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The United States Armed Forces are the
military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or par ...

military forces
of the
United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States of America
. The armed forces consists of six service branches: the
Army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch Military branch ...
,
Marine Corps Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in in support of naval operations. Historically, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline and order aboard the ship (reflecting the natu ...
,
Navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense ...
,
Air Force
Air Force
,
Space Force A space force is a military branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard a subdivision of the national armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily arme ...

Space Force
, and
Coast Guard A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes ...
. The
president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of ...

president of the United States
is the
commander-in-chief A commander-in-chief or supreme commander is the person who exercises supreme command and control Command and control is a "set of organizational and technical attributes and processes ... hat A collection of 18th and 19th century men' ...
of the armed forces and forms military policy with 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 ...
(DoD) and
Department of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North Amer ...
(DHS), both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out. All six armed services are among the eight
uniformed services of the United States 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 North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washin ...
. From their inception during 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 ...
, the U.S. Armed Forces have played a decisive role in the
history of the United States The history of the United States began with the arrival of Native Americans in North America around 15,000 BC. Native American cultures in the United States, Numerous indigenous cultures formed, and many disappeared in the 16th century. Th ...
. They helped forge a sense of national unity and identity through victories in the
First Barbary War The First Barbary War (1801–1805), also known as the Tripolitan War and the Barbary Coast War, was the first of two Barbary Wars, in which the United States and Sweden fought against the four North African states known collectively as the "Barb ...
and the
Second Barbary War The Second Barbary War (1815) or the U.S.–Algerian War was fought 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 United States, primar ...
. They played a critical role in the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon nove ...
, keeping the
Confederacy Confederacy may refer to: A confederation, an association of sovereign states or communities. Examples include: * Battle of the Trench, Confederate tribes * Confederate States of America, a confederation of secessionist American states that existed ...

Confederacy
from seceding from the republic. The
National Security Act of 1947 The National Security Act of 1947 (Act of Congress, Pub.L.]80-253 61 United States Statutes at Large, Stat.]495 enacted July 26, 1947) was a law enacting major restructuring of the Federal government of the United States, United States government' ...
, adopted following
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, created the modern U.S. military framework. The Act established the
National Military Establishment The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government directly related to national secur ...
, headed by the secretary of defense; and created the
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosph ...

United States Air Force
and the
National Security Council#REDIRECT National security council A National Security Council (NSC) is usually an executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State ...
. It was amended in 1949, renaming the National Military Establishment the Department of Defense, and merged the cabinet-level Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, and Department of the Air Force, into the Department of Defense. The U.S. Armed Forces are one of the largest military forces in terms of personnel. They draw their personnel from a large pool of paid volunteers. Although
conscription Conscription, sometimes called the draft in the United States, is the mandatory enlistment of people in a national service National service is a system of either compulsory or voluntary government service, usually military service Mili ...
has been used in the past, it has not been used since 1973. The
Selective Service System The Selective Service System (SSS) is an Independent agencies of the United States government, independent agency of the Federal government of the United States, United States government that maintains information on those potentially subject to c ...
retains the power to conscript males, and requires that all male citizens and residents residing in the U.S. between the ages of 18–25 register with the service. The U.S. Armed Forces are considered the world's most powerful military. The military budget of the United States was US$693 billion in 2019, the highest in the world. In
2018 2018 was designated as the third International Year of the Reef by the International Coral Reef Initiative. Events January * January 13 – The killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud, in a fake encounter killings by police, encounter staged by po ...
, that accounted for 36 percent of the world's defense expenditures. The U.S. Armed Forces has significant capabilities in both defense and
power projection Power projection (or force projection) is a term used in military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and ma ...
due to its large budget, resulting in advanced and powerful technologies which enables a widespread deployment of the force around the world, including around 800 military bases outside the United States. The U.S. Air Force is the world's largest air force, the U.S. Navy is the world's largest
navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense ...

navy
by
tonnage Tonnage is a measure of the cargo-carrying capacity of a ship, and is commonly used to assess fees on commerce, commercial shipping. The term derives from the taxation paid on ''Tun (unit), tuns'' or casks of wine. In modern maritime usage, "to ...
, and the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps combined are the world's second largest air arm. In terms of size, the U.S. Coast Guard is the world's 12th largest maritime force. The U.S. as of FY2019 has about 14,061 aircraft in its military inventory. The U.S. Space Force is the world's first and, as of 2021, only independent space force.


History

The history of the U.S. Armed Forces dates to 14 June 1775, with the creation of the
Continental Army The Continental Army was the army of the Thirteen Colonies and the Revolutionary-era United States. It was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, and was established by a resolution of ...
, even before the
Declaration of Independence#REDIRECT Declaration of independence {{Redirect category shell, {{R from other capitalisation ...

Declaration of Independence
marked the establishment of the United States. The
Continental Navy The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. The fleet cumulatively became relatively substantial through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron John Adams and vigor ...
, established on 13 October 1775, and
Continental Marines The Continental Marines were the Amphibious warfare, amphibious infantry of the Thirteen Colonies, American Colonies (and later the United States) during the American Revolutionary War. The Corps was formed by the Continental Congress on Novem ...
, established on 10 November 1775, were created in close succession by the
Second Continental Congress The Second Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom of Great Britain, British c ...
in order to defend the new nation against the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
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 delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
. These forces demobilized in 1784 after the Treaty of Paris ended the War for Independence. 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 The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), ...
created the current
United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists ma ...
on 3 June 1784. The
United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising a lower body, the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives, and an upper body, t ...

United States Congress
created the current
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
on 27 March 1794 and the current
United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the na ...
on 11 July 1798. All three services trace their origins to their respective Continental predecessors. The 1787 adoption of the
Constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

Constitution
gave the
Congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, ...

Congress
the power to "raise and support armies", to "provide and maintain a navy" and to "make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces", as well as the power to
declare war ''Declare'' ( 2000) is a supernatural spy novel by American author Tim Powers. The novel presents a secret history of the Cold War, and earned several major fantasy fiction awards. Plot summary The non-linear plot, shifting back and forth in time ...
. The
president President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...

president
is the U.S. Armed Forces'
commander-in-chief A commander-in-chief or supreme commander is the person who exercises supreme command and control Command and control is a "set of organizational and technical attributes and processes ... hat A collection of 18th and 19th century men' ...
. The
United States Coast Guard The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement, law enforcement military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight Uniformed services ...
traces its origin to the founding of the
Revenue Cutter Service ) , colors= , colors_label= , march= , mascot= , equipment= , equipment_label= , battles= , anniversaries=4 August , decorations= , battle_honours= , battle_honours_label= , disbanded=28 January 1915 , flying_hours= , website= , commander1= , co ...
on 4 August 1790 which merged with the
United States Life-Saving Service The United States Life-Saving Service was a United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government) is the national government of the United States The United States of America (USA), common ...
on 28 January 1915 to establish the Coast Guard. The
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosph ...

United States Air Force
was established as an independent service on 18 September 1947; it traces its origin to the formation of the Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps, which was formed 1 August 1907 and was part of the
Army Air Forces The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF or AAF) was the major land-based aerial warfare Aerial warfare is the use of military aircraft A military aircraft is any fixed-wing A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machi ...
before becoming an independent service as per the National Security Act of 1947. The
United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC), also referred to as the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service, is the federal uniformed service of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), and is one of th ...
was formerly considered to be a branch of the United States Armed Forces from 29 July 1945 until its status as such was revoked on 3 July 1952. The
United States Space Force The United States Space Force (USSF) is the Space force, space service branch of the United States Armed Forces, U.S. Armed Forces, one of the eight Uniformed services of the United States, U.S. uniformed services, and the world's first and ...

