United States Army: Division of the U.S. Military


The United States Army is the branch of the United States Military responsible for land-based military operations.  The U.S. Army 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 14 June 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 United States Army considers itself to be descended from the Continental Army and thus dates its inception from the origins of that force.

Mission of the U.S. Army

The primary mission of the Army is to “provide necessary forces and capabilities in support of the National Security and Defense Strategies.” Control and operation of the U.S. Army is administered by the Department of the Army, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense.

The civilian head of the US Army is the Secretary of the Army.  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.

Key Stats

  • In 2008, the Army had 539,675 soldiers
  • The Army National Guard (ARNG) reported 360,351 soldiers
  • The United States Army Reserve (USAR) reported 197,024 soldiers
  • The combined component total is approximately 1,097,050 soldiers

For more up-to-date statistics, please visit one of the official Army websites listed below.

Reference Websites

The most useful website is the United States Army Website. It provides information and resources about the US Army, News, information on life in the military.  The site also provides interesting information on Army aircraft, weapons and vehicles. Other helpful website include the U.S. Army Reserve Recruiting, which provides information on Army Reserve service options, careers, training, and employment opportunities. Another good site is the Association of The United States Army, which serves as an educational organization that supports America’s Army – Active, National Guard, Reserve, Civilians, Retirees and family members

  • Army Gift Program – This Web site provides the American public with information on methods by which citizens, organizations, and corporations can contribute cash or goods and services to benefit Soldiers and their Families.
  • Army Outreach – Provides a user-friendly way for the public to find Army events, access resources and request support for events.
  • Army Publications – The Army Publishing Directorate is the Army’s leader in publishing and distributing information products, employing advanced technologies to ensure responsive support worldwide. Their primary mission is supplying official authenticated information to enhance the readiness of the total force.
  • Army Recruiting Command – Responsible for manning both the Active Army and the U.S. Army Reserve, ensuring security and readiness for our Nation. Recruiting operations are conducted throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and at U.S. facilities in Germany and Asia.
  • Army War College – Prepares selected military, civilian, and international leaders for the responsibilities of strategic leadership in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational environment.  The U.S. Army War College – the college and its associated institutes – operate as a synergistic team in support of Army War College students and alumni: all those serving as strategic leaders for our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.
  • US Army Center of Military History – Provides information on the History of the U.S. Army.
  • U.S. Military Academy (West Point) – Renowned as the world’s premier leader development institution, West Point accomplishes its mission by developing cadets intellectually, physically, militarily, ethically, spiritually, and socially. The student body, or Corps of Cadets, numbers 4,400 and each year approximately 1000 cadets join the Long Gray Line as they graduate and are commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
  • United States Army Books – Find books related to the U.S. Army at Amazon.com.
  • United States Army DVD and Video – Find DVD and Video related to the U.S. Army at Amazon.com.


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