederat ...
, led by former U.S. Army officers, mobilized a large fraction of Southern white manpower. Forces of the United States (the "Union" or "the North") formed the
Union Army , a regiment serving in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, Western Theater. File:GeorgeMcClellan1861a.jpg, 200px, left, General George B. McClellan with staff and dignitaries (from left to right): Gen. George W. Morell, Lt. Col. ...
, consisting of a small body of regular army units and a large body of volunteer units raised from every state, north and south, except
South Carolina South Carolina () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in ...

South Carolina
. For the first two years, Confederate forces did well in set battles but lost control of the border states. The Confederates had the advantage of defending a large territory in an area where disease caused twice as many deaths as combat. The Union pursued a strategy of seizing the coastline, blockading the ports, and taking control of the river systems. By 1863, the Confederacy was being strangled. Its eastern armies fought well, but the western armies were defeated one after another until the Union forces captured New Orleans in 1862 along with the Tennessee River. In the Vicksburg Campaign of 1862–1863, General
Ulysses Grant Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant; ; April 27, 1822July 23, 1885) was an American military leader who served as the 18th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and he ...

Ulysses Grant
seized the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the List of longest rivers of the United States (by main stem), second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest Drainage system (geomorphology), drainage system on the North American continent, second only to ...

Mississippi River
and cut off the Southwest. Grant took command of Union forces in 1864 and after a series of battles with very heavy casualties, he had General
Robert E. Lee Robert Edward Lee (January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870) was an American Confederate general best known as a commander of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by Names of ...

Robert E. Lee
under siege in Richmond as General captured Atlanta and marched through Georgia and
the Carolinas The Carolinas are the U.S. states of North Carolina and South Carolina, considered collectively. They are bordered by Virginia to the north, Tennessee to the west, and Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia to the southwest. The Atlantic Ocean is to the ...
. The Confederate capital was abandoned in April 1865 and Lee subsequently surrendered his army at Appomattox Court House. All other Confederate armies surrendered within a few months. The war remains the deadliest conflict in U.S. history, resulting in the deaths of 620,000 men on both sides. Based on 1860 census figures, 8% of all white males aged 13 to 43 died in the war, including 6.4% in
the North North is a cardinal direction or compass point. North or The North may also refer to: Places * North, South Carolina, a town in the United States * North (London sub region), a sub-region of the London Plan * Northern Canada or the North, northe ...
and 18% in the South.

Later 19th century

Following the Civil War, the U.S. Army had the mission of containing western tribes of Native Americans on the
Indian reservation An Indian reservation is a legal designation for an area of land tenure, land managed by a federally recognized tribe (Native American), Native American tribe under the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs rather than th ...
s. They set up many forts, and engaged in the last of the
American Indian Wars The American Indian Wars, also known as the American Frontier Wars, the First Nations Wars in Canada (french: Guerres des Premières Nations) and the Indian Wars were fought by European governments and colonists, and later by the United States and ...
. U.S. Army troops also occupied several Southern states during the
Reconstruction Era The Reconstruction era, the period in American history that lasted from 1865 to 1877 following the American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in the United ...
to protect
freedmen A freedman or freedwoman is a formerly enslaved person who has been released from slavery, usually by legal means. Historically, enslaved people were freed by manumission (granted freedom by their captor-owners), emancipation (granted freedom ...
. The key battles of the
Spanish–American War The Spanish–American War ( es, Guerra hispano-estadounidense or Guerra hispano-americana; fil, Digmaang Espanyol-Amerikano) was an armed conflict between Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_fla ...
of 1898 were fought by the Navy. Using mostly new volunteers, the U.S. forces defeated
Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_ ...

in land campaigns in
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located where the northern Caribbean Sea, Gulf ...
and played the central role in the Philippine–American War.

20th century

Starting in 1910, the army began acquiring
fixed-wing aircraft A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air Aircraft, flying machine, such as an airplane, which is capable of flight using wings that generate Lift (force), lift caused by the aircraft's forward airspeed and the wing configuration, shape of t ...
. In 1910, during the
Mexican Revolution The Mexican Revolution ( es, Revolución Mexicana, 1910–1920) was a major revolution that was not a unified struggle, but an extended sequence of armed regional conflicts. It has been called "the defining event of modern Mexican history." It ...
, the army was deployed to U.S. towns near the border to ensure the safety of lives and property. In 1916,
Pancho Villa Francisco Villa (,"Villa"
, a major rebel leader, attacked
Columbus, New Mexico Columbus is a village in Luna County, New Mexico, Luna County, New Mexico, United States, about north of the Mexico–United States border, Mexican border. It is considered a place of historical interest, as the scene of Battle of Columbus (1916), ...
, prompting a U.S. intervention in Mexico until 7 February 1917. They fought the rebels and the Mexican federal troops until 1918.

World wars

The United States joined World War I as an "Associated Power" in 1917 on the side of
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom, a sovereign state in Europe comprising the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands * Great Britain, the largest island in the United Kingdom * Ro ...

France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and Overseas France, several overseas regions and territories. The metro ...

Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...

Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the Alps, a Italian Peninsula, peninsula and List of islands of Italy, se ...
and the other
Allies An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alli ...
. U.S. troops were sent to the
Western FrontWestern Front or West Front may refer to: Military frontiers *Western Front (World War I), a military frontier to the west of Germany *Western Front (World War II), a military frontier to the west of Germany *Western Front (Russian Empire), a major ...

Western Front
and were involved in the last offensives that ended the war. With the armistice in November 1918, the army once again decreased its forces. In 1939, estimates of the Army's strength range between 174,000 and 200,000 soldiers, smaller than that of
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula, in Southern Europe, Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includ ...

