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The Army, a long-trusted institution, exists to serve the nation. As part

of the joint force, the Army supports and defends America’s Constitution
and way of life against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The Army
protects national security interests, including, forces, possessions, citizens,
allies, and friends. It prepares for and delivers decisive action in all
operations. Above all, the Army provides combatant commanders with
versatile land forces ready to fight and win the Nation’s wars.


The Army traces its heritage to the colonial militias. These were
precursors of today’s Army National Guard. Citizens answering the call to
protect their homes and families began a heritage of selfless service and
sacrifice that continues today. Opposition to British colonial policies in the
eighteenth century led to war in 1775. After the battles at Lexington and
Concord, militia forces from across New England surrounded British forces
in Boston. The Continental Congress assumed command of these units as
Troops of the United Provinces of North America on 14 June 1775.
In the 1860s, the Army and the Nation experienced their most trying
period, when both were torn apart by the Civil War. The Army grew
dramatically - in size, capability, and technological sophistication - during
the four long years of war. Afterwards, the Army was charged with

reconstructing the South. Simultaneously, it resumed responsibility for
maintaining security on the frontier.
The Spanish-American War of 1898 exposed Army leadership,
organizational, logistic, and training deficiencies. The Army overcame these
and defeated Spanish forces at opposite ends of the globe. Afterwards, it
struggled to assimilate many technological changes. It also became an
expeditionary force for a growing world power. Army forces assumed
responsibility for governing the new possessions of Puerto Rico, the
Philippines, and Cuba. They continued to protect the border with Mexico as
The early twentieth century found the Nation and the Army involved in
the first of two world wars. These wars transformed them both. A greatly
and hastily expanded U.S. Army assured the Allied victory in World War I.
The American Expeditionary Forces first saw action at Cantigny. Important
victories at Soissons, St. Mihiel, and the Meuse-Argonne followed. The
action of the 369th Infantry Regiment provides one example of the
contributions of the American Expeditionary Forces. These and other
victories helped turn the tide on the Western Front and defeat the Central
Powers. The Nation had raised, trained, and equipped almost three million
Soldiers and deployed them overseas in 18 months.


Members of the American military profession swear to support and

defend a document, the Constitution of the United States - not a leader,
people, government, or territory. That solemn oath ties military service
directly to the founding document of the nation. It instills a nobility of

purpose within each member of the Armed Forces and provides deep
personal meaning to all who serve. The profession holds common standards
and a code of ethics derived from common moral obligations undertaken in
its members' oaths of office. These unite members of all the Services in their
common purpose: defending the Constitution and protecting the nation's
interests, at home and abroad, against all threats.


Army norms of conduct demand adherence to the laws, treaties, and

conventions governing the conduct of war to which the United States is a
party. The law of war seeks both to legitimatize and limit the use of military
force and prevent employing violence unnecessarily or inhumanely. For
soldiers, this is more than a legal rule; it is an American value. For
Americans, each individual has worth. Each is a person endowed with
unalienable rights.


Army forces train every day. After the war of 1812, secretary of war
John C. Calhoun articulated the sole purpose of a peacetime army-to prepare
for war. But in today's security environment, the nation is engaged in a
protracted war - the war on terrorism. The Army no longer considers itself a
peacetime army preparing for war. Today peace is the exception.
Deployments, including combat operations, are normal. To prepare soldiers
and units to operate in this new strategic context, the Army is training them

for ongoing operations and preparing for other possible contingencies


The Armed Forces of the United States execute the National Military
Strategy within the context of the National Security and National Defense
Strategies. The National Military Strategy establishes the following
interrelated military objectives:
 Protect the United States against external attacks and aggression.
 Prevent conflict and surprise attack.
 Prevail against adversaries.


The U.S. Army is made up of three components: the active (Regular

Army) component; and two reserve components, the Army National Guard
and the Army Reserve. Both reserve components are primarily composed of
part-time soldiers who train once a month, known as Battle Assembly, and
conduct two to three weeks of annual training each year. Both the Regular
Army and the Army Reserve are organized under Title 10 of the United
States Code, while the National Guard is organized under Title 32. While the
Army National Guard is organized, trained and equipped as a component of
the U.S. Army, when it is not in federal service it is under the command of
individual state's governors. However the National Guard can be federalized
by presidential order and against the governor's wishes.

The U.S. Army is led by a civilian Secretary of the Army, who reports
to the Secretary of Defense, and serves as civilian oversight for the U.S.
Army Chief of Staff, who is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the
service chiefs from each service who, as a body, under the guidance of the
Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff advise the
President and Secretary of Defense on military matters.
In 1986, the Goldwater-Nichols Act mandated that operational control
of the services follows a chain of command from the President to the
Secretary of Defense directly to the Unified Combatant Commanders, who
have control of all armed forces units in their geographic or function area of
responsibility. Thus, the Chief of Staff of each service only has the
responsibility to organize, train and equip their respective service
component. The services provide trained forces to the Combatant
Commanders for use as they see fit.
The Army is currently undergoing a period of transformation, which is
expected to be finished in 2009. When it is finished, there will be five
geographical commands which will line up with the five geographical
Unified Combatant Commands (COCOM).
• United States Army Central headquartered at Fort McPherson,
• United States Army North headquartered at Fort Sam Houston, Texas
• United States Army South headquartered at Fort Sam Houston, Texas
• United States Army Europe headquartered at Campbell Barracks,
Heidelberg, Germany
• United States Army Pacific headquartered at Fort Shafter, Hawaii