United States Space Force
was established as an independent service on 20 December 2019. It is the sixth branch of the U.S. military and the first new branch since the establishment of the independent U.S. Air Force in 1947. It traces its origin to the formation of the
Air Force Space Command Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) was the major space command of 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 ...

Air Force Space Command
, which was formed 1 September 1982 and was a
major command Major Command or Major Commands are large formation (military), formations of the United States Armed Forces. Historically, a Major Command is the highest level of command. Within the United States Army, the acronym MACOM is used for Major Command. ...
of the United States Air Force.


Structure

Presidential President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese full- ...

Presidential
command over the U.S. Armed Forces is established by Article II in the Constitution whereby the president is named as the "
Commander in Chief A commander-in-chief or supreme commander is the person who exercises supreme command and control Command and control is a "set of organizational and technical attributes and processes ... hat A collection of 18th and 19th century men' ...
of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States." The United States Armed Forces are split between two cabinet departments, with 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 ...
serving as the primary cabinet department for military affairs and the
Department of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North Amer ...
responsible for administering the
United States Coast Guard The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement, law enforcement military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight Uniformed services ...
. The military chain of command flows from the president of the United States to the secretary of defense (for services under the Defense Department) or secretary of homeland security (for services under the Department of Homeland Security), ensuring
civilian control of the military File:050218-N-3333H-011 Admiral John B. Nathman, far right, and Admiral William J. Fallon salute during honors arrival of Secretary of the Navy, Gordon R. England.jpg, 300px, Admiral John B. Nathman (far right) and Admiral William J. Fallon salut ...
. Within the Department of Defense the military departments, the
Department of the Army The United States Department of the Army (DA) is one of the three military departments within the Department of Defense of the U.S.. The Department of the Army is the federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a ...
,
United States Department of the Navy The United States Department of the Navy (DoN) is one of the three military departments within the Department of Defense of the United States of America. It was established by an Act of Congress An Act of Congress is a statute A statute i ...
, and
Department of the Air Force The United States Department of the Air Force (DAF) is one of the three military departments within the Department of Defense of the United States of America. The Department of the Air Force was formed on September 18, 1947, per the National Se ...
, are civilian led entities that oversee the coequal military service branches organized within. The military departments and services are responsible for organizing, training, and equipping forces, with the actual chain of command flowing through the
unified combatant commands A unified combatant command (CCMD), also referred to as a combatant command, is a joint of the that is composed of units from two or more es of the , and conducts broad and continuing missions. There are currently 11 unified combatant commands ...
. 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, that advises the president of the United States, the United States Secretary of Defense, secretary of defense, th ...
, although outside the operational chain of command, is the senior-most military body in the United States Armed Forces. It is led by the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is the presiding officer of the United States 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 D ...
, who is the military head of the armed forces and principal advisor to the president and secretary of defense on military matters. Their deputy is the
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VJCS) is, by U.S. law, the second highest-ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces The United States Armed Forces are the of the . The armed forces consists of six : the , ...
. Other members include the chief of staff of the Army,
commandant of the Marine Corps The commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) is normally the highest-ranking officer in the United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service bran ...
,
chief of naval operations#REDIRECT Chief of Naval Operations The chief of naval operations (CNO) is the professional head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office () held by an admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, a ...
, chief of staff of the Air Force,
chief of space operations The chief of space operations (CSO) is a statutory office () held by a general in the United States Space Force, and is the principal military adviser to the secretary of the Air Force for Space Force operations; and is in a separate capacity a ...
, and the
chief of the National Guard Bureau The chief of the National Guard Bureau (CNGB) is the highest-ranking officer of the National Guard National Guard is the name used by a wide variety of current and historical uniformed organizations in different countries. The original National ...
. The
commandant of the Coast Guard The commandant of the Coast Guard is the service chief and highest-ranking member of the United States Coast Guard. The commandant is an Admiral (United States), admiral, appointed for a four-year term by the president of the United States upon ...
is not an official member of the Joint Chiefs, but sometimes attends meetings as the one of the military service chiefs. The
Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman The senior enlisted advisor to the chairman 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 De ...
is the most senior enlisted member in the United States Armed Forces. Leadership of the Armed Forces, to include the
president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of ...

president of the United States
,
Secretary of Defense A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet official position in charge of a ministry of defense, which regulates the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force ...
,
Secretary of Homeland Security The United States secretary of homeland security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for public sec ...
and
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is the presiding officer of the United States 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 D ...
are members of the
United States National Security Council The White House National Security Council (NSC) is the principal forum used by the president of the United States for consideration of national security, military, and Foreign relations of the United States, foreign policy matters with senior n ...
, which advises the president on national security, military, and foreign policy matters. The National Security Advisor and
Deputy National Security Advisor The United States Deputy National Security Advisor is a member of the Executive Office of the President of the United States The Executive Office of the President (EOP) comprises the offices and agencies that support the work of the president ...
may also be members of the United States Armed Forces. The National Security Council Deputies Committee also includes the
Deputy Secretary of Defense The deputy secretary of defense (acronym An acronym is a word or name formed from the initial components of a longer name or phrase, usually using individual initial letters, as in NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) or European Union, ...
,
Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security The deputy secretary of homeland security is the chief operating officer A chief operating officer (COO), also called a chief operations officer, is one of the highest-ranking executive positions in an organization, composing part of the " C-suit ...
, and
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VJCS) is, by U.S. law, the second highest-ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces The United States Armed Forces are the of the . The armed forces consists of six : the , ...
. The
United States Homeland Security Council The Homeland Security Council (HSC) is an entity within the Executive Office of the President of the United States tasked with advising the President on matters relevant to Homeland Security. The current Homeland Security Advisor is Elizabeth ...
, which advises the president on homeland security, includes the
president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of ...

president of the United States
,
Secretary of Defense A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet official position in charge of a ministry of defense, which regulates the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force ...
,
Secretary of Homeland Security The United States secretary of homeland security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for public sec ...
and
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is the presiding officer of the United States 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 D ...
. The Homeland Security Advisor may also be a member of the armed forces. Military leadership, including the
Secretary of Defense A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet official position in charge of a ministry of defense, which regulates the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force ...
,
United States Secretary of Homeland Security The United States secretary of homeland security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the United States federal executive departments, federal department tasked with ensuring public safety in the United States. The s ...
, and
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is the presiding officer of the United States 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 D ...
also sit on the
National Space Council The National Space Council is a body within the Executive Office of the President of the United States created in 1989 during the George H.W. Bush administration, disbanded in 1993, and reestablished in June 2017 by the Donald Trump administrati ...
.


Service branches

The United States Armed Forces is composed of six coequal military service branches. Five of the branches, the
United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists ma ...
,
United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the na ...
,
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
,
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosph ...

United States Air Force
, and
United States Space Force The United States Space Force (USSF) is the Space force, space service branch of the United States Armed Forces, U.S. Armed Forces, one of the eight Uniformed services of the United States, U.S. uniformed services, and the world's first and ...

United States Space Force
are organized under the Department of Defense's military departments. The
United States Coast Guard The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement, law enforcement military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight Uniformed services ...
is nominally under the
Department of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North Amer ...
, but may be transferred to the Department of Defense's Department of the Navy (which is the civilian entity that oversees the coequal U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy) at the direction of the president or congress. With the exception of the Coast Guard, the military services only organize, train, and equip forces. The unified combatant commands are responsible for operational control of non-service retained forces.