's, which ranked it 17th or 19th in the world in size. General
George C. Marshall George Catlett Marshall Jr. (December 31, 1880 – October 16, 1959) was an American soldier and statesman. He rose through the United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land military branch, service branch of the United State ...
became Army chief of staff in September 1939 and set about expanding and modernizing the Army in preparation for war. The United States joined
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great ...
in December 1941 after the
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of J ...

attack on Pearl Harbor The Attack on Pearl HarborAlso known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service upon the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United S ...
. Some 11 million Americans were to serve in various Army operations.. Other sources count the Army of Occupation up to 31 December 1946. By 30 June 1947 the Army's strength was down to 990,000 troops. On the European front, U.S. Army troops formed a significant portion of the forces that landed in French North Africa and took Tunisia and then moved on to Sicily and later fought in Italy. In the June 1944 and in the subsequent
liberation of Europe The final battles of the European theatre of World War II, European Theatre of World War II, as well as the German Instrument of Surrender, overall surrender of Nazi Germany to the Allies of World War II, Allies, took place on 8 May 1945. Timel ...
and defeat of
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was t ...

Nazi Germany
, millions of U.S. Army troops played a central role. In the
Pacific War The Pacific War, sometimes called the Asia–Pacific War, was the theater Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real ...
, U.S. Army soldiers participated alongside the
United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the Marines, maritime land force military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting expeditionary warfare, exped ...
in capturing the
Pacific Islands This is a list of islands in the Pacific Ocean, collectively called the Pacific Islands. Three major groups of islands in the Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arcti ...
from Japanese control. Following the
Axis Axis may refer to: Politics *Axis of evil (first used in 2002), U.S. President George W. Bush's description of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea *Axis of Resistance (first used in 2002), the Shia alliance of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah *Axis powers of W ...
surrenders in May (Germany) and August (Japan) of 1945, army troops were deployed to Japan and Germany to occupy the two defeated nations. Two years after World War II, the
Army Air Forces The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF or AAF) was the major land-based aerial warfare service component of the United States Army and ''de facto'' aerial warfare service branch of the United States during and immediately after World War II ( ...
separated from the army to become the
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Atmosphere of Earth, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States, U.S. uniformed services. Initially formed as ...

United States Air Force
in September 1947. In 1948, the army was
desegregated Desegregation is the process of ending the separation of two groups, usually referring to races. Desegregation is typically measured by the index of dissimilarity allowing researchers to determine whether desegregation efforts are having impact on ...
by of President .

Cold War


= The end of World War II set the stage for the East–West confrontation known as the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc, which began following World War II. Historians do not fully agree on its sta ...
. With the outbreak of the
Korean War The Korean War (South Korean: ; North Korean: , "Fatherland Liberation War"; 25 June 1950–27 July 1953) was a war between North Korea (with the support of China and the Soviet Union) and South Korea (with the support of the United Nations, ...

Korean War
, concerns over the defense of Western Europe rose. Two corps, V and VII, were reactivated under
Seventh United States Army The Seventh Army was a United States army created during World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by cou ...
in 1950 and U.S. strength in Europe rose from one division to four. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops remained stationed in West Germany, with others in
Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. G ...
, the
Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Dutch Caribbean, Caribbean. It is the largest of four Kingdom of the Netherlands#Constituent countries, cons ...

and the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...

United Kingdom
, until the 1990s in anticipation of a possible
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia. Primarily in the ...
attack. During the Cold War, U.S. troops and their allies fought
communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...

forces in Korea and
Vietnam , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Hanoi , coordinates = , largest_city = Ho Chi Minh City , languages_type = National language , languages ...

. The Korean War began in June 1950, when the Soviets walked out of a UN Security Council meeting, removing their possible veto. Under a
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for har ...

United Nations
umbrella, hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops fought to prevent the takeover of
South Korea South Korea (Korean language, Korean: /, Revised Romanization of Korean, RR: ''Hanguk''; literally /, Revised Romanization of Korean, RR: ''Namhan'', or /, McCune–Reischauer, MR: ''Namchosŏn'' in North Korean usage), officially the R ...

South Korea
North Korea North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It borders China and Russia to the north, at the Yalu River, Yalu (Amnok) and Tum ...

North Korea
and later to invade the northern nation. After repeated advances and retreats by both sides and the Chinese
People's Volunteer Army The (Chinese) People's Volunteer Army (PVA) was the armed forces deployed by the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies ...
's entry into the war, the s:Korean Armistice Agreement, Korean Armistice Agreement returned the peninsula to the status quo in July 1953.


= The Vietnam War is often regarded as a low point for the U.S. Army due to the use of The Draft, drafted personnel, the unpopularity of the war with the U.S. public and frustrating restrictions placed on the military by U.S. political leaders. While U.S. forces had been stationed in South Vietnam since 1959, in intelligence and advising/training roles, they were not deployed in large numbers until 1965, after the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. U.S. forces effectively established and maintained control of the "traditional" battlefield, but they struggled to counter the guerrilla war, guerrilla hit and run tactics of the communist National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam, Viet Cong and the People's Army of Vietnam, People's Army Of Vietnam (NVA). During the 1960s, the Department of Defense continued to scrutinize the reserve forces and to question the number of divisions and brigades as well as the redundancy of maintaining two reserve components, the
Army National Guard The Army National Guard (ARNG), in conjunction with the Air National Guard, is an organized Militia (United States), militia force and a Reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, federal military reserve force of the United States Ar ...
and the United States Army Reserve, Army Reserve. In 1967, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara decided that 15 combat divisions in the Army National Guard were unnecessary and cut the number to eight divisions (one mechanized infantry, two armored, and five infantry), but increased the number of brigades from seven to 18 (one airborne, one armored, two mechanized infantry and 14 infantry). The loss of the divisions did not sit well with the states. Their objections included the inadequate maneuver element mix for those that remained and the end to the practice of rotating divisional commands among the states that supported them. Under the proposal, the remaining division commanders were to reside in the state of the division base. However, no reduction in total Army National Guard strength was to take place, which convinced the governors to accept the plan. The states reorganized their forces accordingly between 1 December 1967 and 1 May 1968.


