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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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?

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  • Army

    Army

    Army, a large body of men (and sometimes women) trained and armed for land warfare. See more »

  • Battalion

    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. See more »

  • Brigade

    Brigade

    Brigade, a military unit larger than a regiment and smaller than a division. It is the normal command of a brigadier general in the U.S. See more »

  • Civil Air Patrol (CAP)

    Civil Air Patrol (CAP)

    Civil Air Patrol (CAP), an organization of volunteers who contribute their time and aircraft to assist the U.S. See more »

  • Coast Guard, United States

    Coast Guard, United States

    Coast Guard, United States, an armed force responsible for law enforcement, marine safety, aid to vessels and aircraft in distress, pollution control, and other duties in coastal waters and navigable rivers. See more »

  • Defense, Air

    Defense, Air

    Defense, Air, measures taken to guard against airborne enemy attack. The main elements in air defense are (1) detection, (2) identification, (3) interception, and (4) destruction. See more »

  • Infantry

    Infantry

    Infantry, troops that fight on foot. The objective of the infantry is to attack and destroy the enemy on the ground, or to repel an enemy attack and hold ground. See more »

  • Legion

    Legion

    Legion, the basic infantry unit of the Roman army. Legions were originally small groups of armed citizens sent to deal with threats to the city. See more »

  • Marine

    Marine

    Marine, a soldier who normally serves as part of a naval force. Marines are especially trained for combined land and sea (amphibious) warfare. See more »

  • Military Police (MP)

    Military Police (MP)

    Military Police (MP), an organized body of troops exercising police functions among military personnel. See more »

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