United States Army

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United States Army

United States Army portal
Active 14 June 1775 - today
Country United States of America
Type Army
Size approx. 1,082,000
Part of Department of Defense
Department of the Army
Motto This We'll Defend
Army Strong (recruiting)
Colors Black & Gold         
March The Army Goes Rolling Along
Engagements Revolutionary War
Northwest Indian War
Tecumseh's War
Creek War
Peoria War
War of 1812
Seminole Wars
Black Hawk War
Mexican-American War
Utah War
American Civil War
Spanish-American War
Philippine-American War
Banana Wars
Boxer Rebellion
World War I
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Gulf War
Kosovo War
Operation Enduring Freedom
Iraq War
Chief of Staff GEN George W. Casey, Jr.
Vice Chief of Staff GEN Peter W. Chiarelli
Sergeant Major SMA Kenneth O. Preston
Recruiting Logo

The United States Army is the branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military and is one of seven uniformed services. The modern Army has its roots in the Continental Army which was formed on June 14, 1775, before the establishment of the United States, to meet the demands of the American Revolutionary War. Congress created the United States Army on June 14, 1784 after the end of the war to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The Army considers itself to be descended from the Continental Army and thus dates its inception from the origins of that force.[1]

The primary mission of the Army is to "provide necessary forces and capabilities ... in support of the National Security and Defense Strategies."[2] Control and operation is administered by the Department of the Army, one of the three service departments of the Department of Defense. The civilian head is the Secretary of the Army and the highest ranking military officer in the department is the Chief of Staff, unless the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are Army officers. The Regular Army reported a strength of approximately 547,741 soldiers as of January 31, 2009.[3] The Army National Guard (ARNG) reported 352,000 and the United States Army Reserve (USAR) reported 189,000, putting the approximate combined component strength total approximately 1,088,000 soldiers.[4]


[edit] Mission

The United States Army serves as the land-based branch of the U.S. Military. §3062 of Title 10 US Code ([1])defines the purpose of the Army as:

  • preserving the peace and security, and providing for the defense, of the United States, the Commonwealths and possessions, and any areas occupied by the United States;
  • supporting the national policies;
  • implementing the national objectives; and
  • overcoming any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United States.

It also states the Army's responsibility as:

  • land combat and service forces and such aviation and water transport as may be organic therein
  • being organized, trained, and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained combat incident to operations on land
  • the preparation of land forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war except as otherwise assigned
  • the expansion of the peacetime components of the Army to meet the needs of war

[edit] History

[edit] Origins

Storming of Redoubt #10 during the Siege of Yorktown.

The Continental Army was created on March 3, 1773 by the Continental Congress as a unified army for the states to fight Great Britain, with George Washington appointed as its commander. George Washington made use of the Fabian strategy and used hit-and-run tactics, hitting where the enemy was weakest, to wear down the British forces and their Hessian mercenary allies. Washington led victories against the British at Trenton and Princeton, then turned south. With a decisive victory at Yorktown, and the help of French, Spanish and the Dutch, the Continental Army prevailed against the British, and with the Treaty of Paris, the independence of the United States was acknowledged.

After the war, though, the Continental Army was quickly disbanded as part of the Americans' distrust of standing armies, and irregular state militias became the new nation's sole ground army, with the exception of one battery of artillery guarding West Point's arsenal. However, because of continuing conflict with Native Americans, it was soon realized that it was necessary to field a trained standing army. The first of these, the Legion of the United States, was established in 1791.

[edit] 19th century

The War of 1812 (1812-1815), the second and last American war against the British, was less successful than the Revolution had been. An invasion of Canada failed, and U.S. troops were unable to stop the British from burning the new capital of Washington, D.C.. However, the Regular Army, under Generals Winfield Scott and Jacob Brown, proved they were professional and capable of defeating a British army in the Niagara Campaign of 1814. Two weeks after a treaty was signed, though, Andrew Jackson defeated the British invasion of New Orleans. However this had little effect, as per the treaty both sides returned to the status quo.

Between 1815 and 1860, a spirit of Manifest Destiny struck the United States, and as settlers moved west the U.S. Army engaged in a long series of skirmishes and battles with American Indians the colonists uprooted. The U.S. Army also fought the short Mexican–American War, which was a victory for the United States and resulted in territory which became all or parts of the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming and New Mexico.

The Battle of Gettysburg, the bloodiest battle and turning point of the American Civil War.

The Civil War (1861-1865) was the most costly war for the United States. After most states in the South seceded to form the Confederate States of America, CSA troops opened fire on the U.S. fort Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, starting the war. For the first two years Confederate forces solidly defeated the U.S. Army, but after the decisive battles of Gettysburg in the east and Vicksburg in the west, combined with superior industrial might and numbers, Union troops fought a brutal campaign through Confederate territory and the war ended with a Confederate surrender at Appomatox Courthouse in April 1865. Based on 1860 census figures, 8% of all white males aged 13 to 43 died in the war, including 6% in the North and an extraordinary 18% in the South.[5]

Following the Civil War, the U.S. Army fought a long battle with American Indians, who resisted U.S. expansion into the center of the continent. But by the 1890s the U.S. saw itself as a potential player internationally. U.S. victories in the Spanish-American War (1898) and the controversial and less well known Philippine-American War (1898-1913), as well as U.S. intervention in Latin America and the Boxer Rebellion, gained America more land and international prestige.[citation needed]

[edit] 20th century

The United States joined World War I (1914-1918) in 1917 on the side of Russia, Britain and France. U.S. troops were sent to the front and were involved in the push that finally broke through the German lines. With the armistice on November 11, 1918, the Army once again decreased its forces.

Soldiers from the U.S. Army 89th Infantry Division cross the Rhine River in assault boats, 1945.