= The Total Force Policy was adopted by Chief of Staff of the Army General Creighton Abrams in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and involved treating the three components of the army – the
Regular Army A regular army is the official army of a state or country (the official armed forces), contrasting with irregular forces, such as volunteer irregular militias, private armies, mercenaries, etc. A regular army usually has the following: * a standi ...
, the
Army National Guard The Army National Guard (ARNG), in conjunction with the Air National Guard, is an organized Militia (United States), militia force and a Reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, federal military reserve force of the United States Ar ...
and the United States Army Reserve, Army Reserve as a single force. General Abrams' intertwining of the three components of the army effectively made extended operations impossible without the involvement of both the Army National Guard and Army Reserve in a predominately combat support role. The army converted to an all-volunteer force with greater emphasis on training to specific performance standards driven by the reforms of General William E. DePuy, the first commander of United States Army Training and Doctrine Command. Following the Camp David Accords that was signed by Egypt, Israel that was brokered by president Jimmy Carter in 1978, as part of the agreement, both the United States and Egypt agreed that there would be a joint military training led by both countries that would usually take place every 2 years, that exercise is known as Exercise Bright Star. The 1980s was mostly a decade of reorganization. The Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 created Unified Combatant Command, unified combatant commands bringing the army together with the other four United States Military, military services under unified, geographically organized command structures. The army also played a role in the invasions of Grenada in 1983 (Invasion of Grenada, Operation Urgent Fury) and Panama in 1989 (Operation Just Cause). By 1989 German reunification, Germany was nearing reunification and the Cold War was coming to a close. Army leadership reacted by starting to plan for a reduction in strength. By November 1989 Pentagon briefers were laying out plans to reduce army end strength by 23%, from 750,000 to 580,000. A number of incentives such as early retirement were used.


In 1990, Iraq Invasion of Kuwait, invaded its smaller neighbor, Kuwait, and U.S. land forces quickly deployed to assure the protection of Saudi Arabia. In January 1991 Operation Desert Storm commenced, a U.S.-led coalition which deployed over 500,000 troops, the bulk of them from U.S. Army formations, to Gulf War, drive out Iraqi forces. The campaign ended in total victory, as Western coalition forces routed the Iraqi Army. Some of the largest tank battles in history were fought during the Gulf war. The Battle of Medina Ridge, Battle of Norfolk and the Battle of 73 Easting were tank battles of historical significance. After Operation Desert Storm, the army did not see major combat operations for the remainder of the 1990s but did participate in a number of peacekeeping activities. In 1990 the Department of Defense issued guidance for "rebalancing" after a review of the Total Force Policy, but in 2004, Air War College scholars concluded the guidance would reverse the Total Force Policy which is an "essential ingredient to the successful application of military force".

21st century

On 11 September 2001, 53 Army civilians (47 employees and six contractors) and 22 soldiers were among the 125 victims killed in Casualties of the September 11 attacks#Pentagon, the Pentagon in a terrorism, terrorist attack when American Airlines Flight 77 commandeered by five Al-Qaeda aircraft hijacking, hijackers slammed into the western side of the building, as part of the September 11 attacks. In response to the September 11 attacks and as part of the War on Terror, Global War on Terror, U.S. and NATO forces War in Afghanistan (2001–2021), invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, displacing the Taliban government. The U.S. Army also led the combined U.S. and allied 2003 invasion of Iraq, invasion of Iraq in 2003; it served as the primary source for ground forces with its ability to sustain short and long-term deployment operations. In the following years, the mission changed from conflict between regular militaries to counterinsurgency, resulting in the deaths of more than 4,000 U.S. service members (as of March 2008) and injuries to thousands more. . By Gilbert Burnham, Shannon Doocy, Elizabeth Dzeng, Riyadh Lafta, and Les Roberts. A supplement to the second ''Lancet'' study. 23,813 insurgents were killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2011. Until 2009, the army's chief modernization plan, its most ambitious since World War II, was the Future Combat Systems program. In 2009, many systems were canceled, and the remaining were swept into the BCT Modernization, BCT modernization program. By 2017, the Brigade Modernization project was completed and its headquarters, the Brigade Modernization Command, was renamed the Joint Modernization Command, or JMC. In response to Budget sequestration in 2013, Army plans were to shrink to 1940 levels, although actual Active-Army end-strengths were projected to fall to some 450,000 troops by the end of FY2017.Joe Lacdan, Army News Service (March 13, 2019) Soldier pay, quality of life, modernization among priorities in budget proposal
Requested troop strengths: Active (480,000), NG (336,000), and Reserve (189,500) for 2020 budget
From 2016 to 2017, the Army retired hundreds of OH-58 Kiowa Warrior observation helicopters, while retaining its Apache gunships. The 2015 expenditure for Army research, development and acquisition changed from $32 billion projected in 2012 for FY15 to $21 billion for FY15 expected in 2014.Drwiega, Andrew.
Missions Solutions Summit: Army Leaders Warn of Rough Ride Ahead
''Rotor&Wing'', 4 June 2014. Accessed: 8 June 2014.



By 2017, a task force was formed to address Army modernization,Army Directive 2017–33 (Enabling the Army Modernization Task Force) (7 November 2017)
References Decker-Wagner 2011
which triggered shifts of units: RDECOM, and United States Army Capabilities Integration Center, ARCIC, from within United States Army Materiel Command, Army Materiel Command (AMC), and TRADOC, respectively, to a new Army Command (ACOM) in 2018.Secretary of the Army, Mark T. Esper (4 June 2018), ESTABLISHMENT OF UNITED STATES ARMY FUTURES COMMAN
Army General order G.O.2018-10
/ref> The United States Army Futures Command, Army Futures Command (AFC), is a peer of FORSCOM, TRADOC, and AMC, the other ACOMs.Source
Organization, United States Army. For detail, see AR10-87
/ref> AFC's mission is modernization reform: to design hardware, as well as to work within the acquisition process which defines materiel for AMC. TRADOC's mission is to define the architecture and organization of the Army, and to train and supply soldiers to FORSCOM. United States Army Futures Command#Cross-Functional Teams (CFTs), AFC's cross-functional teams (CFTs) are Futures Command's vehicle for sustainable United States Army Futures Command#Need for modernization reform, reform of the acquisition process for the future. In order to support the Army's modernization priorities, its FY2020 budget allocated $30 billion for the top six modernization priorities over the next five years. The $30 billion came from $8 billion in cost avoidance and $22 billion in terminations.