Army

The
United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists ma ...
(USA) is the
land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists mainly of Earth's crust, crustal components such a ...

land
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 and part of the civilian-led
Department of the Army The United States Department of the Army (DA) is one of the three military departments within the Department of Defense of the U.S.. The Department of the Army is the federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a ...
, which is led 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 ...
. The military head of the U.S. Army is the chief of staff of the Army, who is assisted by the
vice chief of staff of the United States Army The vice chief of staff of the Army (VCSA) is the principal deputy to the chief of staff of the Army, and is the second-highest-ranking officer on active duty in the Department of the Army The United States Department of the Army (DA) is on ...
and
sergeant major of the Army The Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA) is a unique non-commissioned rank and position of office in the United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in ...
. It was founded on 14 June 1775 as the
Continental Army The Continental Army was the army of the Thirteen Colonies and the Revolutionary-era United States. It was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, and was established by a resolution of ...
. The five core competencies of the Army are to conduct: # Prompt and sustained land combat # Combined arms operations ## Combined arms maneuver and wide area security ## Armored and mechanized operations ##
Airborne Airborne or Airborn may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * Airborne (1962 film), ''Airborne'' (1962 film), a 1962 American film directed by James Landis * Airborne (1993 film), ''Airborne'' (1993 film), a comedy–drama film * Air ...
and
air assault Air assault is the movement of ground-based military forces by vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft—such as the helicopter—to seize and hold key terrain which has not been fully secured, and to directly engage enemy forces behind en ...
operations #
Special operations Special operations (S.O.) are military activities conducted by "specially designated, organized, selected, trained, and equipped forces using unconventional techniques and modes of employment," according to NATO. Special operations may include ...
# Set and sustain the theater for the joint force # Integrate national,
multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a sovereign state that comprises two or more nat ...
, and joint power on land The U.S. Army is composed of the Regular Army,
United States Army Reserve The United States Army Reserve (USAR) is a reserve force A military reserve force is a military organization composed of citizen-soldiers of a country who combine a military role or career with a civilian career. They are not normally kept ...
, and
United States Army National Guard The Army National Guard (ARNG), in conjunction with the Air National Guard The Air National Guard (ANG), also known as the Air Guard, is a Reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, federal military reserve force of the United Stat ...
. The U.S. Army is organized into four army commands, which conduct the majority of the service's organize, train, and equip functions, ten Army service component commands, which command forces attached to the combatant commands, and twelve direct reporting units. The Army also organizes its personnel into 21 different basic branches. The four army commands are: *
United States Army Forces Command United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) is the largest United States Army command. It provides expeditionary, regionally engaged, campaign-capable land forces to combatant commanders. Headquartered at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, FORSCOM cons ...
: Provides Army forces to combatant commanders. *
United States Army Training and Doctrine Command Established 1 July 1973, the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) is a major command of the United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently su ...
: Recruits, trains, and educates soldiers and develops Army doctrine. *
United States Army Materiel Command U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) is the primary provider of materiel to the United States Army. The Command's mission includes the management of installations, as well as maintenance and parts distribution. It was established on 8 May 1962 and was ...
: Develops, maintains, and acquires systems and materiel. *
United States Army Futures Command United States Army Futures Command (AFC) is a United States Army command aimed at modernizing the Army. Army Futures: Updates on the Army's modernization strategy /ref> It currently focuses on #See also, six #Futures, priorities: #mdoLRPF, 1— ...
: Modernization and future systems development. The U.S. Army's field structure is broken into several subdivisions under its commands:


Marine Corps

The
United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the na ...
(USMC) is the
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 and part of the civilian-led Department of the Navy, which is led by the
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer) of the United States Department of the Navy, Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States D ...
. The military head of the U.S. Marine Corps is the
commandant of the Marine Corps The commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) is normally the highest-ranking officer in the United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service bran ...
, who is assisted by the
assistant commandant of the Marine Corps The assistant commandant of the Marine Corps (ACMC) is the second highest-ranking officer in the United States Marine Corps, and serves as a deputy for the commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC). Before 1946, the title was known as the assistant to ...
and
sergeant major of the Marine Corps Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps (officially abbreviated to SMMC) is a billet, as well as a unique enlisted grade of rank, with a unique non-commissioned grade of rank insignia, in the United States Marine Corps The United States Marine ...
. The Marine Corps was founded on 10 November 1775 as the
Continental Marines The Continental Marines were the Amphibious warfare, amphibious infantry of the Thirteen Colonies, American Colonies (and later the United States) during the American Revolutionary War. The Corps was formed by the Continental Congress on Novem ...
and disbanded in 1783, before being reestablished as the United States Marine Corps on 11 July 1798. The Marine Corps is responsible for
amphibious warfare Amphibious warfare is a type of offensive Offensive may refer to: * Offensive, the former name of the Dutch political party Socialist Alternative (Netherlands), Socialist Alternative * Offensive (military), an attack * Offensive language ** Fi ...
and
expeditionary warfare Expeditionary warfare is a military invasion of a foreign territory, especially away from established bases. Expeditionary forces were in part the antecedent of the modern concept of rapid deployment forces. Traditionally, expeditionary forces we ...
operations, having a very close relationship with its coequal sister service, the United States Navy. The U.S. Marine Corps is composed of the Regular Marine Corps and the
United States Marine Corps Reserve The Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES or MFR), also known as the United States Marine Corps Reserve (USMCR) and the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve, is the reserve force A military reserve force is a military organization composed of citize ...
. The central unit of the Marine Corps is a
Marine Air-Ground Task Force Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF, pronounced MAG-TAF) is a term used by the United States Marine Corps to describe the principal organization for all missions across the range of military operations. MAGTFs are a balanced air-ground, combined ar ...
, which consist of a
command element Image:USMC COC.jpg, USMC Combat Operations Center In the United States Marine Corps, the command element (CE) is the command and control force of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). It provides C4ISTAR, C3I for the MAGTF. __TOC__ Role within t ...
,
ground combat elementIn 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 conduc ...
,
aviation combat elementIn the United States Marine Corps, the aviation combat element or air combat element (ACE) is the aviation component of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). The ACE is task organized to perform the six functions of Marine Corps aviation in sup ...
, and logistics combat element. The Marine Corps is divided in the Fleet Marine Force and the Supporting Establishment. The
Fleet Marine Force The United States Fleet Marine Forces (FMF) are combined general- and special-purpose forces within the United States United States Department of the Navy, Department of the Navy that perform offensive Amphibious warfare, amphibious or expeditiona ...
includes: *
United States Marine Corps Forces Command Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command (COMMARFORCOM), headquartered at the Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads in Norfolk, Virginia Norfolk ( ) is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia Virginia (), officially the ...
/
Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic (FMFLANT) is an American maritime landing force that is spread across the Atlantic Ocean. It is headquartered at Naval Station Norfolk and directs and commands all the subordinate elements of the Navy Expediti ...
: Conducts operations in the Atlantic, Europe, and Africa. Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic under the command of
United States Fleet Forces Command The United States Fleet Forces Command (USFF) is a service component command of the United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue an ...
. *
United States Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Marine Forces Pacific (MARFORPAC) is 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 State ...
/
Fleet Marine Force, Pacific The United States Fleet Marine Force, Pacific (FMFPAC) is the largest maritime landing force in the world. Its units are spread across the Pacific Ocean and reports to the United States Pacific Command. It is headquartered at MCB Camp H. M ...
: Conducts operations in the Pacific and Middle East. Fleet Marine Force, Pacific under the command of
United States Pacific Fleet The United States Pacific Fleet (USPACFLT) is a theater-level component command of the United States Navy, located in the Pacific Ocean. It provides naval forces to the United States Indo-Pacific Command, Indo-Pacific Command. Fleet headquart ...
. The U.S. Marine Corps' Marine Air-Ground Task Force structure is broken into several levels under the Fleet Marine Force: The U.S. Marine Corps' unit structure is broken into several subdivisions under the Fleet Marine Force:


Navy

The United States Navy (USN) is the
maritime Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes, the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince ...
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 and part of the civilian-led Department of the Navy, which is led by the
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer) of the United States Department of the Navy, Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States D ...
. The military head of the U.S. Navy is the
chief of naval operations#REDIRECT Chief of Naval Operations The chief of naval operations (CNO) is the professional head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office () held by an admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, a ...
, who is assisted by the
vice chief of naval operations A vice is a practice, behaviour, or habit A habit (or wont as a humorous and formal term) is a routine of behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see ...
and
master chief petty officer of the Navy#REDIRECT Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON ) is a unique non-commissioned rank and position of office of the United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not f ...
. The Navy was founded on 13 October 1775 as the
Continental Navy The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. The fleet cumulatively became relatively substantial through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron John Adams and vigor ...
, which was disbanded on 1 August 1785 before being reestablished as the modern U.S. Navy on 20 January 1794. The five enduring functions of the Navy are: #
Sea control Command of the sea (also called control of the sea or sea control) is a naval military concept regarding the strength of a particular navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, ...
#
Power projection Power projection (or force projection) is a term used in military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and ma ...
# Deterrence #
Maritime security Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes The Maritimes, also called the Maritime provinces, is a reg ...
#
Sealift Sealift is a term used predominantly in military logistics Military logistics is the discipline of planning and carrying out the movement, supply, and maintenance of military forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is those aspects or milita ...
The U.S. Navy is composed of the Regular Navy and
United States Navy Reserve The United States Navy Reserve (USNR), known as the United States Naval Reserve from 1915 to 2005, is the Reserve Component The reserve components of the United States Armed Forces are military organizations whose Reservist, members generally p ...
. The U.S. Navy is organized into eight navy component commands, which command operational forces, fifteen shore commands, which support the fleets' operating forces, five systems commands, which oversee the technical requirements of the Navy, and nine type commands, which administratively manage units of a certain type. The navy component commands are: *
United States Fleet Forces Command The United States Fleet Forces Command (USFF) is a service component command of the United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue an ...
/ United States Naval Forces Northern Command / United States Naval Forces Strategic Command: Conducts naval operations in North America as United States Northern Command's joint force maritime component and strategic deterrence operations as United States Strategic Command's joint force maritime component. *
United States Pacific Fleet The United States Pacific Fleet (USPACFLT) is a theater-level component command of the United States Navy, located in the Pacific Ocean. It provides naval forces to the United States Indo-Pacific Command, Indo-Pacific Command. Fleet headquart ...
: Conducts naval operations in the Pacific and Asia as United States Indo-Pacific Command's joint force maritime component. * United States Naval Forces Central Command: Conducts Naval operations in the Middle East as United States Central Command's joint force maritime component. * United States Naval Forces Southern Command: Conducts naval operations in South America as United States Southern Command's joint force maritime component. * United States Naval Forces Europe-Africa: Conducts naval operations in Europe and Africa as United States European Command's and United States Africa Command's joint force maritime component. * United States Fleet Cyber Command / United States Navy Space Command: Naval component to United States Cyber Command and United States Space Command. * United States Naval Special Warfare Command: Commands the United States Navy SEALs and conducts special operations as United States Special Operations Command joint force maritime component. * United States Navy Military Sealift Command: Conducts sealift operations as United States Transportation Command's joint force maritime component. The U.S. Navy's unit structure is broken into several subdivisions under the operating force: *Naval fleet, Numbered fleet: Elements of navy component commands led by Vice Admiral (United States), vice admirals *Task force: Scalable organization that is responsible to the fleet commander for assigned units and functions. *Task group: An individual carrier strike group, amphibious ready group, surface strike group within a given fleet. *Task unit: Units operating together for a specific task, such as air defense units within a carrier strike group. *Task element: Individual units within a task unit. The U.S. Navy's unit structure is broken into several subdivisions under the type command structure. For Naval Air Forces:


Air Force

The
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosph ...

United States Air Force
(USAF) is the Atmosphere of Earth, air
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 and part of the civilian-led
Department of the Air Force The United States Department of the Air Force (DAF) is one of the three military departments within the Department of Defense of the United States of America. The Department of the Air Force was formed on September 18, 1947, per the National Se ...
, which is led by the United States Secretary of the Air Force, Secretary of the Air Force. The military head of the U.S. Air Force is the chief of staff of the Air Force, who is assisted by the Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, vice chief of staff of the United States Air Force and chief master sergeant of the Air Force. It achieved independence on 18 September 1947 from the U.S. Army, but directly traces its history through the United States Army Air Forces, United States Army Air Corps, United States Army Air Service, the Division of Military Aeronautics, Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, to the birth of Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps on 1 August 1907. The five core missions of the Air Force are: #Aerial warfare, Air superiority #intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance, Global integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance #airlift, Rapid global mobility #Strategic bombing, Global strike #Command and control The U.S. Air Force is composed of the Regular Air Force, United States Air Force Reserve, and United States Air National Guard. The U.S. Air Force is organized into nine major commands, which conduct the majority of the service's organize, train, and equip functions and command forces attached to the combatant commands. The Air Force's major commands are: * Air Combat Command: Provides fighter, attack, intelligence, cyber, combat rescue, and air force ground forces to combatant commanders. * Air Education and Training Command: Recruits, educates, and trains airmen and develops Air Force doctrine * Air Force Global Strike Command: Operates the Air Force's strategic bomber and intercontinental ballistic missile forces as United States Strategic Command's joint force air component. * Air Force Materiel Command: Develops, maintains, and acquires systems and materiel. * Air Force Reserve Command: Manages Air Force reserve forces. * Air Force Special Operations Command: Conducts special operations with aviation and Special Tactics Commandos as United States Special Operations Command's joint force air component. * Air Mobility Command: Conducts airlift and air refueling operations as United States Transportation Command's joint force air component. * Pacific Air Forces: Conducts air operations as United States Indo-Pacific Commands joint force air component. * United States Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa: Conducts air operations as United States European Command's and United States Africa Command's joint force air component. The U.S. Air Force's field structure is broken into several subdivisions under its major commands:


Space Force

The
United States Space Force The United States Space Force (USSF) is the Space force, space service branch of the United States Armed Forces, U.S. Armed Forces, one of the eight Uniformed services of the United States, U.S. uniformed services, and the world's first and ...

United States Space Force
(USSF) is the outer space, space
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 and part of the civilian-led
Department of the Air Force The United States Department of the Air Force (DAF) is one of the three military departments within the Department of Defense of the United States of America. The Department of the Air Force was formed on September 18, 1947, per the National Se ...
, which is led by the United States Secretary of the Air Force, Secretary of the Air Force. The military head of the U.S. Space Force is the chief of space operations, who is assisted by the vice chief of space operations and senior enlisted advisor of the Space Force. It achieved independence on 20 December 2019 from the U.S. Air Force, but directly traces its history through
Air Force Space Command Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) was the major space command of 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 ...

