The combined United States armed forces consists of 1.4 million active duty personnel along with several hundred thousand each in the United States Army Reserve and United States National Guard.

There is currently no conscription. The armed forces are also members of the United States Uniformed Services. The United States Armed Forces is the most powerful military in the world and their force projection capabilities are unrivaled by any other singular nation (e.g. People’s Republic of China, Russia) or organization (e.g. the European Union). The United States Department of Defense is the controlling organization for the U.S. military and is headquartered at The Pentagon. The Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military is the President of the United States.

United States Armed Forces
Military Manpower
Military age 18 years of age
Availability males & females ages 15-49: 73,597,731 (2004 est.)
Reaching military age annually males/females: 2,124,164 (2004 est.)
Active troops 1,427,000 (Ranked 2nd)
Military Expenditures
Dollar figure $400 billion (FY2005 est.)
Percent of GDP 3.7% (FY2005 est.)

The United States military is a hierarchical military organization, with a system of military ranks to denote levels of authority within the organization. The military service is divided into a professional officer corps along with a greater number of enlisted personnel who perform day to day military operations. Unlike certain other countries, the United States officer corps is not restricted by society class, education, or nobility. United States military officers are appointed from a variety of sources, including the service academies, ROTC, and direct appointment from both civilian status and the enlisted ranks.

The U.S. military also maintains a number of military awards and badges to denote the qualifications and accomplishments of military personnel.
On July 26, 1948 U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981 which racially desegregated the military of the United States. Homosexuals, however, are still barred from serving openly. By law, women may not be put into direct combat, however, assymmetrical warfare has put women into situations, which are direct combat operations in name only.


Organizational Layout

Under the United States Constitution, the President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. To coordinate military action with diplomatic action, the President has an advisory National Security Council.
Under the President is the United States Secretary of Defense, a Cabinet Secretary responsible for the Department of Defense.
Both the President and Secretary are advised by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In accordance with the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 (which fundamentally changed the organisation of the Department) the 4 Service Chiefs together with the Chairman and Vice Chairman form the Joint Chiefs of Staff. However operational control flows from the President and Secretary of Defense to the Commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands. Each service is responsible for providing military units to the commanders of the various Unified Commands.



Personnel in each service

As of the middle of 2004
Service Total Active Duty Personnel Percentage Female Enlisted Officers
Army 500,203 15.2% 414,325 69,307
Marine Corps 176,202 6.0% 157,150 19,052
Navy 375,521 14.5% 319,929 55,592
Air Force 358,612 19.6% 285,520 73,091
Coast Guard 40,151 10.7% 31,286 7,835


Deployed Forces

As of April, 2004


The United States has military personnel deployed in numerous countries around the world, with numbers ranging from merely a handful to tens of thousands. Some of the largest contingents are:
Germany 75,603
South Korea 40,258
Japan 40,045
Italy 13,354
United Kingdom 11,801
Iraq 148,000(2005.05)


Within the United States

Including territories and ships afloat within territorial waters
A total of 1,168,195 personnel are within the United States including some deployments in:
Continental U.S. 1,168,195
Hawaii 35,810
Alaska 17,989
Afloat 120,666


US Military Capabilities

Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equalling, the power of the United States.

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