Army components

The task of organizing the U.S. Army commenced in 1775. In the first one hundred years of its existence, the United States Army was maintained as a small peacetime force to man permanent forts and perform other non-wartime duties such as United States Army Corps of Engineers, engineering and construction works. During times of war, the U.S. Army was augmented by the much larger United States Volunteers which were raised independently by various state governments. States also maintained full-time militias which could also be called into the service of the army. By the twentieth century, the U.S. Army had mobilized the U.S. Volunteers on four occasions during each of the major wars of the nineteenth century. During World War I, the "National Army (USA), National Army" was organized to fight the conflict, replacing the concept of U.S. Volunteers. It was demobilized at the end of World War I, and was replaced by the Regular Army, the Organized Reserve Corps and the state militias. In the 1920s and 1930s, the "career" soldiers were known as the "
Regular Army A regular army is the official army of a state or country (the official armed forces), contrasting with irregular forces, such as volunteer irregular militias, private armies, mercenaries, etc. A regular army usually has the following: * a standi ...
" with the "Enlisted Reserve Corps" and "Officer Reserve Corps" augmented to fill vacancies when needed. In 1941, the "Army of the United States" was founded to fight World War II. The Regular Army, Army of the United States, the National Guard and Officer/Enlisted Reserve Corps (ORC and ERC) existed simultaneously. After World War II, the ORC and ERC were combined into the United States Army Reserve. The Army of the United States was re-established for the
Korean War The Korean War (South Korean: ; North Korean: , "Fatherland Liberation War"; 25 June 1950–27 July 1953) was a war between North Korea (with the support of China and the Soviet Union) and South Korea (with the support of the United Nations, ...

Korean War
and Vietnam War and was demobilized upon the suspension of the Conscription in the United States, draft. Currently, the Army is divided into the
Regular Army A regular army is the official army of a state or country (the official armed forces), contrasting with irregular forces, such as volunteer irregular militias, private armies, mercenaries, etc. A regular army usually has the following: * a standi ...
, the Army Reserve and the
Army National Guard The Army National Guard (ARNG), in conjunction with the Air National Guard, is an organized Militia (United States), militia force and a Reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, federal military reserve force of the United States Ar ...
. Some states further maintain state defense forces, as a type of reserve to the National Guard, while all states maintain regulations for Militia (United States), state militias. State militias are both "organized", meaning that they are armed forces usually part of the state defense forces, or "unorganized" simply meaning that all able-bodied males may be eligible to be called into military service. The U.S. Army is also divided into List of United States Army careers, several branches and functional areas. Branches include officers, warrant officers, and enlisted Soldiers while functional areas consist of officers who are reclassified from their former branch into a functional area. However, officers continue to wear the United States Army branch insignia, branch insignia of their former branch in most cases, as functional areas do not generally have discrete insignia. Some branches, such as United States Army Special Forces, Special Forces, operate similarly to functional areas in that individuals may not join their ranks until having served in another Army branch. Careers in the Army can extend into cross-functional areas for officer, warrant officer, enlisted, and civilian personnel. Before 1933, members of the Army National Guard were considered state militia until they were mobilized into the U.S. Army, typically on the onset of war. Since the 1933 amendment to the National Defense Act of 1916, all Army National Guard soldiers have held dual status. They serve as National Guardsmen under the authority of the governor of their state or territory and as reserve members of the U.S. Army under the authority of the president, in the Army National Guard of the United States. Since the adoption of the total force policy, in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, reserve component soldiers have taken a more active role in U.S. military operations. For example, Reserve and Guard units took part in the Gulf War, peacekeeping in Kosovo, Afghanistan and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Army commands and army service component commands

United States Department of the Army, Headquarters, United States Department of the Army (HQDA): Source: U.S. Army organization


