United States Air Force (USAF): The Aviation Branch of the U.S. Military


The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare, space warfare, and cyber warfare branch of the United States armed forces and is one of the American uniformed military services. Initially part of the United States Army, the United States Air Force was formed as a separate branch of the military under the National Security Act of 1947. The U.S. Air Force is the most recent branch of the U.S. military to be formed.

The U.S. Air Force provides Global Vigilance, Global Reach, and Global Power, with manned aircraft, unmanned combat air vehicles, air-launched cruise missiles, and intercontinental ballistic missiles. The United States Air Force has personnel on active duty, in the Selected and Individual Ready Reserves, and in the Air National Guard. In addition, the USAF employs civilian personnel, and has auxiliary members in the Civil Air Patrol.

The Department of the Air Force is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Air Force who oversees all administrative and policy affairs. The Department of the Air Force is a division of the Department of Defense, which is headed by the Secretary of Defense. The highest ranking military officer in the Department of the Air Force is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

Websites for More Information

Following are websites that provide more information about the USAF:

  • The Official Website of the U.S. Air Force – The official website provides a wealth of information on the aviation branch of the military. Learn about how to start a career, how to find someone in the service and access plenty of resources for those who are interested in joining.
  • United States Air Force – Learn about the history of the Air Force, explore opportunities to join, get information on the latest news and events.
  • USAF Honor Guard – Since its earliest years the USAF Honor Guard has led the way as the representatives of all Airmen in ceremonies and events. These men and women of The USAF Honor Guard “…represent every member, past and present of the United States Air Force…” Now, in our 60th Anniversary year and still serving as one of the Air Force’s oldest organizations, the Honor Guard continues to serve the Chief of Staff.
  • Airmen from every enlisted rank and both company & field grade officers volunteer and are competitively selected from their peers in over 45 different career fields to make the Honor Guard the standard of discipline and military professionalism.


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