The U.S. joined World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. On the European front, U.S. Army troops made up large portions of the forces that captured North Africa and Sicily. On D-Day and in the subsequent liberation of Europe and defeat of Germany, the millions of U.S. Army troops played a central role. In the Pacific, Army soldiers participated alongside U.S. Marines in the "island hopping" campaign that wrested the Pacific islands from Japanese control. Following the Axis surrenders in May (Germany) and September (Japan) of 1945, Army troops were deployed to Japan and Germany to occupy the two defeated nations. Two years after World War II, the Army Air Forces separated from the Army to become the United States Air Force on September 18, 1947 after decades of attempting to separate. Also, in 1948 the Army was desegregated.

Korea. Soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division man a machine gun.

However, the end of World War II set the stage for the East-West confrontation known as the Cold War (late 1940s to late 1980s/early 1990s). Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops remained stationed in West Germany and across Europe until the 1990s in anticipation of a possible Soviet attack.

During the Cold War, American troops and their allies fought Communist forces in Korea and Vietnam. (See Domino Theory.) The Korean War began in 1950. Under a United Nations umbrella, hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops fought to prevent the takeover of South Korea by North Korea, and later, to invade the northern nation. After repeated advances and retreats by both sides, and the Peoples' Republic of China's entry into the war, a cease-fire returned the peninsula to the status quo in 1953.

Dak To, South Vietnam. An infantry patrol moves up to assault the last Viet Cong position after an attempted overrun of the artillery position by the Viet Cong during Operation Hawthorne.

The Vietnam War is often regarded as a low point in the Army's record. While American forces had been stationed in the Republic of Vietnam since 1959, they did not deploy in large numbers until 1965, after the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. American forces struggled to counter the guerrilla tactics of the communist Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army until 1973, when domestic political opposition to the war finally forced a US withdrawal. Two years later, the country was unified under a communist government.

The Total Force Policy was adopted by Chief of Staff of the Army General Creighton Abrams in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and involves treating the three components of the US Army - the Regular Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve as a single force.[6] Believing that no US president should be able to take the United States (and more specifically the US Army) to war without the support of the American people, General Abrams intertwined the structure of the three components of the Army in such a way as to make extended operations impossible, without the involvement of both the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.

The 1980s was mostly a decade of reorganization. The Army converted to an all-volunteer force with greater emphasis on training and technology. The Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 created Unified Combatant Commands bringing the Army together with the other four U.S. Armed Forces under unified, geographically organized command structures. The Army also played a role in the invasions of Grenada in 1983 (Operation Urgent Fury) and Panama in 1989 (Operation Just Cause).

By 1991 Germany was reunited and the Soviet Union was near collapse. The Cold War was, effectively, over. In 1990 Iraq invaded its smaller neighbor, Kuwait. In January 1991 Operation Desert Storm commenced, a U.S.-led coalition which deployed over 500,000 troops, the bulk of them from U.S. Army formations, to drive out Iraqi forces. The campaign ended in total victory for the Army, as Western coalition forces routed an Iraqi Army organized along Soviet lines in just one hundred hours.

After Desert Storm, the Army did not see major combat operations for the remainder of the 1990s. Army units did participate in a number of peacekeeping activities, such as the UN peacekeeping mission in Somalia in 1993, where the abortive Operation Gothic Serpent led to the deaths of eighteen American soldiers and the withdrawal of international forces. The Army also contributed troops to a NATO peacekeeping force in former Yugoslavia in the middle of the decade.

[edit] 21st century

U.S. soldiers take cover during a firefight with insurgents in the Al Doura section of Baghdad March 7, 2007

After the September 11, 2001 attacks and as part of the Global War on Terror, U.S. and NATO combined arms (i.e., Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, Special Operations) forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001, replacing the Taliban government.

The Army took part in the combined U.S. and allied invasion of Iraq in 2003. In the following years the mission changed from conflict between regular militaries to counterinsurgency. with large numbers of suicide bomb attacks, and the loss of over 4,000 U.S. servicemen (as of March 2008) and thousands more injured.[7] The lack of stability in the theater of operations has led to longer deployments for Regular Army as well as Reserve and Guard troops.

[edit] Organization

[edit] Army components

U.S. Generals, World War II, Europe:
back row (left to right): Stearley, Vandenberg, Smith, Weyland, Nugent;
front row: Simpson, Patton, Spaatz, Eisenhower, Bradley, Hodges, Gerow.

During World War I, the "National Army" was organized to fight the conflict.[8] It was demobilized at the end of World War I, and was replaced by the Regular Army, the Organized Reserve Corps, and the State Militias. In the 1920s and 1930s, the "career" soldiers were known as the "Regular Army" with the "Enlisted Reserve Corps" and "Officer Reserve Corps" augmented to fill vacancies when needed.[9]

In 1941, the "Army of the United States" was founded to fight World War II. The Regular Army, Army of the United States, the National Guard, and Officer/Enlisted Reserve Corps (ORC and ERC) existed simultaneously. After World War II, the ORC and ERC were combined into the United States Army Reserve. The Army of the United States was re-established for the Korean War and Vietnam War and was demobilized upon the suspension of the Draft.[9]

Currently, the Army is divided into the Regular Army, the Army Reserve, and the United States National Guard.[8] Prior to 1903 members of the National Guard were considered state soldiers unless federalized by the President. Since the Militia Act of 1903 all National Guard soldiers have held dual status: as National Guardsmen under the authority of the governor of their state and as a reserve of the U.S. Army under the authority of the President. Since the adoption of the total force policy, in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, reserve component soldiers have taken a more active role in U.S. military operations. Reserve and Guard units took part in the Gulf War, peacekeeping in Kosovo, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Various State Defense Forces also exist, sometimes known as State Militias, which are sponsored by individual state governments and serve as an auxiliary to the National Guard. Except in times of extreme national emergency, such as a mainland invasion of the United States, State Militias are operated independently from the U.S. Army and are seen as state government agencies rather than a component of the military.