See Structure of the United States Army for a detailed treatment of the Structure of the United States Army#History, history, Structure of the United States Army#Active and Reserve Components, components, Structure of the United States Army#Administrative and Operational, administrative and operational structure and the Structure of the United States Army#Branches and Functional Areas, branches and functional areas of the Army. The U.S. Army is made up of three components: the active component, the Regular Army; and two reserve components, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve. Both reserve components are primarily composed of part-time soldiers who train once a month – known as Battle Assembly, battle assemblies or unit training assemblies (UTAs) – and conduct two to three weeks of annual training each year. Both the Regular Army and the Army Reserve are organized under Title 10 of the United States Code, while the National Guard is organized under Title 32 of the United States Code, Title 32. While the Army National Guard is organized, trained and equipped as a component of the U.S. Army, when it is not in federal service it is under the command of individual state and territorial governors. However, the District of Columbia National Guard reports to the U.S. president, not the district's mayor, even when not federalized. Any or all of the National Guard of the United States, National Guard can be federalized by presidential order and against the governor's wishes. The U.S. Army is led by a civilian
secretary of the Army The secretary of the Army (SA, SECARM or SECARMY) is a senior civilian official within the United States Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an United States federal executive departments, exec ...
, who has the statutory authority to conduct all the affairs of the army under the authority, direction and control of the United States Secretary of Defense, secretary of defense. The chief of staff of the Army, who is the highest-ranked military officer in the army, serves as the principal military adviser and executive agent for the secretary of the Army, i.e., its service chief; and as a member of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is the body of the most senior uniformed leaders within the United States Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an United States federal executive departments, ...
, a body composed of the service chiefs from each of the four military services belonging to the Department of Defense who advise the president of the United States, the secretary of defense and the United States National Security Council, National Security Council on operational military matters, under the guidance of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1986, the Goldwater–Nichols Act mandated that operational control of the services follows a chain of command from the president to the secretary of defense directly to the Unified Combatant Command, unified combatant commanders, who have control of all armed forces units in their geographic or function area of responsibility, thus the secretaries of the military departments (and their respective service chiefs underneath them) only have the responsibility to organize, train and equip their service components. The army provides trained forces to the combatant commanders for use as directed by the secretary of defense. By 2013, the army shifted to six geographical commands that align with the six geographical unified combatant commands (CCMD): * Third United States Army, United States Army Central headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina * Fifth United States Army, United States Army North headquartered at Fort Sam Houston, Texas * United States Army South headquartered at Fort Sam Houston, Texas * United States Army Europe headquartered at Clay Kaserne, Wiesbaden, Germany * United States Army Pacific Command, United States Army Pacific headquartered at Fort Shafter, Hawaii * United States Army Africa headquartered at Vicenza, Italy The army also transformed its base unit from Division (military), divisions to brigades. Division lineage will be retained, but the divisional headquarters will be able to command any brigade, not just brigades that carry their divisional lineage. The central part of this plan is that each brigade will be modular, i.e., all brigades of the same type will be exactly the same and thus any brigade can be commanded by any division. As specified before the 2013 end-strength re-definitions, the three major types of brigade combat teams are: * Brigade Combat Team#Heavy brigade combat team, Armored brigades, with a strength of 4,743 troops as of 2014. * Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Stryker brigades, with a strength of 4,500 troops as of 2014. * Brigade Combat Team#Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Infantry brigades, with a strength of 4,413 troops as of 2014. In addition, there are combat support and service support modular brigades. Combat support brigades include Combat Aviation Brigade, aviation (CAB) brigades, which will come in heavy and light varieties, Fires Brigade, fires (artillery) brigades (now transforms to division artillery) and Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, expeditionary military intelligence brigades. Combat service support brigades include Sustainment Brigade, sustainment brigades and come in several varieties and serve the standard support role in an army.

Combat maneuver organizations

:''To track the effects of the 2018 budget cuts, see Transformation of the United States Army#Divisions and brigades'' The U.S. Army currently consists of 10 active divisions and one deployable division headquarters (7th Infantry Division) as well as several independent units. The force is in the process of contracting after several years of Grow the Army, growth. In June 2013, the Army announced plans to downsize to 32 active brigade combat teams by 2015 to match a reduction in active-duty strength to 490,000 soldiers. Army chief of staff Raymond Odierno projected that the Army was to shrink to "450,000 in the active component, 335,000 in the National Guard and 195,000 in U.S. Army Reserve" by 2018. However, this plan was scrapped by the new administration and now the Army plans to grow by 16,000 soldiers to a total of 476,000 by October 2017. The National Guard and the Army Reserve will see a smaller expansion. Within the Army National Guard and United States Army Reserve, there are a further 8 divisions, 27 brigade combat teams, additional combat support and combat service support brigades and independent cavalry, infantry, artillery, aviation, engineer and support battalions. The Army Reserve in particular provides virtually all psychological operations and civil affairs units. United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) ''For a description of U.S. Army tactical organizational structure, see: a Structure of the United States Army#Operational, U.S. context and also a Military organization#Modern hierarchy, global context.''

Special operations forces

United States Army Special Operations Command, United States Army Special Operations Command (Airborne) (USASOC):Army Special Operations Forces Fact Book 2018
, USASOC official website, dated 2018, last accessed 28 July 2019


The Army's Talent Management Task Force (TMTF) has deployed IPPS-A,Integrated Personnel and Pay System - Army
/ref> the Integrated Personnel and Pay System - Army, an app which serves the National Guard, and in 2021 the Army Reserve and Active Army. Soldiers are reminded to update their information using the legacy systems to keep their payroll and personnel information current by December 2021. IPPS-A is the Human Resources system for the Army, is now available for download for Android, or the Apple store.Army Public Affairs(2 Jun 2021) New Army pay, personnel mobile app
unifies unit and location information for all Soldiers
using Army Organization Server data interface (AOSDI), unified with IPPS-A on the back-end. This allows aggregation of data on ACOM/ASCC, Corps, Division, Brigade, Battalion, Company, Platoon, and Squad levels
It will be used for future promotions and other personnel decisions. Among the changes are: * BCAP, the Battalion Commander Assessment Program. In January 2020, over 800 majors and lieutenant colonels from all over the Army converged on Fort Knox to take part in a five-day program to select the next battalion commanders for the Army (beginning in FY2021). This process replaces the former selection process which was based solely on rank and individual reviews of past performance. From now on, more consideration will be given to an individual officer's personal preference, as part of 25 other selection criteria. "Promotion boards will now be able to see almost all substantiated adverse information". The promotion boards will be able to see anything in an officer's human resource record. Officers are encouraged to become familiar with their human resource record, and to file rebuttals to adverse information.Thomas Brading, Army News Service (8 June 2021) Promotion boards to receive adverse information earlier when considering officers
/ref> * Depending on the success of this initiative, other assessment programs could be instituted as well, for promotion to sergeants major,Eric Pilgrim (23 November 2020) Prototype Sergeants Major Assessment Program at Fort Knox on the right path
/ref> and for assessment of colonels for command.Eric Pilgrim (13 August 2020) Army vice chief walks through brigade command program to witness Army’s newest assessment tool
/ref> Below are the U.S. Army ranks authorized for use today and their equivalent NATO designations. Although no living officer currently holds the rank of General of the Army (United States), General of the Army, it is still authorized by Congress for use in wartime.

