United States Armed Forces

Military forces of the United States / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States.[13] The armed forces consists of six service branches: the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard.[14][15] All six armed services are among the eight uniformed services of the United States.[16]

Quick facts: United States Armed Forces, Founded, Service ...
United States Armed Forces
Mark_of_the_United_States_Army.svg Seal_of_the_United_States_Marine_Corps.svg Emblem_of_the_United_States_Navy.svg
Mark_of_the_United_States_Air_Force.svg Seal_of_the_United_States_Space_Force.svg Seal_of_the_United_States_Coast_Guard.svg
Emblems of the U.S. Armed Forces' service branches
Founded14 June 1775; 248 years ago (1775-06-14)[lower-alpha 1]
Service branches
HeadquartersThe Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia
Commander-in-ChiefFlag_of_the_President_of_the_United_States.svg President Joe Biden
Secretary of DefenseFlag_of_the_United_States_Secretary_of_Defense.svg Lloyd Austin
Secretary of Homeland SecurityFlag_of_the_United_States_Secretary_of_Homeland_Security.svg Alejandro Mayorkas
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of StaffFlag_of_the_Chairman_of_the_U.S._Joint_Chiefs_of_Staff.svg GEN Charles Q. Brown Jr., USAF
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of StaffFlag_of_the_Vice_Chairman_of_the_Joint_Chiefs_of_Staff.svg ADM Christopher W. Grady, USN
Senior Enlisted Advisor to the ChairmanFlag_of_the_Senior_Enlisted_Advisor_to_the_Chairman.svg SEAC Troy E. Black, USMC
Military age17 with parental consent, 18 for voluntary service.[lower-alpha 2]
ConscriptionOnly males register at age 18 (conscription inactive since 1973)
Available for
military service
15 million (2021)[7], age 18–25
Active personnel1,328,000[8] (ranked 3rd)
Reserve personnel799,500[9]
Budget$816.7 billion (2023)[10] (ranked 1st)
Percent of GDP3.47% (2022)[11]
Domestic suppliersList
Foreign suppliersFlag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg United Kingdom[12]
Flag_of_Germany.svg Germany[12]
Flag_of_Israel.svg Israel[12]
Annual importsUS$8.904 billion (2010–2021)[12]
Annual exportsUS$115.5 billion (2010–2021)[12]
Related articles
HistoryMilitary history of the United States
RanksCommissioned officer

Warrant officer



Each of the different military services is assigned a role and domain. The Army conducts land operations, while the Navy and Marine Corps conduct maritime operations, with the Marine Corps specializing in amphibious and maritime littoral operations in support of the Navy. The Air Force conducts air operations, while the Space Force conducts space operations. The Coast Guard is unique in that it specializes in maritime operations and is also a law enforcement agency.[17][18]

From their inception during the American Revolutionary War, the U.S. Armed Forces have played a decisive role in the country's history. They helped forge a sense of national unity and identity through victories in the early-19th-century First and Second Barbary Wars. They played a critical role in the territorial evolution of the U.S., including the American Civil War. The National Security Act of 1947 created the modern U.S. military framework, establishing the National Military Establishment (later the Department of Defense or DoD) headed by the secretary of defense and creating both the U.S. Air Force and National Security Council; in 1949, an amendment to the act merged the cabinet-level departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force into the DoD.

The president of the U.S. is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and forms military policy with the DoD and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), both federal executive departments, altogether acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out.

The U.S. Armed Forces are one of the largest military forces in terms of personnel. They draw their personnel from a large pool of professional volunteers. The U.S. has used military conscription, but not since 1973. The Selective Service System retains the power to conscript males, requiring the registration of all male citizens and residents living in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 25.

The U.S. Armed Forces are considered the world's most powerful military.[19] The military expenditure of the U.S. was US$877 billion in 2022, the highest in the world, accounting for 39% of the world's defense expenditures.[20] 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 U.S.[21] The U.S. Air Force is the world's largest air force, followed by the U.S. Army Aviation Branch. The U.S. Naval Air Forces is the fourth-largest air arm in the world and is the largest naval aviation service, while U.S. Marine Corps Aviation is the world's seventh-largest air arm. The U.S. Navy is the world's largest navy by tonnage.[22] The U.S. Coast Guard is the world's 12th-largest maritime force.[23] The U.S. Space Force is the world's only active independent space force.[24]

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