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US Armed Forces Facts

The Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces is the President of the United States.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is responsible for the control of each branch of the military, except the U.S. Coast Guard, which is controlled by the Department of Homeland Security.

The DoD is the largest ‘company’ in the world and employs more than 2 million people, both civilians, and military personnel.

military

Branches of the U.S. Military

There are six branches of the U.S. military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and Space Force.

Each branch has full-time military personnel. As well, there are the Reserves, the Army National Guards, and the Air National Guards.

The reserves and guards can be called in for full-time duty when needed but they have other civilian jobs.

ROTC color guard

The U.S. Air Force

The mission of the U.S. Air Force is to defend the United States from attack from outside forces. They also provide air support for other departments, such as the Army and Navy.

The members help in recovering troops on the ground that are stranded or in danger.

The personnel is trained to combat possible terror attacks, wars, and to respond to catastrophes wherever they happen in the world.

tornado damage

The U.S. Army and National Guard

The U.S. Army is a land-based branch of the Armed Forces. The units are trained to preserve peace wherever they are deployed.

The soldiers provide the defense of the United States, the Commonwealth, the possessions, and areas occupied by the United States.

The U.S. Army is responsible to support national policies and defend against aggression that threatens the peace and security of the United States.

The Army National Guard is governed by each state of the United States. It is the only branch of the military required by the Constitution.

The members of the National Guard commit some of their time to preserve peace. They are not full-time soldiers but respond when they are called to duty, for example, when they are needed to quell violence when the police forces need help.  

The LAPD National Guard in training
The LAPD National Guard in training

The U.S. Coast Guard and Reserves

The major concern of the U.S. Coast Guard is to guard domestic waterways (lakes, rivers, ports, etc.). The Coast Guard is under the control of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

During times of war, the Coast Guard can be transferred to the U.S. Navy, which is under the Department of Defense.

The Coast Guard performs rescues, law enforcement, drug prevention, and respond to any incident on water.

law-justice-police

U.S. Marine Corps and Reserves

The Marines are a rapid-reaction force. They are trained to fight on the seas and land. The Marine Corps is a part of the Navy. The Marine Corps operates onboard warfare ships around the world.

There are also aviation squadrons embedded with the Navy carrier air wings and aircraft carriers. The members of the U.S. Marine Corps have a reputation as being among the fiercest and best-trained troops in the world.

ships float

The U.S. Navy and Reserves

The U.S. Navy conducts its missions by sea to secure and protect the oceans around the world. Their mission to secure safe travel and trade by sea.

The Navy boasts 290 combat ships, the greatest tonnage of active battleships in the world. It also has the world’s largest aircraft carrier fleet, with 11 presently in service and 3,700 aircraft.

The U.S. Navy has more than 336,000 active-duty personnel and about 100,000 reservists.

spaceship

The U.S. Space Force

The U.S. Space Force is the newest branch of the military and was signed into law in December 2019. It does not have a reserve.

It is still in development and no decisions have been made regarding uniforms or recruitment procedures.

Quiz Time!

quiz-time

QUESTIONS

Name the six branches of the U.S. Military.

What is the mission of the U.S. Marines?

What is the mission of the U.S. Air Force?

What is the mission of the U.S. Army?

What does the U.S. Coast Guard do? 

ocean coastline

ANSWERS

The six branches of the U.S. Military are the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and Space Force.

The Marines are a rapid-response force trained to fight on land and sea.

The mission of the U.S. Air Force is to defend the United States from attack from outside forces and to provide air support for the Army and Navy.

Loading bombs onto a World War II plane

The U.S. Army consists of ground troops trained in combat and are deployed to restore peace wherever they are deployed.

The U.S. Coast Guard guards domestic waterways and performs sea rescues, law enforcement, drug prevention, and responds to incidents on inland and coastal waters

US Government

federal-us-government

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