Understanding the Types of U.S. Armed Forces

Understanding the Types of U.S. Armed Forces

Affirm CollaboratorApril 20, 2020

The United States military is made up of five branches. Combined, they are the greatest fighting force the world has ever known. Each branch has its own stated mission, but the overall mission is the same: to protect the USA, its citizens and their interests, and to promote peace around the world. Military personnel fall into one of three categories: active duty, reserve and guard forces, and retirees. Here’s a quick guide to understanding the types of U.S. Armed Forces.

Marine Corp

The Marine Corp is known as the rapid-reaction force within the U.S. military. Marines are trained to fight at sea and on land. When there’s a problem anywhere in the world, the Marines are usually the first boots on the ground. They’re known as the world’s fiercest warriors.


The Army is a dominant land force that fights wars wherever there is trouble. They move into an area, secure it, and establish order before leaving. They fight the battle and maintain the peace after victory is secured. The Army also guards U.S. installations and properties, such as bases and embassies, around the world. Within the Army, there are several special operations forces, such as the elite anti-terrorism Delta Force.


The Navy fights all the battles at sea. Massive aircraft carriers, submarines, destroyers, and aid ships make up the fighting forces. The Navy also uses aircraft and land forces to protect U.S. interests. The continuing mission is to protect the world’s ocean and seas and to make them safe for travel and trade. The Navy includes the elite fighting force the Navy Seals, who respond to threats anywhere in the world.

Coast Guard

The Coast Guard primarily deals with domestic affairs. They patrol the waterways around the U.S., including the Great Lakes. They’re important for strategic helicopter rescue of fishing and merchant vessels in U.S. waters. They also carry out drug and law enforcement missions to prevent illegal narcotics from making it on shore.

Air Force

The Air Force is the nation’s source of air and space superiority. They’re in charge of the space program and all missions into outer space. Their primary mission is to fly planes, helicopters, and satellites. The other branches have aircraft, but not as many as the Air Force.

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