1. Skip to content

Military Branches

Take a quick tour of the five branches of the U.S. armed forces and the National Guard.

U.S. Army

The Army's mission is to protect the security of the United States and its vital resources. The Army is constantly ready to defend American interests and the interests of our allies through land-based operations anywhere in the world. Today's "Army of Excellence" is a military force with 69,000 officers, 11,500 warrant officers, and 450,000 enlisted soldiers. Army men and women work in a variety of jobs ranging from general administration to the operations and maintenance of the Army's many thousands of weapons, vehicles, aircraft carriers, and technical electronic systems.

Find out more about the U.S. Army at GoArmy.com or 1.888.550.ARMY.

Army National Guard

The federal mission of the Army National Guard is to be prepared to be called to active duty as a reserve of the Army. The U.S. Constitution designates a second mission to each state's National Guard. That mission ensures that the Minnesota National Guard is organized to assist the Governor of Minnesota during times of natural or other state emergencies. Upon mobilization, the state Guard comes under the control of the Army. Nationally, there are approximately 36,500 officers, 7,700 warrant officers, and about 313,500 enlisted members.

Find out more about the U.S. Army National Guard or the Minnesota National Guard. Or, call 1.800.GO.GUARD.

U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy plays an important role in helping to maintain the freedom of the United States. The Navy defends the right to travel and trade freely on the world's oceans and protects our country and national interests overseas during times of international conflict. The Navy is a large and diverse organization, consisting of 371,000 officers and enlisted members. Navy personnel operate and repair more than 320 ships and 4,000 aircraft. They serve on ships at sea, on submarines under the sea, in aviation positions on land and sea, and at shore bases around the world.

Find out more at Navy.com or 1.800.USA.NAVY.

U.S. Air Force

The U.S. Air Force defends the United States through control and exploitation of air and space. The Air Force flies and maintains aircraft, such as long-range bombers, supersonic fighters, Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, and many others to protect the interests of America and its allies. Almost 400,000 highly trained officers and airmen compose today's Air Force. The Air Force recruits approximately 30,000 to 40,000 men and women each year to fill openings in hundreds of Air Force careers.

Find out more at AirForce.com or 1.800.423.USAF.

U.S. Marine Corps

The U.S. Marine Corps has grown to become one of the most elite fighting forces in the world. Approximately 174,000 officers and enlisted Marines fly planes and helicopters, operate radar equipment, drive armored vehicles, and gather intelligence along with hundreds of other jobs. Each year, the Marine Corps recruit 41,000 men and women to fill job openings. Training programs offer challenging and progressive skill development with emphasis on the development of mental strength and physical prowess.

Find out more at Marines.com or 1.800.MARINES.

U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard's mission is to protect America's coastlines and inland waterways by enforcing customs and fishing laws, combating drug smuggling, conducting search and rescue missions, maintaining light houses, and promoting boat safety. The Coast Guard is part of the Department of Transportation and in times of war, may be commissioned to the Department of Defense under the command of the Navy. There are approximately 5,580 commissioned officers, 1,490 warrant officers, and more than 27,130 enlisted members. Each year, the Coast Guard has opening for more than 4,000 men and women in a wide range of careers.

Find out more at GoCoastGuard.com or 1.877.NOW.USCG.

Source: Today's Military online guide of the U.S. Department of Defense.