Commissioned officers

There are several paths to becoming a commissioned officerFrom th
Future Soldiers
Web Site.
including the United States Military Academy, Reserve Officers' Training Corps, Officer Candidate School, and Direct commission officer, Direct commissioning. Regardless of which road an officer takes, the insignia are the same. Certain professions including physicians, pharmacists, nurses, lawyers and chaplains are commissioned directly into the Army. Most army commissioned officers (those who are generalists)Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. (25 October 2017) Can The Pentagon Protect Young Innovators?
Fixing the 'up or out' culture, which favors generalists
are promoted based on an "up or out" system. A more flexible talent management process is underway. The Defense Officer Personnel Management Act of 1980 establishes rules for the timing of promotions and limits the number of officers that can serve at any given time. Army regulations call for addressing all personnel with the rank of general as "General (last name)" regardless of the number of stars. Likewise, both colonels and lieutenant colonels are addressed as "Colonel (last name)" and first and second lieutenants as "Lieutenant (last name)".

Warrant officers

Warrant officer (United States), Warrant officers are single track, specialty officers with subject matter expertise in a particular area. They are initially appointed as warrant officers (in the rank of WO1) by the
secretary of the Army The secretary of the Army (SA, SECARM or SECARMY) is a senior civilian official within the United States Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an United States federal executive departments, exec ...
, but receive their Officer (armed forces)#Warrant officers, commission upon promotion to chief warrant officer two (CW2). By regulation, warrant officers are addressed as "Mr. (last name)" or "Ms. (last name)" by senior officers and as "sir" or "ma'am" by all enlisted personnel. However, many personnel address warrant officers as "Chief (last name)" within their units regardless of rank.

Enlisted personnel

Sergeants and corporals are referred to as NCOs, short for Staff Noncommissioned Officer, non-commissioned officers.From th
Enlisted Soldiers Descriptions
Web Site.
This distinguishes corporals from the more numerous specialists who have the same pay grade but do not exercise leadership responsibilities. Beginning in 2021, all corporals will be required to conduct structured self-development for the NCO ranks, completing the basic leader course (BLC), or else be laterally assigned as specialists. Specialists who have completed BLC and who have been recommended for promotion will be permitted to wear corporal rank before their recommended promotion as NCOs.Joseph Lacdan, Army News Service (4 June 2021) Soldiers to pin on corporal after BLC
/ref> Privates and privates first class (E3) are addressed as "Private (last name)", specialists as "Specialist (last name)", corporals as "Corporal (last name)" and sergeants, staff sergeants, sergeants first class and master sergeants all as "Sergeant (last name)". First sergeants are addressed as "First Sergeant (last name)" and sergeants major and command sergeants major are addressed as "Sergeant Major (last name)".


Training in the U.S. Army is generally divided into two categories – individual and collective. Because of COVID-19 precautions, the first two weeks of basic training — not including processing and out-processing — incorporate social distancing and indoor desk-oriented training. Once the recruits have tested negative for COVID-19 for two weeks, the remaining 8 weeks follow the traditional activities for most recruits, followed by Advanced Individualized Training (AIT) where they receive training for their List of United States Army careers, military occupational specialties (MOS). Some individual's MOSs range anywhere from 14 to 20 weeks of One Station Unit Training (OSUT), which combines Basic Training and AIT. The length of AIT school varies by the MOS. The length of time spent in AIT depends on the MOS of the soldier. Certain highly technical MOS training requires many months (e.g., foreign language translators). Depending on the needs of the army, United States Army Basic Training#Basic Combat Training, Basic Combat Training for combat arms soldiers is conducted at a number of locations, but two of the longest-running are the Armor School and the United States Army Infantry School, Infantry School, both at Fort Benning, Georgia. Sergeant Major of the Army Dailey notes that an infantrymen's pilot program for One Station Unit Training (OSUT) extends 8 weeks beyond Basic Training and AIT, to 22 weeks. The pilot, designed to boost infantry readiness ended in December 2018. The new Infantry OSUT covered the M240 machine gun as well as the M249 light machine gun, M249 squad automatic weapon. The redesigned Infantry OSUT started in 2019. Depending on the result of the 2018 pilot, OSUTs could also extend training in other combat arms beyond the infantry. One Station Unit Training will be extended to 22 weeks for Armor by Fiscal Year 2021. Additional OSUTs are expanding to Cavalry, Engineer, and Military Police (MP) in the succeeding Fiscal Years. A new training assignment for junior officers was instituted, that they serve as platoon leaders for Basic Combat Training (BCT) platoons. These lieutenants will assume many of the administrative, logistical, and day-to-day tasks formerly performed by the drill sergeants of those platoons and are expected to "lead, train, and assist with maintaining and enhancing the morale, welfare and readiness" of the drill sergeants and their BCT platoons. These lieutenants are also expected to stem any inappropriate behaviors they witness in their platoons, to free up the drill sergeants for training. The United States Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) was introduced into the Army, beginning in 2018 with 60 battalions spread throughout the Army. The test is the same for all soldiers, men or women. It takes an hour to complete, including resting periods. The ACFT supersedes the Army physical fitness test (APFT),Joe Lacdan, Army News Service (22 May 2020) SMA expects ACFT to continue as planned in COVID-19 environment
"Soldiers can use their last APFT score to remain promotion eligible."
as being more relevant to survival in combat. Six events were determined to better predict which muscle groups of the body were adequately conditioned for combat actions: three deadlifts, a standing power throw of a ten-pound medicine ball, hand-release pushups (which replace the traditional pushup), a sprint/drag/carry 250 yard event, three pull-ups with leg tucks (or a plank test in lieu of the leg tuck), a mandatory rest period, and a two-mile run. On 1 October 2020 all soldiers from all three components (Active Army, Reserve, and National guard) are subject to this test.Harry Sarles (July 24, 2019) Pre-Command Course conducts diagnostic Army Combat Fitness Test
/ref> The ACFT now tests all soldiers in basic training as of October 2020. The ACFT becomes the official test of record 1 October 2020; before that day every Army unit is required to complete a diagnostic ACFTMaj. Stephen Martin (December 27, 2019) Kentucky Guard first to receive ACFT equipment
"36,608 ACFT sets for the total army by May 15". "The Army is focused on the tactical athlete".
Staff Sgt. Warren Wright (10 January 2020) NY National Guard finds creative ways to train for new fitness test
"finding creative ways to exercise at home and on their own time"
(All Soldiers with valid APFT scores can use them until March 2022. The Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) System is one way that soldiers can prepare.).Thomas Brading, Army News Service (18 June 2020) SMA takes to social media, addresses ACFT 2.0 concerns
/ref>US Army (2020) US Army soldier prepares for ACFT
Learning how to retrain an injured body; using resistance bands (good for leg tucks); know your limits; use out-training (see video for sample); practice technique (good for deadlift, and power throw)
Haley Britzk
(27 Oct 2021) This is the Army’s plan to stop physically breaking so many of its soldiers
Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention (SHARP) office is located in Falcon Holistic Health and Fitness Center (H2F) at Fort Bragg
The ACFT movements directly translate to movements on the battlefield. Following their basic and advanced training at the individual level, soldiers may choose to continue their training and apply for an "additional skill identifier" (ASI). The ASI allows the army to take a wide-ranging MOS and focus it on a more specific MOS. For example, a combat medic, whose duties are to provide pre-hospital emergency treatment, may receive ASI training to become a cardiovascular specialist, a dialysis specialist, or even a licensed practical nurse. For commissioned officers, training includes pre-commissioning training, known as Basic Officer Leader Course A, either at West Point, USMA or via ROTC, or by completing Officer Candidate School (U.S. Army), OCS. After commissioning, officers undergo branch-specific training at the Basic Officer Leaders Course B, (formerly called Officer Basic Course), which varies in time and location according to their future assignments. Officers will continue to attend standardized training at different stages of their careers. Collective training at the unit level takes place at the unit's assigned station, but the most intensive training at higher echelons is conducted at the three combat training centers (CTC); the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California, the Fort Polk#JRTC, Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana and the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Joint Multinational Training Center (JMRC) at the Hohenfels Training Area in Hohenfels, Bavaria, Hohenfels and Grafenwöhr, Germany. ARFORGEN is the Army Force Generation process approved in 2006 to meet the need to continuously replenish forces for deployment, at unit level and for other echelons as required by the mission. Individual-level replenishment still requires training at a unit level, which is conducted at the continental U.S. (CONUS) replacement center (CRC) at Fort Bliss, in New Mexico and Texas before their individual deployment. Chief of Staff Milley notes that the Army is suboptimized for training in cold-weather regions, jungles, mountains, or urban areas where in contrast the Army does well when training for deserts or rolling terrain. Post 9/11, Army unit-level training was for counter-insurgency (COIN); by 2014–2017, training had shifted to decisive action training.