Air Force Space Command
to 1 September 1982, with even earlier history traced to the Western Development Division established on 1 July 1954. The five core competencies of the Space Force are: #International security, Space security #Space warfare, Combat
power projection Power projection (or force projection) is a term used in military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and ma ...
#Military logistics, Space mobility and logistics #Information warfare, Information mobility #Space domain awareness The U.S. Space Force is composed of the Regular Space Force, not yet having organized a reserve component outside of the Air Force. The Space Force is organized into one field command and one center, with the intent to fully organize into three field commands, activating Space Systems Command to replace the Space and Missile Systems Center and Space Training and Readiness Command to institutionalize its training, education, and doctrine development. The Space Force's field command and center is: * Space Operations Command: Conducts space, cyber, and intelligence operations as primary service component to United States Space Command. * Space and Missile Systems Center: Conducts research, development, acquisitions, and sustainment of Space Force systems. The Space Force's field structure is broken into several subdivisions under its field commands:


Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement, law enforcement
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 and part of the
Department of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North Amer ...
, which is led by the
Secretary of Homeland Security The United States secretary of homeland security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for public sec ...
. It is the only military branch outside the Department of Defense, but can be transferred to the civilian-led Department of the Navy, which is led by the
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer) of the United States Department of the Navy, Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States D ...
, in the case that congress stipulates that when declaring war or the president directs. The military head of the U.S. Coast Guard is the
commandant of the Coast Guard The commandant of the Coast Guard is the service chief and highest-ranking member of the United States Coast Guard. The commandant is an Admiral (United States), admiral, appointed for a four-year term by the president of the United States upon ...
, who is assisted by the Vice Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, vice commandant of the Coast Guard and master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard was founded as a military service branch on 4 August 1790 as the United States Revenue Cutter Service, United States Revenue-Marine, before being renamed on 31 July 1894 as the United States Revenue Cutter Service. On 28 January 1915 it was merged with the civilian
United States Life-Saving Service The United States Life-Saving Service was a United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government) is the national government of the United States The United States of America (USA), common ...
to form the United States Coast Guard. In 1939, the civilian United States Lighthouse Service was merged into the Coast Guard. The Revenue-Marine, and later the Coast Guard, were organized under the Department of the Treasury, transferring to the Department of the Navy during World War I and World War II. In 1967 it was transferred to the Department of Transportation, where it would reside until 2003 when it was permanently transferred to the Department of Homeland Security. The eleven missions of the Coast Guard are: #Port security, Port and waterway security #Drug interdiction #Navigational aid, Aids to navigation #Search and rescue #Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, Living marine resources #Marine safety (USCG), Marine safety #Naval warfare, Defense readiness #Border control, Migrant interdiction #Marine environmental protection #Icebreaker, Ice operations #Law enforcement The U.S. Coast Guard is composed of the Regular Coast Guard and United States Coast Guard Reserve. The U.S. Coast Guard is organized into two area commands. *Coast Guard Atlantic Area: Conducts Coast Guard operations in the Atlantic Ocean and central United States. *Coast Guard Pacific Area: Conducts Coast Guard operations in the Pacific Ocean.


Combatant commands

Unified combatant commands are joint military commands consisting of forces from multiple military departments, with their chain of command flowing from the president, to the secretary of defense, to the commanders of the combatant commands. There are eleven unified combatant commands that come in two types. Geographic commands, such as Africa, Central, European, Indo-Pacific, Northern, Southern and Space commands are responsible for planning and operations in a certain geographic area. Functional commands, such as Cyber, Special Operations, Strategic, and Transportation commands are responsible for a functional activity that crosses geographic boundaries. Each service organizes, trains, and equips forces that are then presented to the unified combatant commands through service component commands. Special Operations Command and Cyber Command also present theater special operations commands or joint force headquarters – cyber to other combatant commanders. Army or Marine Corps components are typically duel hatted as the Joint Force Land Component Commander, joint force land component, Navy components are typically duel hatted as the Joint Force Maritime Component Commander, joint force maritime component, and Air Force components are typically duel hatted as the Joint Force Air Component Commander, joint force air component, with the theater special operations command duel hatted as the joint force special operations component, and Space Force component sometimes duel hatted as the joint force space component.


Geographic


Africa Command

United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM or AFRICOM) is the geographic combatant command responsible for United States military operations in Africa, except for Egypt, which is under United States Central Command. Africa Command is headquartered in Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany. Africa Command was created due to the rising strategic importance of Africa, and to harmonize military efforts in Africa with the United States Department of State and other U.S. agencies. It was activated on 1 October 2007 as a sub-unified command of United States European Command, before becoming an independent combatant command on 1 October 2008. Prior to the establishment of United States Africa Command, military operations on the continent were the responsibility of United States European Command for North Africa, West Africa, and Southern Africa, United States Central Command for East Africa, and United States Pacific Command for the Indian Ocean and African islands off the coast. United States Africa Command includes one combined joint task force: * Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa: conducts combined (multinational) and joint (multiservice) operations in the Horn of Africa United States Africa Command's service components are: ;Army: * United States Army Africa * Ninth United States Army * Southern European Task Force ;Marine Corps: * United States Marine Corps Forces Africa ;Navy: * United States Naval Forces Africa * United States Sixth Fleet ;Air Force: * United States Air Forces Africa ;Special Operations Command: United States Special Operations Command Africa ;Cyber Command: * Joint Force Headquarters – Cyber Army


Central Command

United States Central Command (USCENTCOM or CENTCOM) is the geographic combatant command responsible for United States military operations in the Middle East, Central Asia, and parts of South Asia, except for Israel, which is under United States European Command. Central Command is headquartered in MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida, with a forward headquarters at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Central Command was established on 1 January 1983, growing out of United States Readiness Command's Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, which itself was established on 1 March 1980 . Prior to its establishment, military operations in the Middle East were the responsibility of United States European Command, and before that United States Strike Command. United States Central Command includes two subordinate units: * Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve: conducts combined (multinational) and joint (multiservice) operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. * United States Forces – Afghanistan: United States component to NATO's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. United States Central Command's service components are: ;Army: * United States Army Central * Combined Force Land Component Command ;Marine Corps: * United States Marine Forces Central Command ;Navy: * United States Naval Forces Central Command * United States Fifth Fleet ;Air Force: * Ninth Air Force * United States Air Forces Central ;Special Operations Command: * United States Special Operations Command Central ;Cyber Command: * Joint Force Headquarters – Cyber Army


European Command

United States European Command (USEUCOM or EUCOM) is the geographic combatant command responsible for United States military operations in Europe, Russia, Greenland, and Israel. European Command is headquartered in Patch Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany, and shares a commander with NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. European Command was established on 1 August 1952. United States European Command's service components are: ;Army: * United States Army Europe ;Marine Corps: * United States Marine Corps Forces Europe ;Navy: * United States Naval Forces Europe * United States Sixth Fleet ;Air Force: * United States Air Forces in Europe ;Special Operations Command: * United States Special Operations Command Europe ;Cyber Command: * Joint Force Headquarters – Cyber Air Force


Indo-Pacific Command

United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM or INDOPACOM) is the geographic combatant command responsible for United States military operations in the Pacific, Asia, India, and Antarctica. Indo-Pacific Command is headquartered in Camp H. M. Smith, Oahu, Hawaii. Indo-Pacific Command was established on 1 January 1947 as United States Pacific Command, assuming the responsibilities of Far East Command (United States), United States Far East Command and Alaskan Command on 1 July 1957. It was renamed on 30 May 2018 in recognition of the increasing strategic importance of the Indian Ocean. Indo-Pacific Command has two subordinate unified commands, two direct reporting units, and one standing joint task force: ; United States Forces Japan :;Army: ** United States Army Japan ** I Corps (United States), I Corps (Forward) :;Marine Corps: ** III Marine Expeditionary Force :;Navy: ** United States Naval Forces Japan ** United States Seventh Fleet :;Air Force: ** Fifth Air Force ; United States Forces Korea :;Army: ** Eighth United States Army :;Marine Corps: Fleet Marine Force Pacific, United States Marine Forces Korea :;Navy: ** United States Naval Forces Korea ** United States Seventh Fleet :;Air Force: ** Seventh Air Force (Air Forces Korea) :;Special Operations Command: ** United States Special Operations Command Korea ; Joint Intelligence Center, Joint Intelligence Operations Center Pacific ; Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance ; Joint Interagency Task Force West United States Indo-Pacific Command's service components are: ;Army: * United States Army Pacific ;Marine Corps: * United States Marine Corps Forces Pacific ;Navy: *
United States Pacific Fleet The United States Pacific Fleet (USPACFLT) is a theater-level component command of the United States Navy, located in the Pacific Ocean. It provides naval forces to the United States Indo-Pacific Command, Indo-Pacific Command. Fleet headquart ...
;Air Force: Pacific Air Forces ;Special Operations Command: United States Special Operations Command Pacific ;Cyber Command: * Joint Force Headquarters – Fleet Cyber Command


