u.s. military

U.S. Military Branches

U.S. Military Branches are the finest in the world today, and I am proud to say that I served in the United States Air Force for six years. Since then several of my children have served in the military, one in the Army and one in the Air Force. After leaving the Air Force my son chose to continue in the Air Force reserves where he is a Tech Sargent working on KC-135 aircraft. Despite the assertions of Congressman Charlie Wrangle, neither I nor any of my children "had" to go into the military service. In point of fact we all went in out of desire to serve, and not because we could not find work. The son who went into the Army joined right out of high school, completed college and then served on active duty, attaining the rank of Captain before he left the military.

Another son also joined a U S Military Branch, the USAF, after completion of a two year degree in which he also earned his Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic license from the FAA. Upon entering the Air Force he attended specialty schools, finishing his time in California working on Galaxy C-5A aircraft. Today he works for an air cargo carrier servicing Douglas DC-8 aircraft, and soon Boeing 767 aircraft.

For a U S Military Branch the reality is that with modern weapons every soldier, marine, sailor, airman or coastguardsman must undergo extensive and rigorous training in order to operate the complicated weapons systems the U.S. Military uses today. Consider this - each officer must be a United States citizen, and have a college degree. The percentage of officers to enlisted ranges from 12% for the Marine Corps to almost 26% for the Air Force (because of the number of pilots, I assume).

With respect to U S Military Branches, in a 2005 study by the Heritage Foundation it found that in analyzing recruits based upon household income, education level, race/ethnicity and region/rural origin that the present all-volunteer force nearly mirrors the population in general. In one of these areas, however, the data does not mirror the population in general - education. 98% of recruits have a high school education compared to the national average for high school graduates at 75%. In other words, the U.S. Military today is equitable in all of the important measures.

This study by The Heritage Foundation can be found at
Who Bears the Burden? Demographic Characteristics of U.S. Military Recruits Before and After 9/11

The Military Branches

The U S Military Branches of the United States are divided into five armed services known collectively as the United States Armed Forces consisting of the:

  • United States Army
  • United States Marine Corps
  • United States Navy
  • United States Air Force
  • United States Coast Guard

All branches of the military are under civilian control, with the President of the United States as the Commander-in-Chief and fall under the Department of Defense (with the exception of the Coast Guard), which is under the authority of the Secretary of Defense, a civilian. In peacetime the Coast Guard is under the Department of Homeland Security, but in the event of war could be placed under the Department of Defense through the United States Navy.

There are apporximately 1.4 million personnel currently on active duty with an additional 1.3 million in reserve components, of which almost 460,000 serve in the Army and Air National Guard. It is not necessary to be a citizen to belong to the enlisted ranks, however you must be a U.S. Citizen to become an officer. The U.S. Military is the second largest in the world, consumes about $ 450 billion per year which amounts to 3.7% of the Gross Domestic Product.

military branches