Founded in 1775, the Army is the oldest branch of the military.
Approximately 549,015 full-time soldiers in today’s Army defend and serve our nation by land, sea and air.
In addition to domestic bases, the Army has permanent stations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, as well as troops on the ground wherever there is a conflict.
The Navy was founded under the authority of George Washington in 1775.
Currently comprised of 324,239 personnel, today’s Navy is equipped to handle operations both on and under the sea, in the air and on the ground. A sailor generally serves a term of four years aboard one of the Navy’s 283 deployable ships.
The Marine Corps was founded in 1775.
Today, 203,075 Marines are stationed around the world at all times, ready to deploy quickly whenever and wherever needed. The Marine Corps plays a major role as the first force on the ground in most conflicts.
The Air Force began as a subdivision of the Army and was declared an official combatant arm in 1920. U.S. Army Air Corps. It wasn’t until 1947, following WWII that the Air Force was recognized as its own branch.
The Air Force is a technologically advanced force of 328,847 troops focused on air, space and cyberspace superiority.
In 1915, a congressional act combined the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service to form the Coast Guard.
In 1967, executive order transferred the Coast Guard to the newly formed Department of Transportation.
The Coast Guard now operates under the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime and under the Navy during wartime; or by special presidential order. The 42,426 active duty members of the Coast Guard perform search and rescue, law enforcement and environmental cleanup operations.
Reserve components generally train one weekend per month and two weeks per year.
Army Reserve/National Guard: 205,297
Navy Reserve: 119,307
Air Force Reserve/Air National Guard: 67,987
Coast Guard: 7,693
Full-time active service in the U.S. Military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard). This includes members of the Reserve components serving on active duty but does not necessarily include all National Guardsmen serving full-time.
Part time military service usually consists of one weekend a month and two weeks a year. When reserve forces are mobilized for full-time active duty service they serve on active duty until demobilized, at which point they revert back to drilling status.
A reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces, the National Guard is a state militia that answers first to the governor, but can be put into federal service by order of the president. Call up by the state is not considered “active duty”.
National Guard and Reserve members, who have been mobilized into active duty, usually do so for a period of six months or one year.
Approximately 25 million veterans live in the United States.
The states with the highest concentrations of veterans are California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Members of the military are referred to differently depending upon their specific Service.