Army -- more info
The U.S. Army is a uniformed service of the United States and is part of the Department of the Army, which is one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense. The U.S. Army is headed by a civilian senior appointed civil servant, the secretary of the Army (SECARMY) and by a chief military officer, the chief of staff of the Army (CSA) who is also a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is the largest military branch, and in the fiscal year 2020, the projected end strength for the Regular Army (USA) was 480,893 soldiers; the Army National Guard (ARNG) had 336,129 soldiers and the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) had 188,703 soldiers; the combined-component strength of the U.S. Army was 1,005,725 soldiers. As a branch of the armed forces, the mission of the U.S. Army is "to fight and win our Nation's wars, by providing prompt, sustained land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders". The branch participates in conflicts worldwide and is the major ground-based offensive and defensive force of the United States.
The Continental Army was created on 14 June 1775 by the Second Continental Congress as a unified army for the colonies to fight Great Britain, with George Washington appointed as its commander. The army was initially led by men who had served in the British Army or colonial militias and who brought much of British military heritage with them. As the Revolutionary War progressed, French aid, resources and military thinking helped shape the new army. A number of European soldiers came on their own to help, such as Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who taught Prussian Army tactics and organizational skills.
The storming of Redoubt No. 10 in the Siege of Yorktown during the American Revolutionary War prompted Great Britain's government to begin negotiations, resulting in the Treaty of Paris and Great Britain's recognition of the United States as an independent state.
The Army fought numerous pitched battles and in the South in 1780 and 1781, at times using the Fabian strategy and hit-and-run tactics, under the leadership of Major General Nathanael Greene, hit where the British were weakest to wear down their forces. Washington led victories against the British at Trenton and Princeton, but lost a series of battles in the New York and New Jersey campaign in 1776 and the Philadelphia campaign in 1777. With a decisive victory at Yorktown and the help of the French, the Continental Army prevailed against the British.
After the war, the Continental Army was quickly given land certificates and disbanded in a reflection of the republican distrust of standing armies. State militias became the new nation's sole ground army, with the exception of a regiment to guard the Western Frontier and one battery of artillery guarding West Point's arsenal. However, because of continuing conflict with Native Americans, it was soon realized that it was necessary to field a trained standing army. The Regular Army was at first very small and after General St. Clair's defeat at the Battle of the Wabash, where more than 800 Americans were killed, the Regular Army was reorganized as the Legion of the United States, which was established in 1791 and renamed the United States Army in 1796.
In 1798, during the Quasi-War with France, Congress established a three-year "Provisional Army" of 10,000 men, consisting of twelve regiments of infantry and six troops of light dragoons. By March 1799 Congress created an "Eventual Army" of 30,000 men, including three regiments of cavalry. Both "armies" existed only on paper, but equipment for 3,000 men and horses was procured and stored.
The U.S. Army is a main branch of the U.S. military. With over one million Americans serving in the Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserves, and a 2007 budget of more than $110 billion, it's one of the largest military organizations in the world.
The Army's primary purpose is to protect the United States and its interests. This is accomplished by fighting in armed conflicts when the need arises, participating in peacekeeping and security duties and maintaining a state of readiness for war. While the Army does have units that utilize aircraft and watercraft, its main responsibility is land-based combat.
Two main branches make up the Army: the operational branch and the institutional branch. The operational branch conducts the more visible aspects of the Army's job, which involves combat and peacekeeping. The institutional branch of the Army is responsible for training and maintaining soldiers and equipment so the operational branch can do its job effectively.
Within the operational branch, there are two divisions:
- The regular army, also known as the active Army. Its units may be deployed around the world at any given moment. Roughly 60 percent of the Army's troops are in the regular Army.
- Reserve components, which comprises the U.S. Army Reserve and the Army National Guard. Soldiers (the official term for anyone in the Army) in the reserve typically train one weekend per month, with a two-week training period occurring once each year. These part-time soldiers may be called up to full-time whenever the Army needs them. Some are divided into units made wholly from reserves, while other reserve soldiers fill out the ranks of regular Army units.