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Military of the United States facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
United States Armed Forces
Military manpower
Military age 17–45 years old
Availability Males & Females ages 17–49:

109,305,756 (2005 est.).

Citizenship Regular Army: No Citizenship Requirement For Enlisted Members / All Officers must be US Citizens. National Guard: Citizens Only.
Reaching military age annually Males & Females: 4,180,074 (2005 est.)
Total armed forces 2,685,713 (Ranked 2nd)
Active troops 1,426,713 (Ranked 2nd)
Total troops 2,685,713 (Ranked 7th)
Military expenditures
Dollar figure $441.6 billion (Ranked 1st.)
Percent of GDP 3.7% (FY2006 est.) (Ranked 26th)
Dollar Figure (per citizen) $935.64($1470) (ranked 3rd)

The military of the United States, officially known as the United States Armed Forces, is made of:

United States Joint Service Color Guard on parade at Fort Myer

The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. All branches except the Coast Guard are part of the Department of Defense, which is controlled by the Secretary of Defense. The Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security. The Marine Corps is part of the Navy.

About 1.4 million people are currently on active duty in the military with another 1,259,000 people on reserve (with 456,000 people in the Army and Air National Guard). There is currently no conscription. Women can serve in most combat positions, and in all non-combat military jobs. Because of war, some of these non-combat jobs actually see combat regularly.


All the branches of the US military have both Officers and Enlisted. Most Enlisted people with a rank of E-4 and above are called Non-commissioned Officers (NCOs); the exception is the Air Force where E-5 is considered the first NCO rank. Their usual duties are to supervise or make sure that common jobs are done properly every day. Most branches also includes Warrant Officers (Chief Warrant Officers in the Navy.) They are considered experts in their field, they are higher rank than other enlisted troops, but below officers. There are four ranks of Warrant Officers: WO-1 through WO-4 (CWO-1 to CWO-4)

Here are some common ranks for the US Army, Air Force and Marines. These branches of the military use different names for the enlisted ranks, but they all use the same for officers. The Navy and the Coast Guard have different ranks; for those see United States Navy.

Rank Army Marines Air Force
Enlisted Ranks
E-1 Private Private Airman Basic
E-2 Private Private First Class Airman
E-3 Private First Class Lance Corporal Airman First Class
E-4 Corporal
Specialist 4
Corporal Senior Airman
E-5 Sergeant Sergeant Staff Sergeant
E-6 Staff Sergeant Staff Sergeant Technical Sergeant
E-7 Sergeant First Class Gunnery Sergeant Master Sergeant
E-8 Master Sergeant
First Sergeant
Master Sergeant
First Sergeant
Senior Master Sergeant
E-9 Sergeant Major Sergeant Major
Master Gunnery Sergeant
Chief Master Sergeant
E-9* Sergeant Major of the
  Marine Corps|Chief Master Sergeant
  of the Air Force|}

*Each branch of the military has only one of these specific E-9 grade enlisted personnel and are considered the senior enlisted person of their branch. The Sergeant Major of the Army, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force are the spokespersons of the enlisted force at the highest levels of their services.

Rank Title
Army, Marines, and Air Force Officer Ranks
Navy Officer Ranks
O-1 Second Lieutenant Ensign
O-2 First Lieutenant Lieutenant Junior Grade
O-3 Captain Lieutenant
O-4 Major Lieutenant Commander
O-5 Lieutenant Colonel Commander
O-6 Colonel Captain
O-7 Brigadier General Rear Admiral (Lower Half)
O-8 Major General Rear Admiral
O-9 Lieutenant General Vice Admiral
O-10 General Admiral

Branches of the Military

As noted above there are several different branches of the US Military. Each Branch has a different function [Land; Sea or Air]
U.S. Army

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