BRANCHES

Learn about the various branches of the U.S. Military. Find out how they were formed, their role in the nation's defense, and what it's like to be a soldier in one of these branches.
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Squadron

Squadron, a military unit of varying size. In the United States forces, a naval air squadron or air force squadron varies in size from 6 to 40 aircraft, depending on the type used.

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  • 5 Countries That Ditched Their Military Forces

    5 Countries That Ditched Their Military Forces

    As Benjamin Franklin once quipped: "There never was a good war or a bad peace." That's why these five countries have gotten out of the military business entirely. See more »

  • How Delta Force Works

    How Delta Force Works

    Delta Force is the U.S. military's most elite tactical combat group. Yet the government refuses to deny its existence. Does a well-funded secret force that, allegedly, answers only to the president make the U.S. more secure or more vulnerable? See more »

  • How IARPA Works

    How IARPA Works

    Described by government officials as "disruptive," this research and technology organization is supposed to change the face of U.S. spying. Is IARPA a real-life James Bond Q Branch? See more »

  • How is the National Guard different from the regular Army?

    How is the National Guard different from the regular Army?

    The National Guard serves many purposes and does many jobs for the United States. Learn what the National Guard is and how it differs from the Army and the Air Force. See more »

  • How NORAD Works

    How NORAD Works

    Ever heard of a military operation run out of a hollowed-out mountain? Welcome to NORAD, a defense command that monitors air and space for potential attacks on the U.S. Learn about NORAD and the unique location for the NORAD headquarters. See more »

  • How the Army Rangers Work

    How the Army Rangers Work

    The U.S. Army Rangers are an oddity of the U.S. military special operations forces. Though they can trace their lineage as far back as colonial times, they didn't become a permanent presence in the military until the 1970s. See more »

  • How the Green Berets Work

    How the Green Berets Work

    John F. Kennedy called the green beret "a symbol of excellence, a badge of courage, a mark of distinction in the fight for freedom" -- a nod to the most formidable arm of the U.S. military. The Green Berets, or Special Forces, are America's first line of defense around the world. See more »

  • How the Navy SEALs Work

    How the Navy SEALs Work

    For most of us, "special ops" is what we see in the movies: soldiers trained to kill using their thumb; Charlie Sheen carrying a semi-automatic. But special operations forces are for real, and the U.S. Navy version -- the SEALs -- completes some of the most dangerous military missions. How much do you know about this elite team of fighters? See more »

  • How the U.S. Air Force Works

    How the U.S. Air Force Works

    The U.S. Air Force is the youngest American military branch, forming in the 20th century after the invention of the airplane. Tasked with protecting the nation's skies and supporting ground troops, the Air Force relies on the most technologically advanced military aircraft in the world. See more »

  • How the U.S. Army Works

    How the U.S. Army Works

    The U.S. Army is one of the three main branches of the U.S. military and is primarily concerned with fighting on the ground. Learn all about the U.S. Army from sign up to discharge. See more »

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