Although the present-day Army exists as an all volunteer force, augmented by Reserve and National Guard forces, measures exist for emergency expansion in the event of a catastrophic occurrence, such as a large scale attack against the U.S. or the outbreak of a major global war.

The final stage of Army mobilization, known as "activation of the unorganized militia" would effectively place all able bodied males in the service of the U.S. Army. The last time an approximation of this occurred was during the American Civil War when the Confederate States of America activated the "Home Guard" in 1865, drafting all males, regardless of age or health, into the Confederate Army.

[edit] Army Commands and Army Service Component Commands

Army Commands Current Commander Location of Headquarters
United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) GEN Charles C. Campbell Fort McPherson, Georgia
United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) GEN Martin E. Dempsey Fort Monroe, Virginia
United States Army Materiel Command (AMC) GEN Ann E. Dunwoody Fort Belvoir, Virginia
Army Service Component Commands Current Commander Location of Headquarters
United States Army Central (USARCENT) LTG Jim Lovelace[10] Fort McPherson, Georgia
United States Army North (USANORTH) LTG Thomas R. Turner II Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas
United States Army South (USARSO) MG Keith M. Huber Fort Sam Houston, Texas
United States Army Europe (USAREUR) GEN Carter F. Ham[11] Campbell Barracks, Heidelberg, Germany
United States Army Pacific (USARPAC) LTG Benjamin R. Mixon[12] Fort Shafter, Hawaii
Eighth United States Army (EUSA) LTG Joseph F. Fil, Jr. Yongsan Army Garrison, Seoul
United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) LTG John F. Mulholland Jr Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) BG James L. Hodge[13] Fort Eustis, Virginia
United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command/United States Army Strategic (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) LTG Kevin T. Campbell Redstone Arsenal, Alabama
Direct Reporting Units Current Commander Location of Headquarters
United States Army Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Signal Command (NETCOM/9thSC(A)) MG Susan Lawrence Fort Huachuca, Arizona
United States Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) LTG Eric Schoomaker Fort Sam Houston, Texas
United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) MG David B. Lacquement Fort Belvoir, Virginia
United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC) BG Rodney L. Johnson Fort Belvoir, Virginia
United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) LTG Robert Van Antwerp Jr. Washington, D.C.
United States Army Military District of Washington (MDW) MG Richard J. Rowe Jr. Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Army Test & Evaluation Command (ATEC) MG Roger A. Nadeau Alexandria, Virginia
United States Military Academy (USMA) LTG Franklin Hagenbeck West Point, New York
United States Army Reserve Command (USARC) LTG Jack C. Stultz Fort McPherson, Georgia
United States Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) Mr. Craig A. Spisak Fort Belvoir, Virginia
United States Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM) LTG Robert Wilson Arlington, Virginia

Source: U.S. Army organization[14]

[edit] Structure

The United States Army is made up of three components: the active component, the Regular Army; and two reserve components, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve. Both reserve components are primarily composed of part-time soldiers who train once a month, known as Battle Assembly or Unit Training Assemblies (UTAs), and conduct two to three weeks of annual training each year. Both the Regular Army and the Army Reserve are organized under Title 10 of the United States Code, while the National Guard is organized under Title 32. While the Army National Guard is organized, trained and equipped as a component of the U.S. Army, when it is not in federal service it is under the command of individual state and territorial governors, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia. However the National Guard can be federalized by presidential order and against the governor's wishes.[15]

HHC, U.S. Army shoulder sleeve insignia

The U.S. Army is led by a civilian Secretary of the Army, who reports to the Secretary of Defense, and serves as civilian oversight for the U.S. Army Chief of Staff. The U.S. Army Chief of Staff is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a body composed of the service chiefs from each service who advise the President and Secretary of Defense on military matters under the guidance of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In 1986, the Goldwater-Nichols Act mandated that operational control of the services follows a chain of command from the President to the Secretary of Defense directly to the Unified Combatant Commanders, who have control of all armed forces units in their geographic or function area of responsibility. Thus, the Chief of Staff of each service only has the responsibility to organize, train and equip his own service component. The services provide trained forces to the Combatant Commanders for use as they see fit.

Through 2013, the Army is shifting to six geographical commands that will line up with the six geographical Unified Combatant Commands (COCOM):

Each command will receive a numbered army as operational command, except U.S. Army Pacific, which will have a numbered army for U.S. Army forces in South Korea.

The Army is also changing its base unit from divisions to brigades. When finished, the active army will have increased its combat brigades from 33 to 48, with similar increases in the National Guard and Reserve forces. Division lineage will be retained, but the divisional HQs will be able to command any brigades, not just brigades that carry their divisional lineage. The central part of this plan is that each brigade will be modular, i.e., all brigades of the same type will be exactly the same, and thus any brigade can be commanded by any division. There will be three major types of ground combat brigades:

  • Heavy brigades will have about 3,700 troops and be equivalent to a mechanized infantry or tank brigade.
  • Infantry brigades will have around 3,300 troops and be equivalent to a light infantry or airborne brigade.
  • Stryker brigades will have around 3,900 troops and be based around the Stryker family of vehicles.

In addition, there will be combat support and service support modular brigades. Combat support brigades include Aviation brigades, which will come in heavy and light varieties, Fires (artillery) brigades, and Battlefield Surveillance Brigades. Combat service support brigades include Sustainment brigades and come in several varieties and serve the standard support role in an army.

[edit] Combat maneuver organizations

1st Cavalry Division Fort Hood TX at the 2007 Rose Parade
3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment soldiers on patrol in Iraq.