The chief of staff of the Army has identified six modernization priorities, in order: artillery, ground vehicles, aircraft, network, air/missile defense, and soldier lethality.ASA(ALT)]
Weapon Systems Handbook 2018
Page 32 lists how this handbook is organized. 440 pages.


Individual weapons

The United States Army employs various weapons to provide light firepower at short ranges. The most common weapon type used by the army is the M4 carbine, a compact variant of the M16 rifle, along with the 7.62×51mm variant of the FN SCAR for United States Army Rangers, Army Rangers. The primary sidearm in the U.S. Army is the 9 mm Beretta M9, M9 pistol; the M11 pistol is also used. Both handguns are to be replaced by the SIG Sauer P320, M17 through the Modular Handgun System program. Soldiers are also equipped with various hand grenades, such as the M67 grenade, M67 fragmentation grenade and Smoke grenade, M18 smoke grenade. Many units are supplemented with a variety of specialized weapons, including the M249 light machine gun, M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon), to provide suppressive fire at the squad level. Indirect fire is provided by the M320 Grenade Launcher Module, M320 grenade launcher. The Benelli M4 Super 90, M1014 Joint Service Combat Shotgun or the Mossberg 500#Model 500 vs. Model 590 vs. Model 590A1, Mossberg 590 Shotgun are used for door breaching and close-quarters combat. The Mk 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle, M14EBR is used by designated marksmen. Snipers use the M82 Barrett rifle, M107 Long Range Sniper Rifle, the M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle and the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System, M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle.

Crew-served weapons

The army employs various crew-served weapons to provide heavy firepower at ranges exceeding that of individual weapons. The M240 machine gun, M240 is the U.S. Army's standard Medium Machine Gun. The M2 Browning machine gun, M2 heavy machine gun is generally used as a vehicle-mounted machine gun. In the same way, the 40 mm Mk 19 grenade launcher, MK 19 grenade machine gun is mainly used by motorized units. The U.S. Army uses three types of Mortar (weapon), mortar for indirect fire support when heavier artillery may not be appropriate or available. The smallest of these is the 60 mm M224 mortar, M224, normally assigned at the infantry company level. At the next higher echelon, infantry battalions are typically supported by a section of 81 mm M252 mortars. The largest mortar in the army's inventory is the 120 mm M120 mortar, M120/M121, usually employed by mechanized units. Fire support for light infantry units is provided by towed howitzers, including the 105 mm M119 howitzer, M119A1 and the 155 mm M777 howitzer, M777. The U.S. Army utilizes a variety of direct-fire rockets and missiles to provide infantry with an Anti-Armor Capability. The AT4 is an unguided projectile that can destroy armor and bunkers at ranges up to 500 meters. The FIM-92 Stinger is a shoulder-launched, heat seeking anti-aircraft missile. The FGM-148 Javelin and BGM-71 TOW are anti-tank guided missiles.