Northern Command

United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM or NORTHCOM) is the geographic combatant command responsible for United States military operations and the defense of North America. Northern Command is headquartered in Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado and shares a commander and some staff with the combined U.S.–Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command. Northern Command was established on 1 October 2002 in direct response to the 9/11 Attacks. Northern Command has one sub-unified command and three joint task forces: ; Alaskan Command :;Army: ** United States Army Alaska :;Navy: **United States Naval Forces Alaska :;Air Force: ** Eleventh Air Force ; Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region :;Army: ** United States Army Military District of Washington :;Marine Corps: **Marine Corps National Capital Region Command :;Navy: ** Naval District Washington :;Air Force: ** Air Force District of Washington :;Coast Guard: **Coast Guard Fifth District ; Joint Task Force – Civil Support ; Joint Task Force North United States Northern Command's service components are: ;Army: * United States Army North ;Marine Corps: * United States Marine Corps Forces North ;Navy: * United States Naval Forces Northern Command ;Air Force: * First Air Force * Air Forces Northern ;Special Operations Command: * United States Special Operations Command North ;Cyber Command: Joint Force Headquarters – Cyber Army


Southern Command

United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM or SOUTHCOM) is the geographic combatant command responsible for United States military operations in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. Southern Command is headquartered in Doral, Florida. Southern Command was established on 11 June 1963, replacing Caribbean Command. Southern Command has three joint task forces: * Joint Task Force Bravo * Joint Task Force Guantanamo * Joint Interagency Task Force South United States Southern Command's service components are: ;Army: * United States Army South ;Marine Corps: * United States Marine Corps Forces South ;Navy: * United States Naval Forces Southern Command * United States Fourth Fleet ;Air Force: * Twelfth Air Force * Air Forces Southern ;Special Operations Command: * United States Special Operations Command South ;Cyber Command: * Joint Force Headquarters – Fleet Cyber Command


Space Command

United States Space Command (USSPACECOM or SPACECOM) is the geographic combatant command responsible for United States military operations in outer space. Space Command is headquartered in Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado. Space Command was reestablished on 29 August 2019, being first established as a unified combatant command on 23 September 1985 before being inactivated on 1 October 2002 and having space activities folded into Strategic Command. While at strategic command, space operations were handled by the Joint Force Space Component Command, Joint Functional Component Command for Space, and Joint Space Operations. United States Space Command has one subordinate combined command and one joint task force: * Combined Force Space Component Command * Joint Task Force–Space Defense United States Space Command's service components are: ;Army: * United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command ;Marine Corps: *United States Marine Corps Forces Space Command ;Navy: * United States Navy Space Command ;Air Force: * First Air Force ;Space Force: * Space Operations Command ;Cyber Command: * Joint Force Headquarters – Cyber Air Force


Functional


Cyber Command

United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM or CYBERCOM) is the functional combatant command responsible for United States military operations in cyberspace. Cyber Command is headquartered in Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, sharing leadership, personnel, and resources with the National Security Agency and Central Security Service. Cyber Command was established on 21 May 2010 as a sub-unified command under United States Strategic Command, becoming an independent combatant command on 4 May 2018. Cyber Command traces its history through Strategic Command's Joint Functional Component Command – Network Warfare, Joint Task Force – Global Network Operations, Joint Task Force–Computer Network Operations, to Space Command's Joint Task Force–Computer Network Defense on 1 December 1998. Prior to the establishment of Cyber Command, cyber operations were the responsibility of Strategic Command, and before that Space Command. Cyber Command supports the other combatant commands by providing Joint Force Headquarters–Cyber elements. United States Cyber Command's service components are: ;Army: * United States Army Cyber Command * Joint Force Headquarters – Cyber Army ;Marine Corps: * United States Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command * Joint Force Headquarters – Cyber Marines ;Navy: * United States Fleet Cyber Command * United States Tenth Fleet * Joint Force Headquarters – Fleet Cyber Command ;Air Force: * Sixteenth Air Force * Air Forces Cyber * Joint Force Headquarters – Cyber Air Force


Special Operations Command

United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM or SOCOM) is the functional combatant command responsible for United States military special operations. Special Operations Command is headquartered in MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. Special Operations Command was established on 16 April 1987. United States Special Operations Command has one subordinate component command and seven theater special operations commands: ; Joint Special Operations Command :;Army: ** 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta ** Intelligence Support Activity ** Regimental Reconnaissance Company :;Navy: ** Naval Special Warfare Development Group :;Air Force: ** 24th Special Tactics Squadron :;Joint: ** Joint Communications Unit Theater Commands: * United States Special Operations Command Africa * United States Special Operations Command Central * United States Special Operations Command Europe * United States Special Operations Command Korea * United States Special Operations Command Pacific * United States Special Operations Command North * United States Special Operations Command South United States Special Operations Command's service components are: ;Army: * United States Army Special Operations Command ;Marine Corps: * United States Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command ;Navy: * United States Navy Special Warfare Command ;Air Force: * Air Force Special Operations Command ;Cyber Command: * Joint Force Headquarters – Cyber Marines


Strategic Command

United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM or STRATCOM) is the functional combatant command responsible for United States military nuclear warfare, nuclear and missile defense operations. Strategic Command is headquartered in Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Strategic Command was established on 1 June 1992, replacing the specified command function of Strategic Air Command. United States Strategic Command's service components are: ;Army: * United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command * Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense ;Marine Corps: *United States Marine Corps Forces Strategic Command ;Navy: * United States Naval Forces Strategic Command ;Air Force: * Air Force Global Strike Command ;Cyber Command: * Joint Force Headquarters – Cyber Air Force


Transportation Command

United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM or TRANSCOM) is the functional combatant command responsible for United States military Mobility (military), mobility and transport operations. Transportation Command is headquartered in Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Strategic Command was established on 1 July 1987, replacing the specified command function of Strategic Air Command.About USTRANSCOM
USTRANSCOM official website, last accessed 8 March 20201
United States Transportation Command has one subordinate command and a reserve unit that are direct reporting elements:Component & Subordinate Commands
USTRANSCOM official website, last accessed 8 March 20201
* Joint Enabling Capabilities Command ** Joint Planning Support Element ** Joint Communications Support Element (Airborne) *Joint Transportation Reserve Unit United States Transportation Command's service components are: ;Army: * Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command ;Navy: * Military Sealift Command ;Air Force: * Air Mobility Command ;Cyber Command: Joint Force Headquarters – Cyber Air Force


Budget

The United States has the List of countries by military expenditures, world's largest Military budget of the United States, military budget. In the fiscal year 2019, $693 billion in funding were enacted for the DoD and for "Overseas Contingency Operations" in the War on Terrorism. Outside of direct DoD spending, the United States spends another $218 to $262 billion each year on other defense-related programs, such as Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, nuclear weapons maintenance and DoD. In FY2016 $146.9 billion was allocated for the Department of the Army, $168.8 billion for the Department of the Navy, $161.8 billion for the Department of the Air Force, and $102.8 billion for DoD-wide spending. By function, $138.6 billion was requested for personnel, $244.4 billion for operations and maintenance, $118.9 billion for procurement, $69.0 billion for research and development, $1.3 billion for revolving and management funds, $6.9 billion for military construction, and $1.3 billion for family housing.


