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Introduction

The seals of the five service branches of the U.S. Armed Forces

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

FairchildB52Crash.jpg

The B-52 crash at Fairchild Air Force Base was a fatal air crash that occurred on June 24, 1994, killing the four crew members of a United States Air Force (USAF) B-52 Stratofortress during a training flight. In the crash, Bud Holland, who was the command pilot of the aircraft based at Fairchild Air Force Base, call sign Czar 52, flew the aircraft beyond its operational parameters and lost control. As a result, the aircraft stalled, impacted the ground, and was completely destroyed. Video of the crash was shown throughout the United States on news broadcasts.

The accident investigation concluded that the chain of events leading to the crash was primarily attributable to Holland's personality and behavior, USAF leaders' reactions to it, and the sequence of events during the mishap flight of the aircraft. Today, the crash is used in military and civilian aviation environments as a training aid in teaching crew resource management. Also, the crash is often used by the USAF during safety training as an example of the importance of compliance with safety regulations and correcting the behavior of anyone who violates safety procedures.

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Static jump.jpg

Credit: Navy.mil

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Eleven (EODMU-11) members perform a static jump from the ramp of a C-130.

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Equipment

M40 gasmask.jpg

The M40 Field Protective Mask is one of various gas masks used by the military of the United States and its allies to protect from field concentrations of chemical and biological agents, along with radiological fallout particles. It is not effective in an oxygen deficient environment or against ammonia. The M40 Field Protective mask features two voicemitters, one on either the right or left side, and one in front. A voicecom adapter may be placed over the front voicemitter to amplify the user's voice.

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Selected biography

Hindman Tom.jpg

Thomas Carmichael Hindman, Jr. (January 28, 1828 – September 27, 1868) was a lawyer, United States Representative, and a Major General in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Shortly after he was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Hindman moved with his family to Jacksonville, Alabama and later Ripley, Mississippi.

He attended the Lawrenceville Classical Institute and graduated with honors. Afterwards, he raised a company in Tippah County for the 2nd Mississippi regiment in the Mexican–American War. After the war, he returned to Ripley. He commanded the Trans-Mississippi Department, and later raised and commanded "Hindman's legion" for the Confederate States Army. After the war, Hindman avoided surrender to the federal government by fleeing to Mexico City.

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