United States Armed Services

Army Marines Navy Air Force Coast Guard poppies

United States Army

The United States Army (USA) is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services. The modern army has its roots in the Continental Army which was formed on 14 June 1775, to meet the demands of the American Revolutionary War before the establishment of the United States. The Congress of the Confederation officially created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 after the end of the Revolutionary War to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The army considers itself to be descended from the Continental Army and thus dates its inception from the origins of that force.

The primary mission of the army is "to fight and win our Nation's wars by providing prompt, sustained land dominance across the full range of military operations and spectrum of conflict in support of combatant commanders." The army is a military service within the Department of the Army, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense. The army is headed by the Secretary of the Army, and the top military officer in the department is the Chief of Staff of the Army. The highest ranking army officer is currently the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During fiscal year 2011, the Regular Army reported a strength of 546,057 soldiers; the Army National Guard (ARNG) reported 358,078 and the United States Army Reserve (USAR) reported 201,166 putting the combined component strength total at 1,105,301 soldiers...more


United States Marine Corps

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States. Created in 1775, the Marine Corps has been a component of the United States Department of the Navy since 1834, often working closely with naval forces for training, transportation, and logistics.

Captain Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines on 10 November 1775, in Philadelphia as naval infantry. Since then, the mission of the Marine Corps has evolved with changing military doctrine and American foreign policy. The Marine Corps has served in every American armed conflict and attained prominence in the 20th century when its theories and practices of amphibious warfare proved prescient and ultimately formed the cornerstone of the Pacific campaign of World War II. By the mid-20th century, the Marine Corps had become the dominant theorist and practitioner of amphibious warfare. Its ability to rapidly respond on short notice to expeditionary crises gives it a strong role in the implementation and execution of American foreign policy.

In 2010, the United States Marine Corps had just under 203,000 active duty members and just under 40,000 reserve Marines. It is the smallest of the United States Armed Forces in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The United States Coast Guard is smaller, about one-fifth the size of the Marine Corps, but is part of Dept. of Homeland Security and does not normally operate under the DoD except during declared war. The Marine Corps is nonetheless larger than the armed forces of many significant military powers; it is larger than the active duty Israel Defense Forces and the active duty British Army, for example...more


United States Navy

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is larger than the next 13 largest navies combined in terms of battle fleet tonnage, according to one estimate. The U.S. Navy also has the world's largest carrier fleet, with 10 in service, one under construction (two planned), and two in reserve. The service has 317,054 personnel on active duty and 109,671 in the Navy Reserve. It operates 286 ships in active service and more than 3,700 aircraft.

The navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which was established during the American Revolutionary War and was essentially disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter. It played a major role in the American Civil War by blockading the Confederacy and seizing control of its rivers. It played the central role in the World War II defeat of Japan.

The 21st century United States Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in such areas as East Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. It is a blue-water navy with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward areas during peacetime, and rapidly respond to regional crises, making it an active player in U.S. foreign and defense policy.

The Navy is administratively managed by the Department of the Navy, which is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Navy. The Department of the Navy is itself a division of the Department of Defense, which is headed by the Secretary of Defense. The Chief of Naval Operations is a four-star admiral and the senior naval officer of the Department of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Operations is the most senior naval officer in the Department of the Navy. However, the CNO may not be the highest ranking naval officer in the armed forces if the Chairman or the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are Navy officers, who by law, outrank the CNO...more


United States Air Force

The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on 18 September 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. It is the most recent branch of the U.S. military to be formed, and is the largest and one of the world's most technologically advanced air forces. The USAF articulates its core functions as Nuclear Deterrence Operations, Special Operations, Air Superiority, Global Integrated ISR, Space Superiority, Command and Control, Cyberspace Superiority, Personnel Recovery, Global Precision Attack, Building Partnerships, Rapid Global Mobility and Agile Combat Support.

The U.S. Air Force is a military service within the Department of the Air Force, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense. The USAF is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Air Force, who is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The highest-ranking military officer in the Department of the Air Force is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force who exercises supervision over Air Force units, and serves as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Air Force combat forces are assigned, as directed by the Secretary of Defense, to the Combatant Commanders, and neither the Secretary of the Air Force nor the Chief of Staff have operational command authority over them.

The U.S. Air Force provides air support to ground troops and aids in the recovery of troops in the field. As of 2012, the service operates 5,484 aircraft, 450 ICBMs and 63 satellites. It has a $140 billion budget with 332,854 active personnel, 185,522 civilian personnel, 71,400 reserve personnel, and 106,700 air guard personnel...more


United States Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's seven uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the U.S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission (with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters) and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, and can be transferred to the Department of the Navy by the President at any time, or by Congress during time of war.

