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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

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Credit: defenselink.mil, User:Neutrality

The sun sets over a set of "Big Eyes" binoculars on the signal bridge of the USS Harry S. Truman.

WikiProjects

Equipment

M240-1.jpg

The M240 is a belt-fed 7.62 mm NATO medium machine gun, based on the FN MAG. It has been used by the United States Armed Forces since the end of the 20th century, and is also used by other NATO forces. Though not the lightest medium machine gun, it is highly regarded for reliability, and the firearm's standardization with those of other NATO allies is also seen as a major plus.

Units and awards

355th Fighter Squadron
USCG Expert Marksmanship Medal
355fs patch.jpg USCGEx1.gif

Selected biography

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William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody (February 26, 1845 – January 10, 1917) was an American soldier, buffalo hunter and showman. He was born in the American state of Iowa, near Le Claire. He was one of the most colorful figures of the Old West, and mostly famous for the shows he organized with cowboy themes.

After the death of his mother in 1863, Cody enlisted in the 7th Kansas Cavalry Regiment and fought with them on the Union side for the rest of the Civil War. From 1868 until 1872 Cody was employed as a scout by the United States Army. Part of this time he spent scouting for Indians. He received the Medal of Honor in 1872 for "gallantry in action" while serving as a civilian scout for the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment. This medal was revoked on February 5, 1917, 24 days after his death, because he was a civilian and therefore was ineligible for the award under new guidelines for the award in 1917. The medal was restored to him by the army in 1989.

Major topics

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