Military of the United States

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United States Armed Forces
Military manpower
Military age17-45 years old<ref>Persons of 17 years of age, with parental permission, can join the U.S. armed services.</ref>
Availabilitymales & females ages 17-49:

34,813,023 (2005 est.).

CitizenshipRegular Army: No Citizenship Requirement For Enlisted Members / All Officers must be US Citizens. National Guard: Citizens Only.
Reaching military age annuallymales & females: 4,180,074 (2005 est.)
Total armed forces 2,685,713 (Ranked 2nd)
Active troops1,426,713 (Ranked 2nd)
Total troops2,685,713 (Ranked 7th)
Military expenditures
Dollar figure $441.6 billion (Ranked 1st.)
Percent of GDP3.7% (FY2006 est.)

The military of the United States, officially known as the United States Armed Forces, is structured into five branches consisting of the:

All the branches are under civilian control with the President of the United States serving as Commander-in-Chief. All branches except the Coast Guard are part of the Department of Defense, which is under the authority of the Secretary of Defense, who also is a civilian. In peacetime the Coast Guard is placed as part of the Department of Homeland Security, while in times of war they can be placed under authority of the DOD through the Department of the Navy. <ref>The United States Coast Guard has both military and law enforcement functions. Title 14, United States Code, Section 1, states "The Coast Guard as established January 28, 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed forces of the United States at all times." In peacetime it is part of the Department of Homeland Security, but in wartime falls under the operational command of the United States Navy. Coast Guard units, or ships of its predecessor service, the Revenue Cutter Service, have seen combat in every war of the United States since 1790, including the U.S. occupation of Iraq.</ref>

Approximately 1.4 million personnel are currently on active duty in the military with an additional 1,259,000 personnel in the seven reserve components (456,000 of whom are in the Army and Air National Guard).<ref>Additionally, both the Coast Guard and the Air Force have volunteer civilian auxiliaries: the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (Coast Guard) and the Civil Air Patrol (Air Force).</ref> There is currently no conscription. Women are not allowed to serve in some combat positions, but they are allowed to serve in most non-combat MOS. Due to the realities of war some of these non-combat positions see combat regularly. <ref>Template:Cite web</ref>


[edit] Capabilities

Much of U.S. military capability is involved in logistics and transportation, which enable rapid buildup of forces as needed. The Air Force maintains a large fleet of C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster, and C-130 Hercules transportation aircraft. The Marine Corps maintains Marine Expeditionary Units at sea with the Navy's Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. The Navy's fleet of 12 active aircraft carriers, combined with a military doctrine of power projection, enables a flexible response to potential threats. The capabilities and strength of the United States Armed Forces make the United States military considered the most powerful in the world.

The United States Army is not as expeditionary as the Marine Corps, but Army Chief of Staff General Peter Schoomaker has announced a reorganization of the Army's active-duty units into 48 brigade groups with an emphasis on power projection. There will be three classes of brigade group: light, medium, and heavy, with a different mix of armored and infantry units. In Army reorganization, however, battalions will still be affiliated with traditional regiments, and brigades will still be affiliated with traditional divisions. Reorganized brigades began operation in Iraq in the third quarter of 2005.

[edit] Organization

Under the United States Constitution, the President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. To coordinate military action with diplomatic action, the President has an advisory National Security Council.

Under the President is the United States Secretary of Defense, a Cabinet Secretary responsible for the Department of Defense.

Both the President and Secretary are advised by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 (PL 99-433) reworked the command structure of the United States Military, introducing the most sweeping changes to the United States Department of Defense since it was established in the National Security Act of 1947. The Goldwater-Nichols Reorganization Act was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on October 1, 1986.

The Goldwater-Nichols Act streamlined the military chain of command, which now runs from the President through the Secretary of Defense directly to unified combat commanders, bypassing the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were assigned to an advisory role. Each service is responsible for providing military units to the commanders of the various Unified Commands.

[edit] National Command organizational chart

[edit] Joint Chiefs of Staff

The 4 Service Chiefs together with the Chairman and Vice Chairman form the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of StaffGen. Peter Pace (USMC)
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of StaffAdm. Edmund P. Giambastiani (USN)
Chief of Staff of the United States ArmyGen. Peter J. Schoomaker (USA)
Chief of Naval OperationsAdm. Michael G. Mullen (USN)
Commandant of the Marine CorpsGen. James T. Conway (USMC)
Chief of Staff of the United States Air ForceGen. T. Michael Moseley (USAF)

[edit] Unified Combatant Commands

There are 9 Unified Combatant Commands- 5 geographic and 4 functional.