Personnel

The U.S. Armed Forces is the List of countries by number of active troops, world's third largest military by active personnel, after the Chinese's People's Liberation Army and the Indian Armed Forces, consisting of 1,359,685 servicemembers in the regular armed forces with an additional 799,845 servicemembers in the reserves as of 28 February 2019. While the United States Armed Forces is an all-volunteer military, conscription through the
Selective Service System The Selective Service System (SSS) is an Independent agencies of the United States government, independent agency of the Federal government of the United States, United States government that maintains information on those potentially subject to c ...
can be enacted at the president's request and Congress' approval, with all males ages 18 through 25 who are living in the United States are required to register with the Selective Service. Although the constitutionality of registering only males for Selective Service was National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System, challenged by federal district court in 2019, its legality was upheld by a federal appeals court in 2020. As in most militaries, members of the U.S. Armed Forces hold a rank, either that of Officer (armed forces), officer, Warrant Officer (United States), warrant officer or Enlisted rank, enlisted, to determine seniority and eligibility for promotion. Those who have served are known as Veteran#United States, veterans. Rank names may be different between services, but they are matched to each other by their corresponding U.S. uniformed services pay grades, paygrade. Officers who hold the same rank or paygrade are distinguished by their date of rank to determine seniority, while officers who serve in certain positions of office of importance set by law, outrank all other officers in active duty of the same rank and paygrade, regardless of their date of rank. In 2012, it was reported that only one in four persons in the United States of the proper age meet the moral, academic and physical standards for military service.


Personnel by service

''February 2018 Demographic Reports'' and end strengths for Reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, reserve components.


Locations


Overseas

As of 31 December 2010, U.S. Armed Forces troops were stationed in 150 countries; the number of non-contingent deployments per country ranges from 1 in Suriname to over 50,000 in Germany. Some of the largest deployments are: 103,700 in Afghanistan, 52,440 in Germany ''(''see List of United States Army installations in Germany, list), 35,688 in Japan (United States Forces Japan, USFJ), 28,500 in Republic of Korea, South Korea (United States Forces Korea, USFK), 9,660 in Italy and 9,015 in the United Kingdom. These numbers change frequently due to the regular recall and deployment of units. Altogether, 77,917 military personnel are located in Europe, 141 in the Post-Soviet states, former Soviet Union, 47,236 in East Asia and the Pacific, 3,362 in North Africa, the Near East and South Asia, 1,355 in sub-Saharan Africa and 1,941 in the Western Hemisphere excluding the United States itself.


Domestic

''Including U.S. territories and ships afloat within territorial waters'' As of 31 December 2009, a total of 1,137,568 personnel were on active duty within the United States and its U.S. territory, territories (including 84,461 afloat). The vast majority (941,629 personnel) were stationed at bases within the contiguous United States. There were an additional 37,245 in Hawaii and 20,450 in Alaska while 84,461 were at sea, 2,972 in Guam and 179 in Puerto Rico.


Rank structure

Rank in the United States Armed Forces is split into three distinct categories: Officer (armed forces), officers, Warrant officer (United States), warrant officers, and Enlisted rank, enlisted personnel. Officers are the leadership of the military, holding commissions from the president of the United States and confirmed to their rank by the United States Senate, Senate. Warrant officers hold a warrant from the secretaries of the military departments, serving as specialist in certain military technologies and capabilities. Upon promotion to chief warrant officer 2, they gain a commission from the president of the United States. Enlisted personnel constitute the majority of the armed forces, serving as specialists and tactical-level leaders until they become senior non-commissioned officers or senior petty officers. Military ranks across the services can be compared by U.S. Uniformed Services pay grade or NATO rank code.


Officer corps

Officers represent the top 18% of the armed forces, serving in leadership and command roles. Officers are divided into three categories: *O-1 to O-3: Company grade officers in the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Space Force or junior officers in the Navy. *O-4 to O-6: Field grade officers in the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Space Force or mid-grade officers in the Navy and Coast Guard. *O-7 to O-10: General officers in the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Space Force or flag officers in the Navy and Coast Guard. Officers are typically commissioned as second lieutenants or ensigns with a bachelor's degree after several years of training and education or Direct commission officer, directly commissioning from civilian life into a specific specialty, such as a medical professional, lawyer, chaplain, or cyber specialist. The three primary commissioning routes include: *United States service academies: Four-year military college that provides academic, military, physical, and leadership training. ** United States Military Academy at West Point: Commissions officers into the United States Army. ** United States Naval Academy: Commissions officers into the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. ** United States Air Force Academy: Commissions officers into the United States Air Force and United States Space Force. ** United States Coast Guard Academy: Commissions officers into the United States Coast Guard. ** United States Merchant Marine Academy: Commissions officers into the United States Navy Reserve. *Reserve Officer Training Corps: Part time military program at traditional colleges. ** Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps: Commissions officers into the United States Army. **Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps: Commissions officers into the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. ** Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps: Commissions officers into the United States Air Force and United States Space Force. *Officer candidate school#United States, Officer candidate school: Shortened military training for civilians or enlisted personnel who already possess a bachelor's degree. ** Officer Candidate School (United States Army), Army Officer Candidate School: Commissions officers into the United States Army. ** Officer Candidates School (United States Marine Corps), Marine Corps Officer Candidate School: Commissions officers into the United States Marine Corps. **Officer Candidate School (United States Navy), Navy Officer Candidate School: Commissions officers into the United States Navy. ** Air Force Officer Training School: Commissions officers into the United States Air Force and United States Space Force. ** Coast Guard Officer Candidate School: Commissions officers into the United States Coast Guard. Throughout their careers, officers continue professional military education throughout their careers, typically before major milestones. Professional military education institutions across the services and armed forces include: * National Defense University ** National War College ** Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy ** Joint Forces Staff College * Defense Acquisition University * United States Army War College * United States Army Command and General Staff College ** * Marine Corps University ** Marine Corps War College * Naval War College * Naval Postgraduate School: Run by the United States Navy for the entire armed forces. * Air University (United States), Air University: For United States Air Force and United States Space Force officers. ** Air War College ** Air Command and Staff College ** Squadron Officer School ** Air Force Institute of Technology During a time of war, officers may be promoted to five-star ranks, with general of the Army (United States), general of the Army, fleet admiral (United States), fleet admiral, and general of the Air Force the only five-star ranks currently authorized.


Warrant officer corps

Warrant officer (United States), Warrant officers are specialists, accounting for only 8% of the officer corps. Warrant officers hold warrants from their service secretary and are specialists and experts in certain military technologies or capabilities. The lowest-ranking warrant officers serve under a warrant, but they receive commissions from the president upon promotion to chief warrant officer 2. They derive their authority from the same source as commissioned officers but remain specialists, in contrast to commissioned officers, who are generalists. There are no warrant officers in the Air Force or Space Force. Warrant officers are typically non-commissioned officers before being selected, with the exception of the Army Aviation where any enlisted grade can apply for a warrant. Army Warrant officers attend the Warrant Officer Candidate School (United States Army), Army Warrant Officer Candidate School.


Enlisted corps

Enlisted personnel consist of 82% of the armed forces, serving as specialists and tactical leaders. Enlisted personnel are divided into three categories: *E-1 to E-3/4: Junior enlisted personnel, usually in initial training or at their first assignment. E-1 to E-3 in the Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard and E-1 to E-4 in the Army, Air Force, and Space Force. In the Army, specialist (E-4) are considered to be junior enlisted, while corporals (E-4) are non-commissioned officers. *E-4/5 to E-6: Non-commissioned officers in the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Space Force and petty officers in the Navy and Coast Guard. In the Air Force and Space Force, staff sergeant (E-5) is the first non-commissioned officer rank. Non-commissioned officers and petty officers are responsible for tactical leadership. *E-7 to E-9: Senior non-commissioned officers in the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Space Force and chief petty officers in the Navy and Coast Guard. Serve as senior enlisted advisors to officers. The rank of senior enlisted advisor is the highest rank in each service, serving as the primary advisors to their service secretary and service chief on enlisted matters. Prior to entering their service, enlisted personnel must their service's Recruit training, basic training. In the Army, after completing United States Army Basic Training, Basic Combat Training recruits then go to advanced individual training for their United States military occupation code, military occupational specialty. In the Marine Corps, after completing United States Marine Corps Recruit Training, Recruit Training, marines attend the United States Marine Corps School of Infantry, School of Infantry, going to the Infantry Training Battalion for infantry marines, with non-infantry marines completing Marine Combat Training before advancing to technical training for their List of United States Marine Corps MOS, military occupational specialty. In the Navy, after completing Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois, Recruit Training, sailors advance to their "A" schools to complete training for their List of United States Navy ratings, rating. In the Air Force and Space Force, recruits complete combined Air Force Basic Military Training, Basic Military Training before going to technical training for their Air Force Specialty Codes. In the Coast Guard, after completing United States Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, Recruit Training, sailors advance to their "A" schools to complete training for their List of United States Coast Guard ratings, rating.


