The Six Branches of the U.S. Military

There are six branches of the United States Military, each with a different purpose and mission.

To find out even more facts about each branch, join my email list! You’ll receive an easy-to-digest fact sheet for each military branch featured below.

Read on below for a brief overview of each U. S. military branch.

Air Force

The Air Force provides fast air and space capabilities all over the world.

Options for Service: Active Duty (full time), Reserve Corps (part time), Air National Guard (part time), and Civilian Service (full or part time).

Members are known as Airmen.

Special Note: The Air Force is one of the only two branches that has a National Guard option for service.

Army

The Department of the Army provides ground forces to protect the United States.

Options for Service: Active Duty (full time), Reserve Corps (part time), National Guard (part time), and Civilian Service (full or part time).

Members are known as Soldiers.

Special Note: The Army is one of the only two branches that has a National Guard option for service.

Coast Guard

The Coast Guard provides marine and environmental protection, maritime safety and law enforcement, and support to the Navy.

Options for Service: Active Duty (full time), Reserve Corps (part time), Civilian Service (full or part time), and Volunteer Service (part time).

Members are known as Coast Guardsmen.

Special Note: It is under the Department of Homeland Security, but in times of war, the Coast Guard operates under the Navy.

Navy

The Navy puts their focus below, on, and above the waters around the world.

Options for Service: Active Duty (full time), Reserve Corps (full or part time), and Civilian Service (full or part time).

Members are known as Sailors or Seamen.

Marine Corps

The Marine Corps provides air and ground support for combat operations.

Options for Service: Active Duty (full time), Reserve Corps (full or part time), and Civilian Service (full or part time).

Members are known as Marines.

Special Note: The Marine Corps is a component of the Navy.

Space Force

The Space Force provides space forces to protect the United States and it’s allies, and provides space capabilities to the joint force.

Options for Service: Active Duty (full time) and Civilian Service (full or part time).

Members are known as Guardians.

Special Note: The Space Force is a component of the Air Force, and was created in 2019.


Honorable Mention: National Guard

Although the National Guard is NOT it’s own branch of the military, it is often grouped as one.

The National Guard consists of the Air National Guard and Army National Guard, which are units under the control of both the state and federal governments.

It is a part time versatile force that supports domestic emergencies, homeland security operations, and more.


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