U.S. Army doctrine puts a premium on mechanized warfare. It fields the highest vehicle-to-soldier ratio in the world as of 2009. The army's most common vehicle is the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), commonly called the Humvee, which is capable of serving as a cargo/troop carrier, weapons platform and ambulance, among many other roles. While they operate a wide variety of combat support vehicles, one of the most common types centers on the family of HEMTT vehicles. The M1 Abrams, M1A2 Abrams is the army's main battle tank, while the M2 Bradley, M2A3 Bradley is the standard infantry fighting vehicle. Other vehicles include the Stryker, the M113 armored personnel carrier and multiple types of MRAP, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. The U.S. Army's principal artillery weapons are the M109 Paladin, M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer and the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), both mounted on tracked platforms and assigned to heavy mechanized units. While the United States Army Aviation Branch operates a few
fixed-wing aircraft A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air Aircraft, flying machine, such as an airplane, which is capable of flight using wings that generate Lift (force), lift caused by the aircraft's forward airspeed and the wing configuration, shape of t ...
, it mainly operates several types of rotary-wing aircraft. These include the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, the UH-60 Black Hawk utility tactical transport helicopter and the CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift transport helicopter. Restructuring plans call for reduction of 750 aircraft and from 7 to 4 types. The Army is evaluating two fixed-wing aircraft demonstrators; ARES, and Artemis are under evaluation to replace the Guardrail ISR (Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) aircraft. Under the Johnson-McConnell agreement of 1966, the Army agreed to limit its fixed-wing aviation role to administrative mission support (light unarmed aircraft which cannot operate from forward positions). For UAVs, the Army is deploying at least one company of drone MQ-1C Gray Eagles to each Active Army division.


The Army Combat Uniform (ACU) currently features a camouflage pattern known as Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP); OCP replaced a pixel-based pattern known as Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) in 2019. On 11 November 2018, the Army announced a new version of 'Army Greens' based on uniforms worn during World War II that will become the standard garrison service uniform. The blue Army Service Uniform will remain as the dress uniform. The Army Greens are projected to be first fielded in the summer of 2020.


The United States military beret flash, beret flash of enlisted personnel displays their distinctive unit insignia (shown above). The U.S. Army's black beret is no longer worn with the ACU for garrison duty, having been permanently replaced with the patrol cap. After years of complaints that it was not suited well for most work conditions, Army chief of staff General Martin Dempsey eliminated it for wear with the ACU in June 2011. Soldiers who are currently in a unit in jump status still wear berets, whether the wearer is parachute-qualified or not (maroon beret), while members of Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFABs) wear brown berets. Members of the 75th Ranger Regiment and the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade (tan beret) and Special Forces (rifle green beret) may wear it with the Army Service Uniform for non-ceremonial functions. Unit commanders may still direct the wear of patrol caps in these units in training environments or motor pools.


The Army has relied heavily on tents to provide the various facilities needed while on deployment (Force Provider Expeditionary (FPE)). The most common tent uses for the military are as temporary barracks (sleeping quarters), Mess#U.S. Army, DFAC buildings (dining facilities),Joe Lacdan (August 13, 2018) Automated meal entitlement system, food trucks to improve Soldier dining experience
Accomplishes paperwork reduction based on reading each soldier's Common Access Card at each use at DFAC.
forward operating bases (FOBs), after-action review (AAR), tactical operations center (TOC), morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) facilities, as well as security checkpoints. Furthermore, most of these tents are set up and operated through the support of U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center, Natick Soldier Systems Center. Each FPE contains billeting, latrines, showers, laundry and kitchen facilities for 50–150 Soldiers, and is stored in Reorganization plan of United States Army#Prepositioned stocks, Army Prepositioned Stocks 1, 2, 4 and 5. This provisioning allows combatant commanders to position soldiers as required in their Area of Responsibility, within 24 to 48 hours. The U.S. Army is beginning to use a more modern tent called the deployable rapid assembly shelter (DRASH). In 2008, DRASH became part of the Army's Standard Integrated Command Post System.NG, DHS Technologies to support SICPS/TMSS
United Press International

See also

* ''America's Army'' (video games for recruitment) * Army CHESS (Computer Hardware Enterprise Software and Solutions) * History of the United States Army * List of military weapons of the United States * Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps * List of active United States military aircraft * List of comparative military ranks * List of former United States Army medical units * List of wars involving the United States * Reorganization plan of United States Army * Soldier's Creed * Timeline of United States military operations * United States Army Basic Training * U.S. Army Combat Arms Regimental System * U.S. Army Regimental System * Vehicle markings of the United States military




Further reading

* * Bailey, Beth. ''America's Army: Making the All-Volunteer Force'' (2009) * * Chambers, John Whiteclay, ed. ''The Oxford Guide to American Military History'' (1999) online at many libraries * Clark, J. P. ''Preparing for War: The Emergence of the Modern U.S. Army, 1815–1917'' (Harvard UP, 2017) 336 pp. * Coffman, Edward M. ''The War to End All Wars: The American Military Experience in World War I'' (1998), a standard history * Kretchik, Walter E. ''U.S. Army Doctrine: From the American Revolution to the War on Terror'' (University Press of Kansas; 2011) 392 pages; studies military doctrine in four distinct eras: 1779–1904, 1905–1944, 1944–1962, and 1962 to the present. * Woodward, David R. ''The American Army and the First World War'' (Cambridge University Press, 2014). 484 pp
online review

External links

* – United States Army official website
– United States Army featured photos
U.S. Army Collection
– Missouri History Museum

(compiled by the United States Army Center of Military History)
– The U.S. Army during the Second World War {{DEFAULTSORT:United States Army United States Army, Uniformed services of the United States Military units and formations established in 1775 1775 establishments in the Thirteen Colonies United States Armed Forces service branches Organisations designated as terrorist by Iran