Women in the armed forces

The Women's Army Corps, Woman's Army Auxiliary Corps was established in the United States in 1942. Women saw combat during World War II, first as nurses in the Pearl Harbor attacks on 7 December 1941. The WAVES, Woman's Naval Reserve, United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve, Marine Corps Women's Reserve, SPARS, US Coast Guard Women's Reserve, and Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) were also created during this conflict. In 1944, WACs arrived in the Pacific and landed in Normandy on D-Day. During the war, 67 Army nurses and 16 United States Navy Nurse Corps, Navy nurses were captured and spent three years as Japanese prisoners of war. There were 350,000 American women who served during World War II and 16 were killed in action. In total, they gained over 1,500 medals, citations and commendations. Virginia Hall, serving with the Office of Strategic Services, received the second-highest U.S. combat award, the Distinguished Service Cross (United States), Distinguished Service Cross, for action behind enemy lines in France. After World War II, demobilization led to the vast majority of serving women being returned to civilian life. Law 625, Women's Armed Services Integration Act, The Women's Armed Services Act of 1948, was signed by Harry S. Truman, President Truman, allowing women to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces in fully integrated units during peacetime, with only the WAC remaining a separate female unit. During the Korean War of 1950–1953, many women served in the Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals, with women serving in Korea numbering 120,000 during the conflict. During the Vietnam War, 600 women served in the country as part of the Air Force, along with 500 members of the WAC and over 6,000 medical personnel and support staff. The Ordnance Corps (United States Army), Ordnance Corps began accepting female missile technicians in 1974 and female crewmembers and officers were accepted into Field Artillery Branch (United States), Field Artillery missile units. In 1974, the first six women naval aviators earned their wings as Navy pilots. The congressionally mandated prohibition on women in combat places limitations on the pilots' advancement, but at least two retired as captains. In 1989, Captain Linda L. Bray, 29, became the first woman to command American soldiers in battle during the United States invasion of Panama, invasion of Panama. The 1991 Gulf War proved to be the pivotal time for the role of women in the U.S. Armed Forces to come to the attention of the world media; there are many reports of women engaging enemy forces during the conflict. In the 2000s, women can serve on U.S. combat ships, including in command roles. They are permitted to serve on submarines. Women can fly military aircraft and make up 2% of all pilots in the U.S. Military. In 2003, Major Kim Campbell (pilot), Kim Campbell was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (United States), Distinguished Flying Cross for landing her combat damaged A-10 Thunderbolt II with no hydraulic control and only one functional engine after being struck by hostile fire over Baghdad. On 3 December 2015, U.S. defense secretary Ashton Carter announced that all military combat jobs would become available to women. This gave women access to the roughly 10% of military jobs which were previously closed off due to their combat nature. The decision gave military services until January 2016 to seek exceptions to the rule if they believe that certain jobs, such as machine gunners, should be restricted to men only. These restrictions were due in part to prior studies which stated that mixed gender units are less capable in combat. Physical requirements for all jobs remained unchanged, though. Many women believe this will allow for them to improve their positions in the military, since most high-ranking officers start in combat positions. Since women are now available to work in any position in the military, female entry into Conscription in the United States, the draft has been proposed. Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester became the first woman to receive the Silver Star, the third-highest U.S. decoration for valor, for direct participation in combat. In Afghanistan, Monica Lin Brown was presented the Silver Star for shielding wounded soldiers with her body. In March 2012, the U.S. military had two women, Ann E. Dunwoody and Janet C. Wolfenbarger, with the rank of four-star general. In 2016, Air Force General Lori Robinson became the first female officer to command a major Unified Combatant Command (USNORTHCOM) in the history of the United States Armed Forces. No woman has ever become a United States Navy SEALs, Navy SEAL. In 2017, a woman who wanted to become the first female Navy SEAL officer quit after one week into initial training. Despite concerns of a gender gap, all personnel, both men and women at the same rank and time of service are compensated the same rate across all branches. A study conducted by the RAND Corporation also suggests that women who make the military their career see an improved rate of promotion, as they climb through the military ranks at a faster rate. As per 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 ...
’s report on sexual assault within the U.S. Army for the fiscal year of 2019, 7,825 cases of sexual assault had been reported with the service members either victims or subjects of the assault. There has been a 3% increase in the number of cases as compared to the 2018 report.


Order of precedence

Under Department of Defense regulation, the various components of the U.S. Armed Forces have a set order of seniority. Examples of the use of this system include the display of service flags, and placement of soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen, guardians, and coast guardsmen in formation. * Cadets, United States Military Academy, U.S. Military Academy * Midshipmen, United States Naval Academy, U.S. Naval Academy * Cadets, United States Air Force Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy * Cadets, United States Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy * Midshipmen, United States Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy * United States Army * United States Marine Corps * United States Navy * United States Air Force * United States Space Force * United States Coast Guard * Army National Guard * United States Army Reserve * United States Marine Corps Reserve * United States Navy Reserve * Air National Guard * United States Air Force Reserve * United States Coast Guard Reserve * Other training and auxiliary organizations of the Army, Marine Corps, United States Merchant Marine, Merchant Marine, Civil Air Patrol, and United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, Coast Guard Auxiliary, as in the preceding order. While the U.S. Navy is older than the Marine Corps,Naval History & Heritage Command
"Precedence of the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps"
, U.S. Department of the Navy. 11 February 2016
the Marine Corps takes precedence due to previous inconsistencies in the Navy's birth date. The Marine Corps has recognized its observed birth date on a more consistent basis. The
Second Continental Congress The Second Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom of Great Britain, British c ...
is considered to have established the Navy on 13 October 1775 by authorizing the purchase of ships, but did not actually pass the United States Navy Regulations#History, "Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the United Colonies" until 27 November 1775. The Marine Corps was established by an act of the Second Continental Congress on 10 November 1775. The Navy did not officially recognize 13 October 1775 as its birth date until 1972, when then–Chief of Naval Operations, chief of naval operations Admiral Elmo Zumwalt authorized it to be observed as such. The Coast Guard is normally situated after the Space Force, however if it is moved to the Department of the Navy, then its place in the order of precedence changes to being situated after the Navy and before the Air Force.


See also

* American Forces Network * Awards and decorations of the United States Armed Forces * Full-spectrum dominance * List of active United States military aircraft * List of currently active United States military land vehicles * List of currently active United States military watercraft * Military expression * National Guard of the United States * Provisional Army of the United States * Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance * Sexual orientation and gender identity in the United States military * Stars and Stripes (newspaper) * State defense force * Uniform Code of Military Justice * United States military casualties of war * United States military veteran suicide * Women in the United States Army * Women in the United States Marine Corps * Women in the United States Navy * Women in the United States Air Force * Women in the United States Space Force * Women in the United States Coast Guard


Notes


Citations


External links


Official U.S. Department of Defense website


{{DEFAULTSORT:United States Armed Forces Military of the United States, * Federal government of the United States, Armed Forces United States Department of Defense, Armed Forces United States Department of Homeland Security 1775 establishments in the Thirteen Colonies