The U.S. Army currently consists of 10 divisions as well as several independent units. The force is in the process of growth, with four additional brigades scheduled to activate by 2013, with a total increase of 74,200 soldiers from January 2007. Each division will have four ground maneuver brigades, and will also include at least one aviation brigade as well as a fires brigade and a service support brigade. Additional brigades can be assigned or attached to a division headquarters based on its mission.

Name Headquarters Subunits
1st Armored Division Fort Bliss, Texas Four heavy brigade combat teams and one aviation brigade at Fort Bliss and WSMR.
1st Cavalry Division Fort Hood, Texas Four heavy brigade combat teams and one aviation brigade at Fort Hood.
1st Infantry Division Fort Riley, Kansas Two heavy brigade combat teams, one infantry brigade combat team and one aviation brigade at Fort Riley, and one infantry brigade combat team at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
2nd Infantry Division Camp Red Cloud, South Korea One heavy brigade combat team and one aviation brigade at Camp Hovey and Camp Casey, South Korea, and three Stryker brigade combat teams (SBCTs) at Fort Lewis, Washington.
3rd Infantry Division Fort Stewart, Georgia Three heavy brigade combat teams and at Fort Stewart, Georgia, one heavy brigade combat team and one aviation brigade at Fort Benning, Georgia.
4th Infantry Division Fort Carson, Colorado Three heavy brigade combat teams and one infantry brigade combat team at Fort Carson, Colorado.
10th Mountain Division Fort Drum, New York Three infantry brigade combat teams and one aviation brigade at Fort Drum and one infantry brigade combat team at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
25th Infantry Division Schofield Barracks, Hawaii Two brigade combat teams and one aviation brigade at Schofield Barracks (one infantry and one Stryker), one Stryker brigade combat team at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, and one airborne infantry brigade combat team at Fort Richardson, Alaska.
82nd Airborne Division Fort Bragg, North Carolina Four airborne infantry brigade combat teams and one aviation brigade at Fort Bragg.
101st Airborne Division Fort Campbell, Kentucky Four infantry brigade combat teams (air assault) and two aviation brigades at Fort Campbell.
170th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) Baumholder, Germany Scheduled for activation in September 2010.
172nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team Grafenwoehr, Germany Two mechanized infantry battalions, one M1A1 Abrams battalion, one self-propelled 155mm field artillery battalion, one combat engineer battalion.
173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Vicenza, Italy Two airborne infantry battalions, one cavalry squadron, one airborne field artillery battalion, one special troops battalion, and one support battalion.
2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment Vilseck, Germany 6 subordinate Squadrons: 1st (Stryker Infantry), 2nd (Stryker Infantry), 3rd (Stryker Infantry), 4th (Recon, Surveillance, Target Acquisition), Fires (6x3 155mm Towed Arty), & RSS (Logistical Support); 5 Separate Troops/Companies: Regimental Headquarters Troop, Military Intelligence Troop, Signal Troop, 84th Engineer Company, and Anti-Tank Troop.
3d Armored Cavalry Regiment Fort Hood, Texas Three tank squadrons, one aviation squadron, and one support squadron.
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Fort Irwin, California Serves as the Opposing Force (OPFOR) at the National Training Center (NTC). Multi-compo HBCT.

[edit] Special Operations Forces

US Army Special Operations Command (Airborne):

Name Headquarters Structure and purpose
Special Forces (Green Berets) Fort Bragg, North Carolina Five groups capable of unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, and counter-terrorism.
75th Ranger Regiment (Rangers) Fort Benning, Georgia Three battalions of elite light airborne infantry.
160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Night Stalkers) Fort Campbell, Kentucky Four battalions, providing helicopter aviation support for general purpose forces and Special Operations Forces.
4th Psychological Operations Group Fort Bragg, North Carolina Psychological operations unit, six battalions.
95th Civil Affairs Brigade Fort Bragg, North Carolina Civil affairs brigade.
Special Operations Support Command Fort Bragg, North Carolina
1st SFOD-D (Delta Force) Fort Bragg, North Carolina Elite special operations and counter-terrorism unit. Its operators are chosen carefully from the best soldiers of the Army Special Operations Forces. Most information about the unit is classified.

[edit] Personnel

These are the U.S. Army ranks and their equivalent NATO designations.

Commissioned Officers:[16]

There are several paths to becoming a commissioned officer including Army ROTC, the United States Military Academy at West Point or the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, and Officer Candidate School. Certain professionals, physicians, nurses, lawyers, and chaplains are commissioned directly into the Army. But no matter what road an officer takes, the insignia are the same.

The highest officer rank is the five-star general (General of the Army) and the lowest is the second lieutenant.

Address all personnel with the rank of general as "General (last name)" regardless of the number of stars. Likewise, address both colonels and lieutenant colonels as "Colonel (last name)" and first and second lieutenants as "Lieutenant (last name)."

US DoD Pay Grade O-1 O-2 O-3 O-4 O-5 O-6 O-7 O-8 O-9 O-10 Special¹
Title Second Lieutenant First Lieutenant Captain Major Lieutenant Colonel Colonel Brigadier General Major General Lieutenant General General General of the Army
NATO Code OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9 OF-10
¹ Conferred only in times of Congressionally declared war to selected Generals.

Warrant Officers:[16]

Warrant Officers are single track, specialty officers with subject matter expertise in a particular area. They are initially appointed as warrant officers (in the rank of WO1) by the Secretary of the Army, but receive their commission upon promotion to Chief Warrant Officer Two (CW2).

Technically, warrant officers are to be addressed as "Mr. (last name)" or "Ms. (last name)." However, many personnel do not use those terms, but instead say "Sir", "Ma'am", or most commonly, "Chief".

