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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Battalion

Battalion, a military unit usually numbering between 500 and 1,000 men. This term has been loosely used in many countries for centuries to mean any large body of troops.

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  • How the U.S. Coast Guard Works
    How the U.S. Coast Guard Works

    Unique among the U.S. armed forces, the Coast Guard is perpetually on active duty, entrusted with lots responsibilities and chronically underfunded. Learn about the U.S. Coast Guard. See more »

  • How the U.S. Marines Work
    How the U.S. Marines Work

    The Marines are the smallest branch of the U.S. military, and arguably the toughest. Learn why there is a Marine Corps, how it's structured, the history behind the Corps, how to join, life inside, and leaving. See more »

  • How the U.S. Navy Works
    How the U.S. Navy Works

    The United States Navy is the largest navy in the world. Learn how the Navy is structured, what ships it uses, what life is like in the Navy and how it has evolved over the years. See more »

  • Quiz: Name That Military-free Country
    Quiz: Name That Military-free Country

    Believe it or not, a number of countries around the world have either disarmed their militaries or never formed one in the first place. Test your knowledge of the world's nonmilitary powers. See more »

  • Air Force
    Air Force

    Air Force, the air arm of a nation's military forces, usually separately organized as coequal with the army and the navy. See more »

  • Air Police
    Air Police

    Air Police, the group that exercises police functions among personnel of the U.S. See more »

  • Air University
    Air University

    Air University, the center for the professional education of officers and senior noncommissioned officers of the United States Air Force. See more »

  • Aircraft Carrier
    Aircraft Carrier

    Aircraft Carrier, a naval vessel that uses airplanes and helicopters as its principal weapons. See more »

  • Amphibious Warfare
    Amphibious Warfare

    Amphibious Warfare, military campaigns of combined land and sea forces. Since no military action of any size would be undertaken without also using air power, the word triphibious, meaning use of land, sea, and air forces, has been suggested, but it is not commonly used. See more »

  • Armor
    Armor

    Armor, a defensive covering, usually made of metal. It is worn by soldiers, sailors, or airmen to protect them against enemy weapons. See more »

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