CommandCommanderHome BaseArea of Responsibility
United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM) Admiral Timothy J. Keating (USN) Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado North American homeland defense and coordinating homeland security with civilian forces.
United States Central Command (CENTCOM), General John Abizaid (USA) MacDill Air Force Base, Florida The Horn of Africa through the Persian Gulf region, into Central Asia.
United States European Command (EUCOM) General James L. Jones (USMC) (also Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)) SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe), Belgium (USEUCOM HQ in Stuttgart, Germany) Europe and African and Middle Eastern nations not covered by CENTCOM.
U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) Admiral William J. Fallon (USN) Camp H. M. Smith, Oahu, Hawaii The Asia-Pacific region including Hawaii.
U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Admiral James Stavridis (USN) Miami, Florida South, Central America and the surrounding waters
U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) General Bryan D. Brown (USA) MacDill Air Force Base, Florida Provides special operations for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) General Lance L. Smith (USAF) (also Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT)) Naval Support Activity Headquarters (Norfolk) and Suffolk, Virginia Supports other commands as a joint force provider.
United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) General James E. Cartwright (USMC) Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska Covers the strategic deterrent force and coordinates the use of space assets.
U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) General Norton A. Schwartz (USAF) Scott Air Force Base, Illinois Covers global mobility of all military assets for all regional commands.
The 5 Geographic Commands
Image:Unified Command map s.jpg

[edit] Personnel

The United States military is ranked second largest in the world, and has troops deployed around the globe. As in most militaries, members of the U.S. Armed Forces hold a rank, either officer or enlisted, and can be promoted.

[edit] Personnel in each service

As of 2004

ServiceTotal Active Duty PersonnelPercentage FemaleEnlistedOfficers
Marine Corps180,000 <ref>Template:Cite web</ref>6.0%157,15019,052
Air Force358,61219.6%285,52073,091
Coast Guard40,15110.7%31,2867,835

[edit] Personnel deployed

[edit] Overseas

As of 1999, the United States occupied military bases in 30 different countries.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Some of the largest contingents are:

Japan (United States Forces Japan)35,307
South Korea (United States Forces Korea)32,744
United Kingdom11,093

As of mid- 2006, nearly 150,000 U.S. troops are currently deployed in the Middle East. Most of these forces are currently engaged in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.

[edit] Within the United States

Including U.S. territories and ships afloat within territorial waters

A total of 1,112,684 personnel are on active duty within the United States including:

Continental U.S. 900,088
Puerto Rico1,552
<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

[edit] Types of Personnel

[edit] Enlisted

After enlistment, new Army recruits undergo Basic Combat Training, followed by a sort of "technical school" called Advanced Individual Training (AIT) in their primary Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) at any of the numerous MOS training facilities around the world. Initially, recruits without higher education or college degrees will hold the paygrade of E-1, and will be elevated to E-2 usually after the completion of Basic Combat Training and with a minimum of six months Time-In-Service (TIS). Different services have different incentive programs for enlistees, such as higher initial ranks for college credit and referring friends who go on to enlist as well. With parent/guardian permission, applicants can enlist at the age of 17 and participate in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP). In this program, the applicant is given the opportunity to participate in locally sponsored military-related activities, which can range from sports to competitions (each recruiting station DEP program will vary), led by recruiters or other military liaisons. Participation in this programs is an example of the different opportunities the recruits have to elevate in rank before their departure to Basic Combat Training. There are several different authorized paygrade advancement requirements in each junior enlisted rank category (E-1 to E-4). Enlistees in the Army can attain the initial paygrade of E-4 (Specialist) with a full four-year degree, but the highest initial entry paygrade is usually E-3.

[edit] Officer

There are five common ways for one to receive a commission as an officer in one of the branches of the U.S. military (although other routes are possible).

  • Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)
  • Officer Candidate School (OCS)
  • Service Academies (U.S. Military Academy at Westpoint, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London)
  • Direct Commission Officers (DCOs) - civilians who have special skills that are critical to sustaining military operations and supporting troops may receive what are called "direct commissions". These officers occupy leadership positions in the following areas: law, medicine, dentistry, nurse corps, intelligence, supply-logistics-transportation, engineering, public affairs, chaplin corps, oceanography, and others.
  • Direct Battlefield Commission - enlisted personnel who have skills that separate them from their peers can become officers if an overseeing general/commander feels such a promotion is appropriate/necessary. This type of commission is rarely granted and is reserved only for the most exceptional enlisted personnel, and it is done on an ad hoc basis.

Officers receive a commission assigning them to the Officer Corps from the President (with the consent of the Senate).

Through their careers, officers usually will receive further training at one or a number of the many U.S. military staff colleges.

[edit] Warrant Officer

Additionally, all services except for the U.S. Air Force have a Warrant Officer corps. Above the rank of Warrant Officer One, these officers are also commissioned officers, but usually serve in a more technical and specialized role within units. More recently though they can also serve in more traditional leadership roles associated with the more recognizable officer corps. With one notable exception, these officers ordinarily have already been in the military often serving in senior NCO positions in the field in which they later serve as a Warrant Officer as a technical expert. The exception to the NCO rule, are helicopter and fixed wing pilots in the U.S. Army; although most Army pilots have indeed served some enlisted time, it is also possible to enlist, complete basic training, go directly to the Warrant Officer Candidate school at Fort Rucker, Alabama, and then on to flight school.