US DoD Pay Grade W-1 W-2 W-3 W-4 W-5
Title Warrant Officer 1 Chief Warrant Officer 2 Chief Warrant Officer 3 Chief Warrant Officer 4 Chief Warrant Officer 5
Abbreviation WO1 CW2 CW3 CW4 CW5
NATO Code WO-1 WO-2 WO-3 WO-4 WO-5

Enlisted Personnel:[16]

Sergeants are referred to as NCOs, short for non-commissioned officers. Corporals are also called "hard stripes", in recognition of their leadership position. This distinguishes them from specialists who might have the same pay grade, but not the leadership responsibilities.

Address privates (E1 and E2) and privates first class (E3) as "Private (last name)." Address specialists as "Specialist (last name)." Address sergeants, staff sergeants, and sergeants first class as "Sergeant (last name)." Address higher ranking sergeants by their full ranks in conjunction with their names.

All Sergeant ranks from E-5 SGT to E-8 MSG are simply referred to as "Sergeant (last name)". First Sergeant as "First Sergeant (last name)", Sergeant Major, Command Sergeant Major, and Sergeant Major of the Army as "Sergeant Major (last name)". Privates are usually referred to simply by their last names.

US DoD Pay grade E-1 E-2 E-3 E-4 E-5 E-6 E-7 E-8 E-9
Insignia No Insignia
Title Private Private Private First Class Specialist Corporal Sergeant Staff Sergeant Sergeant First Class Master Sergeant First Sergeant Sergeant Major Command Sergeant Major Sergeant Major of the Army
NATO Code OR-1 OR-2 OR-3 OR-4 OR-4 OR-5 OR-6 OR-7 OR-8 OR-8 OR-9 OR-9 OR-9
¹ PVT is also used as an abbreviation for both Private ranks when pay grade need not be distinguished
² SP4 is sometimes encountered in lieu of SPC for Specialist. This is a holdover from when there were additional specialist ranks at higher pay grades.

[edit] Uniforms and appearance

CPT J. Dow Covey and SSG Justin Evaristo, both assigned to 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, move around the corner of a building to secure its perimeter for the mobile civil-military operations center in Mushahidah, Iraq

As of fiscal year 2008, or 1 October 2007, the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) and Desert Combat Uniform (DCU) have been phased out of normal wear in garrison and in combat zones by the Army. The BDU and DCU have been replaced with the Army Combat Uniform (ACU), which features a digital camouflage pattern and is designed for use in woodland, desert, and urban environments.

The Army plans to deploy the Future Force Warrior system starting in 2010, with upgrades in subsystems deployed every two years following. Designed as a fully integrated infantryman combat system, initial versions are to be simple in operation with basic electronics; final versions (2032) involve such technologies as a powered armor system and various nanotechnologies.

U.S. Army new Class-A uniform (Army Blue), full transition is expected in 2014.

The standard garrison service uniform is known as "Army Greens" or "Class-As" and has been worn by all officers and enlisted personnel since its introduction in 1956 when it replaced earlier olive drab (OD) and khaki (and tan worsted or TW) uniforms worn between the 1980s and 1985. The "Army Blue" uniform, dating back to the mid-19th century, is currently the Army's formal dress uniform, but in 2009, it will replace the Army Green and the Army White uniforms (a uniform similar to the Army Green uniform, but worn in tropical postings) and will become the "new" Army Service Uniform, which will function as both a garrison uniform (when worn with a white shirt and necktie) and a dress uniform (when worn with a white shirt and either a necktie for parades or a bow tie for "after six" or "black tie" events). The beret, adopted Army-wide in 2001, will continue to be worn with the new ACU for garrison duty and with the Army Service Uniform for non-ceremonial functions. The Army Blue Service Cap, formerly allowed for wear by all enlisted personnel, are now only allowed for wear by any soldier ranked CPL or above at the discretion of the commander.

Body armor in all units is the Improved Outer Tactical Vest.

[edit] Training

Training in the United States Army is generally divided into two categories - individual and collective.

Basic training consists of 10 weeks for most recruits followed by AIT (Advanced Individualized Training) where they receive training for their MOS with the length of AIT school varying by the MOS. Individuals who have the MOS 11B (infantry) go to 14 weeks of OSUT (One Station Unit Training) at Fort Benning, Georgia. OSUT counts as basic and AIT for infantry soldiers. Individual training for enlisted soldiers usually consists of 14 weeks for those who hope to hold the Military Occupational Specialty for infantryman, MOS 11B. Other combat MOSs consist of similar training length. Support and other MOS hopefuls attend nine weeks of Basic Combat Training followed by Advanced Individual Training in their primary (MOS) at any of the numerous MOS training facilities around the country. The length of time spent in AIT depends on the MOS of the soldier. Depending on the needs of the Army BCT is conducted at a number of locations, but two of the longest running are the Armor School at Fort Knox, Kentucky and the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. For officers this training includes pre-commissioning training either at USMA, ROTC, or OCS. After commissioning, officers undergo six weeks of training at the Basic Officer Leaders Course, Phase II at Ft. Benning or Ft. Sill, followed by their branch specific training at the Basic Officer Leaders Course, Phase III (formerly called Officer Basic Course) which varies in time and location based on their future jobs.

Collective training takes place both at the unit's assigned station, but the most intensive collective training takes place at the three Combat Training Centers (CTC); the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California, the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and the Joint Multinational Training Center (JMRC) at the Hohenfels Training Area in Hohenfels, Germany.

