Uniformed services of the United States: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States Uniformed Services
United States Joint Service Color Guard on parade at Fort Myer
United States Joint Service Color Guard on parade at Fort Myer in Arlington County, Virginia.
Service branches United States Army seal U.S. Army

United States Marine Corps seal U.S. Marine Corps
United States Navy Seal U.S. Navy
United States Air Force seal U.S. Air Force
United States Coast Guard seal U.S. Coast Guard
United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps seal U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps seal NOAA Commissioned Corps

Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama
Federal department heads Robert M. Gates (DOD)
Janet A. Napolitano (DHS)
Kathleen Sebelius (HHS)
Gary F. Locke (DOC)
Military age 17–45 years old[1]
Available for
military service
72,715,332 males, age 18–49 (2008 est.),
71,638,785 females, age 18–49 (2008 est.)
Fit for
military service
59,413,358 males, age 18–49 (2008 est.),
59,187,183 females, age 18–49 (2008 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
2,186,440 males (2008 est.),
2,079,688 females (2008 est.)
Active personnel 1,473,900[2] (ranked 4th)
Reserve personnel 1,458,500[3]
Budget $651 billion (FY08)[4] (ranked 1st)
Percent of GDP 4.04 (2007 est.)
Related articles
American Revolutionary War
Early national period
Continental expansion
American Civil War
Post-Civil War era
World War I (1917–1918)
World War II (1941–1945)
Cold War (1945–1991)
Post-Cold War era (1991–2001)
War on Terrorism (2001–present)
Ranks Army officer

Army warrant officer
Army enlisted
Marine Corps officer
Marine Corps warrant officer
Marine Corps enlisted
Navy officer
Navy warrant officer
Navy enlisted
Air Force officer
Air Force enlisted
Coast Guard officer
Coast Guard warrant officer
Coast Guard enlisted
Public Health Service officer
NOAA Corps officer

The United States has seven federal uniformed services that commission officers as defined by Title 10, and subsequently structured and organized by Title 10, Title 14, Title 42 and Title 33 of the United States Code.


Uniformed services

The seven uniformed services are:

  1. United States Army
  2. United States Navy
  3. United States Marine Corps
  4. United States Air Force
  5. United States Coast Guard
  6. United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
  7. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps

Each of the uniformed services is administratively headed by a federal executive department and its corresponding civilian Cabinet leader.

Federal executive departments


United States Department of Defense (DOD)

United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Note: The Coast Guard also operates under the Department of Defense during wartime, and in military operations.

United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

United States Department of Commerce (DOC)

Statutory definition

The seven uniformed services are defined by 10 U.S.C. § 101(a)(5):

The term "uniformed services" means—

(A) the armed forces;
(B) the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and
(C) the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service.

The five uniformed services that make up the United States armed forces are defined in the previous clause 10 U.S.C. § 101(a)(4):

The term "armed forces" means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

Armed forces

Five of the uniformed services make up the armed forces, four of which are within the Department of Defense. The Coast Guard has both military and law enforcement duties, and is currently under the control of the Department of Homeland Security; however, Title 14 of the United States Code states that the Coast Guard is part of the military at all times. It is therefore the only branch of the military not under the control of the Department of Defense, at least in peacetime; during war, control of the Coast Guard passes to the Department of the Navy if Congress declares war or at the request of the President. [5] The Commandant of the Coast Guard reports directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security. The commissioned corps of the US Public Health Service and NOAA Commissioned Corps operate under military rules with the exception of the applicability of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, to which they are subject only when militarized by executive order or while detailed to any component of the armed forces.[6]

The National Guard is a militia force and operates under Title 32 and under State authority. The National Guard was first formed in the Colony of Virginia in 1607 and is the oldest uniformed military force founded in the New World. The National Guard can be federally recognized as a military reserve force, becoming the National Guard of the United States which can be mobilized by the President to be under Federal authority through Title 10. The National Guard of the United States is managed by the National Guard Bureau, which is a joint activity under the Department of Defense [7][8][9], with a general[7][8] in the Army or Air Force as its top leader. The National Guard of the United States serves as a reserve component for both the Army and the Air Force and can be called up for federal active duty in times of war or national emergencies.[7][8]

Noncombatant uniformed services

Commissioned officers of NOAA and PHS wear uniforms that are derived from Navy uniforms, except that the commissioning devices, buttons, and insignia reflect their specific service. Uniformed officers of NOAA and PHS are paid on the same scale as members of the armed services with respective rank and time-in-grade. Additionally, PHS Officers are covered by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act and the Service Members Civil Relief Act (formerly the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act).

Both uniformed services only consist of commissioned officers and have no warrant ranks or enlisted ranks. Commissioned officers of the Public Health Service and of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration can be militarized by the President of the United States. Statutory authorization to militarize the Public Health Service is under Title 42 U.S.C. (Based on rank, commissioned officers of the Public Health Service (USPHS) and NOAA can be classified as Category III, IV, and V under the Geneva Convention). The U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (a predecessor to NOAA) originally began commissioning its officers so that if captured while engaged in battlefield surveying, they could not legally be tried as spies. The Public Health Service (PHS) traces its origins to a system of marine hospitals created "for the relief of sick and disabled seamen" by the U.S. Congress in 1798; it adopted a military model of organization in 1871. [10] [11]

See also


  1. ^ Persons 17 years of age, with parental permission, can join the U.S. uniformed services.
  2. ^ http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/MILITARY/ms0.pdf
  3. ^ http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=110_cong_bills&docid=f:s3001pcs.txt.pdf
  4. ^ http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy08/pdf/budget/defense.pdf
  5. ^ 14 U.S.C. § 3
  6. ^ UCMJ S 802. Art. 2. Subs. (a). Para. (8) http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode10/usc_sec_10_00000802----000-.html
  7. ^ a b c [1] H.R. 4986: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008
  8. ^ a b c [2] H.R. 4986: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 full text
  10. ^ United States Code. Title 5. Part III. Chapter 21. S 2101.
  11. ^ History of the Office of Surgeon General


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address