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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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.

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  • National Guard
    National Guard

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

  • Navy
    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

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

  • Regiment
    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

    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

    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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