Six Sigma Training

The largest business transformation attempted to date was by the United States Army and its 1.3 million employees. Six Sigma first found its way into the Army in 2002 in the Army Material Command division, which is responsible for purchasing virtually everything in the army, from cornmeal to aircraft. Efficiencies from Six Sigma achieved in this department, a few others, as well as an increasingly disproportional amount of demands compared to funds post 9/11, led to an army wide implementation of the program in late 2005.[17]

After careful consideration, the army decided to implement the program the way the army does everything: centrally plan and de-centrally execute. Army generals and members of the government went behind closed doors for two days, learning their responsibilities of the implementation and the benefits they will achieve. Army employees with leadership roles were asked to define areas their departments were experiencing problems in as well as identify key personnel they felt were capable of learning Six Sigma. Eventually, the lowest ranking employees were asked to define the largest problems they faced on a day to day basis, and the answers were sent to the Army generals who, with the help of Six Sigma, strategically developed and proposed proper solutions.[17]

Army employees were trained in Six Sigma through the use of experts. Since training began in June 2006, they have trained 1,240 Green Belts, 446 Black Belts, and 15 Master Black Belts; completed 1,069 projects; and managed to save nearly two billion dollars to date. The army realized such huge savings by implementing new, more efficient methods, eliminating waste as well as the elimination of non-value adding activities.[17]

Many improvements in the Army’s business processes should be credited to the vast improvements in efficiency. In particular, the dramatic effect Six Sigma has had on eliminating redundancies in efforts and resources has resulted in savings nearly a quarter of their cost. Productivity has increased and costs have decreased because of such eliminations, resulting in a more financially secure Army. New software uncovered that the Army was paying to provide foreign language instruction to a substantial number of non army personnel; this discovery, followed by the restructuring of the program, saved the Army $400 million the following year. Other Six Sigma improvements, saving the Army millions, include streamlining the recruiting process, preventing food waste at West Point, and improving foreign military sales. Such successes enjoyed by the Army have recently lead to the full implementation of Six Sigma by both the Air Force and Navy, as well as initiating talks with the Secretary of Defense to incorporate lean Six Sigma throughout the entire department.[17]

[edit] Equipment

[edit] Individual weapons

U.S. Army soldier with M249 SAW Para

The primary individual weapons of the Army are the M16 series assault rifle[18] and its compact variant, the M4 carbine,[19] which is slowly replacing selected M16 series rifles in some units and is primarily used by infantry, Ranger, and Special Operations forces.[20] Optionally the M9 bayonet can be attached to either variant for close-quarters fighting.[21] The 40 mm M203 grenade launcher can also be attached for additional firepower.[22] Soldiers whose duties require a more compact weapon, such as combat vehicle crew members, staff officers, and military police, are issued a sidearm in lieu of (or in addition to) a rifle. The most common sidearm in the U.S. Army is the 9 mm M9 pistol[23] which is issued to the majority of combat and support units. Other, less commonly issued sidearms include the M11, used by Special Agents of the CID,[24][25][26] and the MK23, used by some Army Special Forces units.[27]

In addition to these basic rifles and sidearms, many combat units' arsenals are supplemented with a variety of specialized weapons, including the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) light machine-gun, to provide suppressive fire at the fire-team level,[28] the M1014 Joint Service Combat Shotgun or the Mossberg 590 Shotgun for door breaching and close-quarters combat, the M14 Rifle for long-range marksmen, and the M107 Long Range Sniper Rifle, the M24 Sniper Weapon System, or the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle for snipers. Hand grenades, such as the M67 fragmentation grenade and M18 smoke grenade, are also used by combat troops.

[edit] Crew-served weapon systems

The Army employs various crew-served weapons (so named because they are operated by two or more soldiers in order to transport items such as spare barrels, tripods, base plates, and extra ammunition) to provide heavy firepower at ranges exceeding that of individual weapons. The M240 is the Army's standard medium general-purpose machine gun.[29] The M240 (left-hand feed) and M240C (right-hand feed) variants are used as coaxial machine guns on the M1 Abrams tank and the M2 Bradley IFV, respectively; the M240B is the infantry variant and can be fired from a bipod or tripod if carried by hand, or employed from a pintle mount atop a vehicle. The M2 .50-caliber heavy machine gun has been in use since 1932 in a variety of roles, from infantry support to air defense. The M2 is also the primary weapon on most Stryker ACV variants and the secondary weapon system on the M1 Abrams tank. The MK 19 40 mm grenade machine gun is mainly used by motorized units, such as Stryker Brigades, HMMWV-mounted cavalry scouts, and Military Police.[30] It is commonly employed in a complementary role to the M2.

The Army uses three types of mortar for indirect fire support when heavier artillery may not be appropriate or available. The smallest of these is the 60 mm M224, normally assigned at the infantry company level.[31] At the next higher echelon, infantry battalions are typically supported by a section of 81 mm M252 mortars.[32] The largest mortar in the Army's inventory is the 120 mm M120/M121, usually employed by mechanized battalions, Stryker units, and cavalry troops because its size and weight require it to be transported in a tracked carrier or towed behind a truck.[33]

[edit] Vehicles

The U.S. Army spends a sizable portion of its military budget to maintain a diverse inventory of vehicles. The U.S. Army maintains the highest vehicle-to-soldier ratio in the world.

The Army's most common vehicle is the HMMWV, which is capable of serving as a cargo/troop carrier, weapons platform, and ambulance, among many other roles.[34] The M1A2 Abrams is the Army's primary main battle tank,[35] while the M2A3 Bradley is the standard infantry fighting vehicle.[36] Other vehicles include the M3A3 cavalry fighting vehicle, the Stryker,[37] and the M113 armored personnel carrier.[38]

[edit] Artillery

The U.S. Army's principal artillery weapons are the M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer[39] and the M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS),[40] both mounted on tracked platforms and assigned to heavy mechanized units. Fire support for light infantry units is provided by towed howitzers, including the 105 mm M119A1[41] and the 155 mm M777 (which will replace the M198).[42]

[edit] Aircraft

While the U.S. Army operates a few fixed-wing aircraft, it mainly operates several types of rotary-wing aircraft. These include the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter,[43] the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed reconnaissance/light attack helicopter,[44] the UH-60 Black Hawk utility tactical transport helicopter,[45] and the CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift transport helicopter.[46]

The Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, also known as the "Nightstalkers", operates the MH-6/AH-6 small assault/attack helicopters, as well as highly-modified versions of the Black Hawk and Chinook, primarily in support of U.S. Army Special Operations Forces, but also those of the other U.S. armed forces.[47]

[edit] Culture

[edit] Army birthdays

The U.S. Army was officially founded on June 14, 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized enlistment of riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year.