[edit] History<ref>Robert Leckie (2003). The Wars of America.</ref>

Prior to and during the founding of the United States, military forces were supplied by untrained militia commanded by the states. When the Continental Congress first ordered a Contintental Army to be formed, it was to be made up of militia from the states. That army, under the command of General George Washington, won the Revolutionary War, but afterwards was disbanded.

However, it soon became obvious that a standing army and navy were required. The United States Navy began when Congress ordered several frigates in 1794, and a standing army was created, however it was still only minimal and it relied mostly on contributions from state militia in times of war.

Between the founding of the nation and the Civil War, American military forces fought and won against Barbary Coast pirates; fought the War of 1812 against the British, which ended in the status quo; and won several southwestern territories from the Mexicans in the Mexican-American War. In 1861, with the beginning of the Civil War, many military forces, including the nation's best generals, became part of the Confederate military, and both armies fought a long, bloody struggle which consumed 600,000 lives and ended in Union (U.S.) victory in 1865.

In the period between the Civil War and the 1890s, the military was allowed to languish, although units of the U.S. Army did fight Native Americans as settlers moved into the center of the United States. By the end of the century, though, America was rapidly becoming a new superpower. The military fought the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War, along with several Latin American interventions, and Teddy Roosevelt sent the Great White Fleet around the world in a display of American power. In addition, the Militia Act of 1903 established the National Guard.

The United States entered World War I in 1917 and played a minor role in the Allied victory. It languished in the interwar period, but as tensions mounted leading up to World War II, the force was put back into shape. U.S. Army troops were a large component of the forces that took North Africa, Italy, and landed in France at D-Day, and U.S. Navy, Marine, and Army troops were heavily involved in Pacific campaign against Japan and its allies.

The end of World War II was the start of the Cold War, a large but ultimately non-violent struggle between the United States and its NATO Allies and the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies. Thousands of U.S. troops were deployed to Europe in anticipation of a struggle that never came.

However, U.S. troops did participate in proxy wars in Korea and Vietnam. The Korean War, with North Korea and China against South Korea, the U.S., and other UN troops, ultimately returned to the status quo. The Vietnam War between North Vietnam and South Vietnam and the U.S., was ultimately a failure, resulting in U.S. pullout and unification of the country under communism.

In the 1980s, the U.S. military fought Operation Just Cause in Panama and Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada. In addition, the Goldwater-Nichols Act completely reorganized the military. By 1989, it was clear the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse and it looked like the U.S. military would be left with no one to fight. However, when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991, the United States entered the Persian Gulf War. The military forces of the U.S. and other nations easily defeated the Iraqi Army with minimal losses, proving the combat readiness of the new all-volunteer military. After this brief war and the breakup of the Soviet Union, the U.S. military had relatively little to do throughout the remainder of the 1990s, barring interventions in Yugoslavia and Kosovo.

After the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001, U.S. military forces were an integral part of the War on Terror. U.S. and NATO forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001, and in 2003 the U.S. and several other countries invaded Iraq. While the initial invasion was successful, the occupation quickly bogged down, with daily violence and terrorist attacks. However, some milestones have been reached, such as the capture of Saddam Hussein and democratic elections.

[edit] Expenditures

Main article: U.S. military budget

The military expenditure of the United States Department of Defense for fiscal year 2006 is:

Total Funding$441.6 Billion
Operations and maintenance$124.3 Bil.
Military Personnel$108.8 Bil.
Procurement$79.1 Bil.
Research, Development, Testing & Evaluation$69.5 Bil.
Military Construction$12.2 Bil.
Department of Energy Defense Activities$17.0 Bil.
<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

The United States military budget is larger than the military budgets of the next twenty largest spenders combined, and six times larger than China's, which places second. As would be expected from the world's superpowers, the United States and its closest allies are responsible for approximately two-thirds of global military spending (of which, in turn, the U.S. is responsible for the vast majority). Military spending accounts for 19% of the United States' federal budget, and approximately half of its federal discretionary spending, which comprises all of the U.S. government's money not accounted for by pre-existing obligations.[1] <ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

However, in terms of per capita spending, the U.S. ranks third behind Israel and Singapore<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>. It is also number 26 in terms of military spending per dollar GDP. <ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 2003 the United States spent approximately 47% of the world's total military spending of US $956,000,000,000.

As a percentage of its GDP, the United states spends 3.7% on military. This is higher by percent than France's 2.6%, and lower than Saudia Arabia's 10%<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>. This is historically fairly low for the United States. <ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

However it must be remembered that the figure presented for United States Military spending has dramatically increased since the attacks of September 11th, 2001, and ensuing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Also, the United States' all-volunteer military has dramatically higher personnel costs compared to the militaries of countries which use conscription, many of which have far more troops than the United States. Six countries have more troops than the United States, five of them through conscription.

[edit] Notes and sources

<references />

[edit] See also


[edit] External links

[edit] Branch links

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