Created by Congress on 4 August 1790 at the request of Alexander Hamilton as the "Revenue Marine", it is the United States' oldest continuous seagoing service (The United States Navy lists its founding as 1775, for the formation of the Continental Navy. However, that was disbanded in 1785, and the modern U.S. Navy was founded in 1794). As Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton headed the Revenue Marine, whose original purpose was that of a collector of customs duties in the nation's seaports. By the 1860s the service was known as the United States Revenue Cutter Service and the term Revenue Marine gradually fell into disuse. The Coast Guard was formed from the merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the United States Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915. As one of the nation's five armed services, the Coast Guard has been involved in every war from 1790 to Iraq and Afghanistan. As of 2012 the Coast Guard had approximately 42,000 men and women on active duty, 7,900 reservists, 32,000 auxiliarists, and 8,700 full-time civilian employees.[2] In terms of size, the US Coast Guard by itself is the world's 12th largest naval force.

The Coast Guard's legal authority differs from the other four armed services: it operates simultaneously under Title 10 of the United States Code and its other organic authorities, e.g. Titles 6, 14, 19, 33, 46, etc. Because of its legal authority, the Coast Guard can conduct military operations under the Department of Defense or directly for the President in accordance with Title 14 USC 1-3.

The Coast Guard's enduring roles are maritime safety, security, and stewardship. To carry out those roles the Coast Guard has 11 statutory missions as defined in 6 U.S.C. s 468, which include enforcing U.S. law in the world's largest exclusive economic zone of 3.4 million square miles (8,800,000 km2).

The Coast Guard motto is Semper Paratus ("Always Ready")...more


American War and Military Operations Casualties:
Lists and Statistics

Principal Wars in Which the United States Participated:
U.S. Military Personnel Serving and Casualties
(last updated July 13, 2005):
*Confederate Forces information from:
Additional Confederate States Army reading:

Branch of
Revolutionary Warc Total --- 4,435 4,435 --- 6,188
1775-1783 Army --- 4,044 4,044 --- 6,004
  Navy --- 342 342 --- 114
  Marines --- 49 49 --- 70
War of 1812 Total 286,730 2,260 2,260 --- 4,505
1812-1815 Army --- 1,950 1,950 --- 4,000
  Navy --- 265 265 --- 439
  Marines --- 45 45 --- 66
Mexican War Total 78,718 13,283 1,733 11,550 4,152
1846-1848 Army --- 13,271 1,721 11,550 4,102
  Navy --- 1 1 --- 3
  Marines --- 11 11 --- 47
Civil War Total 2,213,363 364,511 140,414 224,097 281,881
(Union Forces Only) Army 2,128,948 359,528 138,154 221,374 280,040
1861-1865 Navy --- 4,523 2,112 2,411 1,710
  Marines 84,415 460 148 312 131
(*Confederate Forces - estimates) All Services ~750K - 1M ~483,026 ~94,000 ~389,026  
Spanish-American War Total 306,760 2,446 385 2,061 1,662
  Army 280,564 2,430 369 2,061 1,594
  Navy 22,875 10 10 --- 47
  Marines 3,321 6 6 --- 21
World War I Total 4,734,991 116,516 53,402 63,114 204,002
1917-1918 Army 4,057,101 106,378 50,510 55,868 193,663
  Navy 599,051 7,287 431 6,856 819
  Marines 78,839 2,851 2,461 390 9,520
World War II Total 16,112,566 405,399 291,557 113,842 671,846
1941-1946 Army 11,260,000 318,274 234,874 83,400 565,861
  Navy 4,183,466 62,614 36,950 25,664 37,778
  Marines 669,100 24,511 19,733 4,778 68,207
Korean War Total 5,720,000 36,574 33,741 2,833 103,284
1950-1953 Army 2,834,000 29,856 27,731 2,125 77,596
  Navy 1,177,000 658 506 152 1,576
  Marines 424,000 4,508 4,266 242 23,744
  Air Force 1,285,000 1,552 1,238 314 368
Vietnam Conflict Total 8,744,000 58,209 47,424 10,785 153,303
1964-1973 Army 4,368,000 38,218 30,957 7,261 96,802
  Navy 1,842,000 2,565 1,631 934 4,178
  Marines 794,000 14,840 13,091 1,749 51,392
  Air Force 1,740,000 2,586 1,745 841 931
Persian Gulf War Total 2,225,000 382 147 235 467
1990-1991 Army 782,000 224 98 126 354
  Navy 669,000 55 5 50 12
  Marines 213,000 68 24 44 92
  Air Force 561,000 35 20 15 9
Global War on Terror (total worldwide as of 9/11 and more data needed) Total 1,468,364        
Deployed to Iraq (Operation New Dawn) (as of Dec. 31, 2011)   0 3,504      
Deployed to Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) (as of June 2011)   45,000 1,208      

100 Years of War