The United States Army has the acronym USA. It is the land based branch of the United States Military as well as the largest branch. It is one of seventeen uniform services in the entire United States. Established by the second section of the second article of the United States Constitution as the “Army of the United States”, it is the oldest branch of the United States Armed Forces as well as the highest in seniority. The Army of the United States can trace its history to as far back as the Continental Army, and it fought in the American Revolutionary War of 1775 to 1783. Hence, they preexisted the formation of United States as a country. At the end of the Revolutionary War and right after the United States was constituted as a country, the sitting Congress of the time established the army on the 3rd of June in 1784.
There are three military departments in the Department of Defense. The Department of the Army is one of these three and is president over the United States Army. A civilian in the appointed capacity of the Secretary of the Army directs the Department of the Army and by extension the United States Army. However, the army is also directed by a senior military officer in the capacity of the Chief of Staff of the Army. The Chief of Staff of the Army is part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As at 2017, there were 460,000 soldiers in the regular army, 335,000 soldiers in the National Guard, and up to 195,000 members of the Army Reserve. This makes a total of more than 900,000 soldiers in the entire United States Army.
The United States Army’s mission is simple. They are tasked with the responsibility of not only fighting all national wars, but also winning them. They are also tasked with ensuring complete land dominance in terms of military operations in the shortest possible time. According to the United States Code, the purposes of the USA are as follows:
- To ensure the peace and security of the United States as well as the Commonwealths and every land occupied by the country.
- To propagate the policies of the nation.
- To enforce the objectives of the nation.
- To fight and defeat any threat to the peace and security of the nation, especially those arising from the actions of other nations.
At the start of the United States Army in 1775, the army was really a small force who maintained forts and carried out many nonaggressive activities like engineering constructions and the likes. This happened for the first one hundred years. During war times, the United States Army has experienced a surge in numerical strength. This surge can be accounted for by the huge number of patriotic volunteers who desired to fight for the safety of the free world. Another reason for the surge was the militias that were usually maintained by the member states; these militias would usually be called into federal service in the time of war.
In the 1900’s, the United States had had to augment its strength four different times to fight four different wars. These wars were World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War. The National Guard is one of the branches of the United States Army, as is the Army Reserve. Ever since the Militia Act of 1903, the National Guard now serve two functions. The first function is to serve as National Guardsmen under the direct command of the governor of the state where they are stationed. The second function, when activated, is as a reserve for the army under the command of the President of the United States.
The army has several branches under it. These units are listed below:
- Air Defense Artillery.
- Signal Corps
- Corps of Engineers
The two reserve components of the United States Army, the National Guard and Army Reserve, train once every month in what is called battle assemblies. This is in addition to the annual trainings which last between two to three weeks. Every National Guard, when not federalized, report to their state governor, except the Nation Guard of the District of Columbia, which reports to the president himself. When it comes to the use of the National Guard, the president’s order takes precedence; hence, a governor cannot block the president’s order to federalize a state’s National Guard.
Even though the United States Army is led by the Secretary of the Army, who is an appointed civil servant, it is under the overall control of the Secretary of Defense, to whom the Secretary of the Army reports. Nevertheless, the main adviser to the Secretary of Defense when it comes to matters of the United States Army is the Chief of Staff of the Army, who is the most senior ranking officer in the whole army.
The rank of commissioned officers is as follows, from least to the greatest: Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel, Brigadier General, Major General, Lieutenant General, General, and General of the Army. No person living at the moment bears the rank of General of the Army. However, this title is approved for use in times of war by the United States Congress. These ranks are equivalent to what is approved by NATO.
Enlisted personnel are also referred to as noncommissioned offices (NCOs). The rank of noncommissioned officers starts at Private 1 and Private 2 and ends with Command Sergeant Major, and Sergeant Major of the Army.
There are two types of training in the United States Army. These are: individual training and group training. Trainings can also be categorized into Basic training, which lasts for 10 weeks, and Advanced Individualized Training, which is tailored to a soldier’s military occupational specialty. These trainings can be conducted singly, or they could be conducted together, in which case the length of training could stretch to anywhere between 14 and 20 weeks.