[edit] Basic branches

  • Infantry, June 14, 1775

Ten companies of riflemen were authorized by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775. However, the oldest Regular Army infantry regiment, the 3rd Infantry Regiment, was constituted on June 3, 1784, as the First American Regiment.

  • Adjutant General's Corps, June 16, 1775

The post of Adjutant General was established June 16, 1775, and has been continuously in operation since that time. The Adjutant General's Department, by that name, was established by the act of March 3, 1812, and was redesignated the Adjutant General's Corps in 1950.

  • Corps of Engineers, June 16, 1775

Continental Congress authority for a "Chief Engineer for the Army" dates from June 16, 1775. A corps of Engineers for the United States was authorized by the Congress on March 11, 1789. The Corps of Engineers as it is known today came into being on March 16, 1802, when the President was authorized to "organize and establish a Corps of Engineers … that the said Corps … shall be stationed at West Point in the State of New York and shall constitute a Military Academy." A Corps of Topographical Engineers, authorized on July 4, 1838, was merged with the Corps of Engineers on March 1863.

  • Finance Corps, June 16, 1775.

The Finance Corps is the successor to the old Pay Department, which was created in June 1775. The Finance Department was created by law on July 1, 1920. It became the Finance Corps in 1950.

  • Quartermaster Corps, June 16, 1775

The Quartermaster Corps, originally designated the Quartermaster Department, was established on June 16, 1775. While numerous additions, deletions, and changes of function have occurred, its basic supply and service support functions have continued in existence.

  • Field Artillery, November 17, 1775

The Continental Congress unanimously elected Henry Knox "Colonel of the Regiment of Artillery" on November 17, 1775. The regiment formally entered service on January 1, 1776.

  • Armor, June 12, 1776

The Armor branch traces its origin to the Cavalry. A regiment of cavalry was authorized to be raised by the Continental Congress Resolve of December 12, 1776. Although mounted units were raised at various times after the Revolution, the first in continuous service was the United States Regiment of Dragoons, organized in 1833. The Tank Service was formed on March 5, 1918. The Armored Force was formed on July 10, 1940. Armor became a permanent branch of the Army in 1950.

  • Ordnance Corps, May 14, 1812

The Ordnance Department was established by act of Congress on May 14, 1812. During the Revolutionary War, ordnance material was under supervision of the Board of War and Ordnance. Numerous shifts in duties and responsibilities have occurred in the Ordnance Corps since colonial times. It acquired its present designation in 1950.

  • Signal Corps, June 21, 1860

The Signal Corps was authorized as a separate branch of the Army by act of Congress on March 3, 1863. However, the Signal Corps dates its existence from June 21, 1860, when Congress authorized the appointment of one signal officer in the Army, and a War Department order carried the following assignment: "Signal Department--Assistant Surgeon Albert J. Myer to be Signal Officer, with the rank of Major, June 27, 1860], to fill an original vacancy."

  • Chemical Corps, June 28, 1918

The Chemical Warfare Service was established on June 28, 1918, combining activities that until then had been dispersed among five separate agencies of Government. It was made a permanent branch of the Regular Army by the National Defense Act of 1920. In 1945, it was redesignated the Chemical Corps.

  • Military Police Corps, September 26, 1941

A Provost Marshal General's Office and Corps of Military Police were established in 1941. Prior to that time, except during the Civil War and World War I, there was no regularly appointed Provost Marshal General or regularly constituted Military Police Corps, although a "Provost Marshal" can be found as early as January 1776, and a "Provost Corps" as early as 1778.

  • Transportation Corps, July 31, 1942

The historical background of the Transportation Corps starts with World War I. Prior to that time, transportation operations were chiefly the responsibility of the Quartermaster General. The Transportation Corps, essentially in its present form, was organized on July 31, 1942.

  • Military Intelligence Corps, July 1, 1962

Intelligence has been an essential element of Army operations during war as well as during periods of peace. In the past, requirements were met by personnel from the Army Intelligence and Army Security Reserve branches, two-year obligated tour officers, one-tour levies on the various branches, and Regular Army officers in the specialization programs. To meet the Army's increased requirement for national and tactical intelligence, an Intelligence and Security Branch was established in the Army effective July 1, 1962, by General Orders No. 38, July 3, 1962. On July 1, 1967, the branch was redesignated as Military Intelligence.

  • Air Defense Artillery, June 20, 1968.

Separated from the Field Artillery and established as a basic branch on June 20, 1968, per General Order 25, June 14, 1968.

  • Aviation, April 12, 1983

Following the establishment of the U.S. Air Force as a separate service in 1947, the Army began to develop further its own aviation assets (light planes and rotary wing aircraft) in support of ground operations. The Korean War gave this drive impetus, and the war in Vietnam saw its fruition, as Army aviation units performed a variety of missions, including reconnaissance, transport, and fire support. After the war in Vietnam, the role of armed helicopters as tank destroyers received new emphasis. In recognition of the growing importance of aviation in Army doctrine and operations, Aviation became a separate branch on April 12, 1983, and a full member of the Army's combined arms team.

