Brief histories of the U.S. Armed Forces
Since established by resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775 — more than a year before the Declaration of Independence — the U.S. Army has played a key role in the growth, development and defense of the nation.
The Army is one of three military departments of the Department of Defense. The largest military branch, the U.S. Army’s mission is “to fight and win [the] nation’s wars, by providing prompt, sustained land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders.” The branch participates in conflicts worldwide and is the major ground-based offensive and defensive force of the United States, according to Wikipedia.
The U.S. Marine Corps is the maritime land force service branch of the armed forces. It is responsible for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations through combined arms, implementing its own infantry, armor, artillery, aerial and special operations forces.
The branch dates back to Nov. 10, 1775, when two battalions of Continental Marines were formed in Philadelphia capable of fighting both at sea and on shore, according to Wikipedia.
The U.S. Navy is the maritime service branch of the armed forces and is the largest and most powerful navy in the world, according to Wikipedia. The U.S. Navy is the third largest of the U.S. military service branches in terms of personnel. It has 290 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of June 2019.
The 21st century U.S. Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in strength in such areas as the Western Pacific, the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean.
U.S. Air Force
The U.S. Air Force is the air service branch of the United States Armed Forces. Initially formed as a part of the Army in 1907, the Air Force was established as a separate branch of the armed forces on Sept. 18, 1947. It is the second youngest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and lists its core missions as air superiority, global integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control, according to Wikipedia.
U.S. Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard is the maritime security, search and rescue, and law enforcement service branch of the armed forces. Its multi-mission service is unique among the U.S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its duties, according to Wikipedia.
Created by the U.S. Congress on on Aug. 4, 1790, at the request of Alexander Hamilton, the Coast Guard maintains an extensive fleet of coastal and ocean-going patrol ships, tenders, tugs, icebreakers, and smaller boats, as well as an aviation division consisting of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.
Air National Guard
The Air National Guard is a federal military reserve force of the United States Air Force, as well as the air militia of the country’s states and territories, according to Wikipedia.
When Air National Guard units operate under state governors, they are fulfilling their militia role. However, if federalized by presidential order, units become an active part of the United States Air Force.
Army National Guard
The Army National Guard, in conjunction with the Air National Guard, is an organized militia force and a federal military reserve force of the U.S. Army, according to Wikipedia. The Army National Guard is divided into subordinate units stationed in each U.S. state and territory, as well as the District of Columbia, operating under their respective governors and governor-equivalents, the website notes.
It has a unique dual mission — to protects communities at home on the state level and to support active duty military forces in their response to threats abroad and to humanitarian disasters.