The Military of the United States
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.
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.
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 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
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is an American four-engine heavy bomber aircraft developed for the U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC). Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 planes, the airplane outperformed both the other entries and the Air Corps' expectations. Although losing the contract due to an accident, the Air Corps was so in favor of the B-17 that they ordered 13 B-17s regardless. Evolving through numerous design stages, from B-17A to G, the Flying Fortress is considered the first truly mass-produced large aircraft. From its pre-war inception, the USAAC touted the aircraft as a strategic weapon; it was a high-flying, long-ranging potent bomber capable of defending itself. With the ability to return home despite extensive battle damage, its durability, especially in belly-landings and ditchings, quickly took on mythical proportions.
The B-17 was primarily involved in the daylight precision strategic bombing campaign of World War II against German industrial targets. The United States Eighth Air Force based in England and the Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy complemented the RAF Bomber Command's night-time area bombing in Operation Pointblank, which helped secure air superiority over the cities, factories and battlefields of Western Europe in preparation for Operation Overlord. The B-17 also participated, to a lesser extent, in the War in the Pacific.
The M9 pistol is a pistol of the U.S. military adopted in the 1980s. It is essentially a Beretta 92F, or 92FS later. It won a competition in the 1980s to replace the M1911A1 as the primary handgun of U.S. armed forces. Some other models have been adopted to a lesser extent (namely the M11 pistol), and older, or different models remain in use in certain niches. It officially entered Army service in 1990. It was scheduled to be replaced under an Army program, the Future Handgun System (FHS), which was merged with the SOF Combat Pistol program to create the Joint Combat Pistol (JCP).
Units and awards
General Colin Luther Powell, United States Army (Ret.) (born April 5, 1937) was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving from January 20, 2001, to January 23, 2005, under President George W. Bush. Powell became the fourth highest ranking non-Caucasian government official in the history of the United States, behind President Barack Obama and Supreme Court justices Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas. As a general in the United States Army, Powell also served as National Security Advisor (1987–1989) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989–1993).
Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held a variety of command and staff positions and rose to the rank of General. Powell obtained an MBA from George Washington University in 1971 and then served a White House fellowship under President Richard Nixon.
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