  • Special Forces, April 9, 1987

The first Special Forces unit in the Army was formed on June 11, 1952, when the 10th Special Forces Group was activated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. A major expansion of Special Forces occurred during the 1960s, with a total of eighteen groups organized in the Regular Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard. As a result of renewed emphasis on special operations in the 1980s, the Special Forces Branch was established as a basic branch of the Army effective April 9, 1987, by General Orders No. 35, June 19, 1987.

  • Civil Affairs Corps, August 17, 1955 (special branch); October 16, 2006 (basic branch)

The Civil Affairs/Military Government Branch in the Army Reserve Branch was established on August 17, 1955. Subsequently redesignated the Civil Affairs Branch on October 2, 1955, it has continued its mission to provide guidance to commanders in a broad spectrum of activities ranging from host-guest relationships to the assumption of executive, legislative, and judicial processes in occupied or liberated areas. Became a basic branch per General Order 29, January 12, 2007.

  • Psychological Operations, October 16, 2006

Established as a basic branch per General Order 30, January 12, 2007.

  • Logistics, January 1, 2008

Established by General Order 6, November 27, 2007. Consists of multi-functional logistics officers in the rank of captain and above, drawn from the Ordnance, Quartermaster and Transportation Corps.

[edit] Special branches

  • Army Medical Department, July 27, 1775

The Army Medical Department and the Medical Corps trace their origins to July 27, 1775, when the Continental Congress established the Army hospital headed by a "Director General and Chief Physician." Congress provided a medical organization of the Army only in time of war or emergency until 1818, which marked the inception of a permanent and continuous Medical Department. The Army Organization Act of 1950 renamed the Medical Department as the Army Medical Service. On June , 1968, the Army Medical Service was redesignated the Army Medical Department.

  • Medical Corps, July 27, 1775
  • Army Nurse Corps, February 2, 1901
  • Dental Corps, March 3, 1911
  • Veterinary Corps, June 3, 1916
  • Medical Service Corps, June 30, 1917
  • Army Medical Specialist Corps, April 16, 1947
  • Chaplain Corps, July 29, 1775

The legal origin of the Chaplain Corps is found in a resolution of the Continental Congress, adopted July 29, 1775, which made provision for the pay of chaplains. The Office of the Chief of Chaplains was created by the National Defense Act of 1920.

  • Judge Advocate General's Corps, July 29, 1775

The Office of Judge Advocate of the Army may be deemed to have been created on July 29, 1775, and has generally paralleled the origin and development of the American system of military justice. The Judge Advocate General's Department, by that name, was established in 1884. Its present designation as a corps was enacted in 1948.

[edit] Values

In the mid to late 1990s, the Army officially adopted what have come to be known as "The 7 Army Core Values." The Army began to teach these values as basic warrior traits. The seven Army Core Values are as follows:

  1. Loyalty - Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and fellow Soldiers.
  2. Duty - Fulfill your obligations.
  3. Respect - Treat others as they should be treated.
  4. Selfless Service - Put the welfare of the nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own.
  5. Honor - Live the Army Values.
  6. Integrity - Do what's right, both legally and morally.
  7. Personal Courage - Face fear, danger, or adversity, both physical and moral.

The values were arranged to form the acronym LDRSHIP (leadership).[48]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ United States Army, June 14: The Birthday of the U.S. Army
  2. ^ http://www.army.mil/APS/05/index.html
  3. ^ Personnel. goarmy.com
  4. ^ Army FY2007 Demographics brochure. US Army
  5. ^ The Deadliest War
  6. ^ Army National Guard Constitution
  7. ^ U.S. Casualties in Iraq
  8. ^ a b http://www.history.army.mil/books/Lineage/mi/ch2.htm
  9. ^ a b Army Reserve Marks First 100 Years : Land Forces : Defense News Air Force
  10. ^ "United States Army Central, CG's Bio". United States Army Central. 2008-02-11. http://www.arcent.army.mil/welcome/cg.asp. Retrieved on 2008-07-04. 
  11. ^ "United States Army, Seventh Army, Leaders". United States Army, Seventh Army. 2008-06-25. http://www.hqusareur.army.mil/institution/Leaders/default.htm. Retrieved on 2008-07-04. 
  12. ^ "Commanding General". United States Army, Pacific. 2008-04-23. http://www.usarpac.army.mil/bios/comgen.asp. Retrieved on 2008-07-04. 
  13. ^ "Commanding General". United States Army, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. 2008-06-30. http://www.sddc.army.mil/Public/Home/About%20SDDC/Commanding%20General. Retrieved on 2008-07-04. 
  14. ^ Organization, United States Army
  15. ^ Perpich v. Department of Defense, 496 U.S. 334 (1990)
  16. ^ a b c From the Future Soldiers Web Site.
  17. ^ a b c d http://military.isixsigma.com/library/content/m071101a.asp
  18. ^ M-16 Rifle, U.S. Army Fact Files.
  19. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  20. ^ Army position: M4 Carbine is Soldier's battlefield weapon of choice
  21. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  22. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  23. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  24. ^ SIG SAUER P228
  25. ^ http://www.wood.army.mil/MPBULLETIN/pdfs/April%2006/Miklos.pdf
  26. ^ http://www.wood.army.mil/qaosurvey/mp/eocq/asaceocq.htm
  27. ^ SOCOM Pistol Mk 23 Mod 0
  28. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  29. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  30. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  31. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  32. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  33. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  34. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  35. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  36. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  37. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  38. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  39. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  40. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  41. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  42. ^ M777 Lightweight 155 mm howitzer (LW155)
  43. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  44. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  45. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  46. ^ U.S. Army Fact Files
  47. ^ 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment
  48. ^ The 7 Army Values, verified 2007-01-05

[edit] External links

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