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.

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.

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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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