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Introduction

Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg

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

1994BlackHawkShootdownWreckage.jpg

The 1994 Black Hawk shootdown incident, sometimes referred to as the Black Hawk Incident, was a "friendly fire" incident over northern Iraq that occurred on April 14, 1994 during Operation Provide Comfort (OPC). The pilots of two United States Air Force (USAF) F-15 fighter aircraft, operating under the control of a USAF airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft, misidentified two United States Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters as Iraqi Mil Mi-24 "Hind" helicopters. The F-15 pilots fired on and destroyed both helicopters, killing 26 military service members and civilians from the United States (U.S.), United Kingdom, France, Turkey, and the Kurdish community.

A subsequent USAF investigation blamed the accident on several factors. The F-15 pilots were faulted for misidentifying the helicopters as hostile. Also, the crew members of the AWACS aircraft were blamed for their inaction in failing to exercise appropriate control and for not intervening in the situation. In addition, the identification friend or foe (IFF) systems had not functioned to identify the helicopters to the F-15 pilots. Furthermore, USAF leaders had failed to adequately integrate U.S. Army helicopter operations into overall OPC air operations. As a result of the investigation several USAF officers received administrative discipline but only one, Jim Wang, an AWACS crew member, was tried by military court-martial, in which he was acquitted.

Selected images

Casing.jpg

Credit: Staff Sgt. Suzanne M. Day, defenselink.mil

A shell casing flies out with a trail of smoke as U.S. Army Pfc. Michael Freise fires an M-4 rifle during a firing exercise.

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Equipment

M1-A1 Abrams 1.jpg
The M1 Abrams main battle tank is the sole tank of the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps, with three main versions being deployed starting in 1980: the M1, M1A1, and M1A2. The latest versions of the M1A2 have a new armor and electronics package. It is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army [[Chief of Staff of the United States Army|Chief of

Units and awards

Selected biography

BenjaminFranklinTilley.jpg

Benjamin Franklin Tilley (March 29, 1848 – March 18, 1907), was a career officer in the United States Navy who served from the end of the American Civil War through the Spanish–American War. He is best remembered as the first Acting-Governor of American Samoa.

Tilley entered the United States Naval Academy during the height of the Civil War. Graduating after the conflict, he gradually rose through the ranks. As a lieutenant, he participated in the United States military's crackdown against workers in the wake of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. During the Chilean Civil War of 1891, Tilley and a small contingent of sailors and marines defended the American consulate in Santiago, Chile. As a commander during the Spanish–American War, Tilley and his gunship, the USS Newport, successfully captured two Spanish Navy ships. After the war, Tilley was made the first acting-Governor of Tutuila and Manua (later called American Samoa) and set legal and administrative precedents for the new territory. Near the conclusion of his 41 years of service, he was promoted to rear admiral, but died shortly afterwards from pneumonia.

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