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The Military of the United States

Flag of the United States Army.svg
Flag of the United States Marine Corps.svg
Flag of the United States Navy.svg
Flag of the United States Air Force.svg
Flag of the United States Coast Guard.svg

The military of the United States, officially known as the United States Armed Forces, consists of five of the seven federal uniform services: the United States Army, the United States Marine Corps, the United States Navy, the United States Air Force, and the United States Coast Guard. Approximately 1.4 million personnel are currently on active duty in the military, with an additional 1,359,000 personnel in the seven reserve components. The Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military is the President of the United States. With a strength of 2.26 million personnel, including reserves, the United States Armed Forces are the second-largest in the world, after the People's Liberation Army of China, and have troops deployed around the globe. As in most militaries, members of the U.S. Armed Forces hold a rank, either that of officer or enlisted, and can be promoted.

State Defense Forces are militia units operating under the sole authority of a state government or governor, and are distinct from the National Guard in that they are not federal military forces. Authorized by state and federal law, State Defense Forces as a whole "may not be called, ordered, or drafted into the armed forces" (of the United States) under 32 U.S.C. § 109 however the subsection further states that individuals serving in the State Defense Forces are not exempt from conscription. Including Puerto Rico, approximately twenty-five states have active State Defense Forces that can be called upon during emergency management and homeland security missions.

United States Department of Defense Seal.svg

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) is the Cabinet organization that controls the U.S. military, headquartered at the Pentagon. The Secretary of Defense also oversees the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, and civilian agencies such as the Inspector General, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency. The DoD is the largest employer in the United States.

Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze, MMA-NYC, 1851.jpg

The military history of the United States spans a period of over two centuries, during which the United States grew from an alliance of thirteen British colonies without a professional military, to the world's sole remaining military superpower as of 2012.

The history of the United States military begins in civilian frontiersmen, armed for hunting and basic survival in the wilderness that were organized into local militias for small military operations, mostly against Native American tribes but also to resist possible raids by the small military forces of neighboring European colonies.

U.S. military news

The Black Beret and ACU uniform

Uniform changes by Army uniform board

After polling Army personnel for input, the Army's uniform board has instituted several changes to the Army's attire. First and foremost, the Black Beret will be relegated to the Army's service dress uniform. Velcro is also being made optional for some closures. Soldiers will be provided the chance to sew patches to their uniform.

The beret has been the standard headgear for the Army Combat Uniform since June 2001. The beret is worn on base and for ceremonies while the patrol cap is worn in the field. Soldiers disliked the beret for its nonexistent practical purpose and the redundancy of having to carry both a beret and hat at all times. “The [ACU] signifies a uniform that should be worn in combat or training for combat, yet a beret doesn’t even make the cut on the deployment packing list,” said one NCO. The Army will now issue only one beret to each soldier for a cost savings of $6.5 million over the lifecycle of the ACU.

Soldiers will still wear their berets with their Army Service Uniform. Soldiers are pleased overall with the appearance of the beret on the ASU. The change does not effect Special Forces soldiers such as the Army Special Forces who wear distinctive Green Berets.

Velcro replaced buttons on the digital ACU replacement for the BDU. Velcro was received as being too noisy, messy, and unprofessional looking by early users after the new ACU uniform was adopted by the Army. Soldiers voiced their opposition to velcro to the Army's Uniform board earlier this year prior to the decision.


Sources: AT:Beret going away?,AT:Army dumps Beret,ANS:Velcro optional, Patrol Cap default
News Archive

Featured article

EdsonMap2.jpg

The Battle of Edson's Ridge took place September 12–14, 1942 and was a land battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II between Imperial Japanese Army and Allied (mainly United States Marine Corps) ground forces. The battle took place on Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands and was the second of three separate major Japanese ground offensives in the Guadalcanal campaign.

In the battle, U.S. Marines, under the overall command of U.S. Major General Alexander Vandegrift, repulsed an attack by the Japanese 35th Infantry Brigade, under the command of Japanese Major General Kiyotaki Kawaguchi. The Marines were defending the Lunga perimeter, that guarded Henderson Field on Guadalcanal, which was captured from the Japanese by the Allies in landings on Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942. Kawaguchi's unit was sent to Guadalcanal in response to the Allied landings with the mission of recapturing the airfield and driving the Allied forces from the island. Underestimating the strength of Allied forces on Guadalcanal, which at that time numbered about 12,000 personnel, Kawaguchi's 6,000 soldiers conducted several nighttime frontal assaults on the U.S. defenses. The main Japanese assault occurred on an unnamed ridge south of Henderson Field that was manned by troops from several U.S. Marine Corps units, although primarily troops from the 1st Raider and 1st Parachute Battalions under U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Merritt A. Edson. Although the U.S. Marine Corps defenses were almost overrun, Kawaguchi's attack was defeated with heavy losses for the Japanese attackers.

Selected pictures

AnnapolisGraduation.jpg

Credit: Navy.mil, User:Durin

Newly commissioned officers celebrate their new positions by throwing their midshipmen covers into the air as part of the U.S. Naval Academy class of 2005 graduation and commissioning ceremony.

WikiProjects

Equipment

M252 mortar usmc.jpg

The M252 81 mm medium weight Mortar is an American smooth bore, muzzle-loading, high-angle-of-fire weapon used for long-range indirect fire support to light infantry, air assault, and airborne units across the entire front of a battalion zone of influence. In the US Army and US Marine Corps, it is normally deployed in the mortar platoon of an infantry battalion.

Units and awards

Selected biography

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Sidney Sanders McMath (June 14, 1912 – October 4, 2003) was a decorated U.S. Marine, renowned attorney and progressive Democratic reform Governor of Arkansas. McMath received an ROTC commission as a second lieutenant in the Marines upon graduation from college. During World War II he served with the Marines after voluntarily returning to active duty in 1940. Assigned to train officer candidates at Quantico, Virginia, he was promoted to captain, then to major, and in 1942 he was ordered to American Samoa in command of the combined forces jungle warfare school. He served as acting CO of the 3rd Marine Regiment during the Battle of Bougainville, single handedly rallying troops pinned down by enemy fire. He received a battlefield promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and was awarded the Silver Star and Legion of Merit. Shortly afterward, McMath was stricken with malaria and filariasis and hospitalized for several months in San Diego, California. He then served in the Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. planning an amphibious invasion of the Japanese home islands.

In 1967, he helped found the Marine Corps JROTC at Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock, Arkansas, which became one of the top JROTC units in the country. Ever since, cadets there have been known as "Sid's Kids."

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