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Portal:Military of the United States

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Introduction

The seals of the five service branches of the U.S. Armed Forces

The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces and forms military policy with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out. All five armed services are among the seven uniformed services of the United States.

From the time of its inception, the U.S. Armed Forces played a decisive role in the history of the United States. A sense of national unity and identity was forged as a result of victory in the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War. Even so, the founders of the United States were suspicious of a permanent military force. It played a critical role in the American Civil War, continuing to serve as the armed forces of the United States, although a number of its officers resigned to join the military of the Confederate States. The National Security Act of 1947, adopted following World War II and during the Cold War's onset, created the modern U.S. military framework. The Act established the National Military Establishment, headed by the Secretary of Defense; and created the Department of the Air Force and the National Security Council. It was amended in 1949, renaming the National Military Establishment the Department of Defense, and merged the cabinet-level Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, and Department of the Air Force, into the Department of Defense.

The U.S. Armed Forces are one of the largest militaries in terms of the number of personnel. It draws its personnel from a large pool of paid volunteers. Although conscription has been used in the past in various times of both war and peace, it has not been used since 1972, but the Selective Service System retains the power to conscript males, and requires that all male citizens and residents residing in the U.S. between the ages of 18–25 register with the service.

As of 2017, the U.S. spends about US$610 billion annually to fund its military forces and Overseas Contingency Operations. Put together, the U.S. constitutes roughly 40 percent of the world's military expenditures. The U.S. Armed Forces has significant capabilities in both defense and power projection due to its large budget, resulting in advanced and powerful technologies which enables a widespread deployment of the force around the world, including around 800 military bases outside the United States. The U.S. Air Force is the world's largest air force, the U.S. Navy is the world's largest navy by tonnage, and the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps combined are the world’s second largest air arm.

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: White House Photo by Paul Morse

Presidents Bush and Fox board Marine One to visit Toledo, Ohio.

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Equipment

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The M67 grenade is a fragmentation hand grenade used by the US armed forces. The M67 can be thrown about 40 m by the average soldier. It has a 3 to 5 second fuse that ignites explosives packed inside a round body. Shrapnel is provided by the grenade casing, and produces a casualty radius of 15 m, with a fatality radius of 5 m, though some fragments can disperse as far out as 230 m.

Units and awards

Selected biography

HarryTruman.jpg

Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the thirty-third President of the United States (1945–1953); as vice president, he succeeded to the office upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. During World War I he served as an artillery officer. After the war he became part of the political machine of Tom Pendergast and was elected a county judge in Missouri and eventually a United States Senator. In 1944, Roosevelt replaced Henry A. Wallace as vice president with Truman for Roosevelt's fourth term.

As president, Truman faced challenge after challenge in domestic affairs: a tumultuous reconversion of the economy marked by severe shortages, numerous strikes, and the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act over his veto. He used executive orders to begin desegregation of the U.S. armed forces and to launch a system of loyalty checks to remove thousands of communist sympathizers from government office. Truman's presidency was also eventful in foreign affairs, with the end of World War II (including his decision to use nuclear weapons in combat), the founding of the United Nations, the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, the Truman Doctrine to contain communism, the beginning of the Cold War, the creation of NATO, and the Korean War.

Major topics

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