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.


Air Force

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

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  • National Guard
    National Guard

    National Guard, the name in some countries for the organized volunteer militia. See more »

  • Navy

    Navy, a nation's armed forces that operate on water. A navy consists not only of combat vessels, but also of aircraft and everything necessary to supply the fighting craft and maintain them in operation. See more »

  • Paratroops

    Paratroops, soldiers especially trained and equipped to make parachute jumps from airplanes. See more »

  • Regiment

    Regiment, traditionally the largest military unit belonging to a single arm or branch of service, such as infantry or cavalry; the command of a colonel. See more »

  • 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. See more »

  • Swiss Guards
    Swiss Guards

    Swiss Guards, a body of about 100 soldiers from Switzerland that guards Vatican City and the person of the pope. See more »

  • Zouaves

    Zouaves, an elite corps of French colonial infantry, notable for their rapid and vigorous system of drill and for their colorful uniform of red, baggy trousers, blue jacket, and fez. See more »

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