Each command will receive a numbered army as operational command,
except in the case of U.S. Army Pacific, which will not receive one but will
have a numbered army for U.S. Army forces in South Korea.
As part of the same transformation plan, the U.S. Army is currently
undergoing a transition from being a division-based force to a brigade-based
force. When finished, the active army will have increased its number of
combat brigades from 33 to 42, and increases of a similar scale will have
taken place in the National Guard and Reserve forces. Division lineage will
be retained, but the divisional HQs will be able to command any brigades,
not just brigades that carry their divisional lineage. The central part of this
plan is that each brigade will be modular, i.e., all brigades of the same type
will be exactly the same, and thus any brigade can be commanded by any
division. There will be three major types of ground combat brigades:
 Heavy brigades will have about 3,700 troops and be equivalent to a

mechanized infantry brigade.

 Infantry brigades will have around 3,300 troops and be equivalent to

a light infantry or airborne brigade.

 Stryker brigades will have around 3,900 troops and be based around

the Stryker family of vehicles.

In addition, there will be combat support and service support modular
brigades. Combat support brigades include Aviation brigades, which will
come in heavy and light varieties, and Fires (artillery) brigades. Combat
service support brigades include Sustainment brigades and come in several
varieties and serve the standard support role in an army.
Most U.S. Army units can be operationally divided into the following
components from largest to smallest:

• Corps: Formerly consisting of two or more divisions and organic
support brigades, they are now termed an "operational unit of
employment," that may command a flexible number of modular units.
Usually commanded by a Lieutenant General. 20,000-45,000 soldiers.
• Division: Formerly consisted of three maneuver brigades, an artillery
brigade, a division support command, an aviation brigade, an engineer
brigade (in heavy divisions only) and other support assets. Until the
Brigade Combat Team program was developed, the division was the
smallest self-sufficient level of organization in the U.S. Army. Current
divisions are "tactical units of employment," and may command a
flexible number of modular units, but generally will include four
brigade combat teams and a combat aviation brigade. Usually
commanded by a Major General. 10,000-15,000 soldiers.
• Brigade (or group): Composed of two or more battalions (see
Regiment for combat arms units), and usually commanded by a
Colonel, supported by a staff in a Headquarters and Headquarters
Company. Since the Brigade Unit of Action program was initiated,
maneuver brigades have transformed into brigade combat teams,
generally consisting of two maneuver battalions, a cavalry squadron, a
fires battalion, a special troops battalion (with engineers, signals, and
military intelligence), and a support battalion. Stryker Brigade
Combat Teams have a somewhat larger structure. 3,000-5,000
• Battalion (or Cavalry Squadron): Composed of two to five
companies and led by a Battalion Commander, usually a Lieutenant
Colonel supported by a staff in a Headquarters and Headquarters
Company. 300-1000 soldiers.

• Company (or artillery battery/cavalry troop): Composed of three
to four platoons and led by a Company Commander, usually a Captain
supported by a First Sergeant. 62-190 soldiers.
• Platoon: Composed of two or more squads and led by a Platoon
Leader, usually a Second Lieutenant supported by a platoon sergeant
(Sergeant First Class). 32 soldiers.
• Section: Usually directed by a Staff Sergeant who supplies guidance
for junior NCO Squad leaders. Often used in conjunction with
platoons at the company level.
• Squad: Composed of two teams and is typically led by a Staff
Sergeant. 9-10 soldiers.
• Team: The smallest unit. A fireteam consists of a team leader (usually
a Sergeant, but may be a Corporal), a rifleman, a grenadier, and an
automatic rifleman. A sniper team consists of a sniper who takes the
shot and a spotter who assists in targeting. 2-4 soldiers.


These are the US Army ranks and their equivalent NATO designations.
Commissioned Officers:
There are several paths to becoming a commissioned officer including Army
ROTC, the United States Military Academy at West Point or the United
States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, and Officer Candidate
School. Certain professionals, physicians, nurses, lawyers, and chaplains are
commissioned directly into the Army. But no matter what road an officer
takes, the insignia are the same.

The highest officer rank is the five-star general (General of the Army) and
the lowest is the second lieutenant.
Address all personnel with the rank of general as General (last name)
regardless of the number of stars. Likewise, address both colonels and
lieutenant colonels as Colonel (last name) and first and second lieutenants as
Lieutenant (last name).
Warrant Officers:
Warrant Officers are single track, specialty officers with subject matter
expertise in a particular area. They are initially appointed as warrant officers
(in the rank of WO1) by the Secretary of the Army, but receive their
commission upon promotion to Chief Warrant Officer Two (CW2).
Technically, warrant officers are to be addressed as Mr. (last name) or Ms.
(last name). However, many personnel do not use those terms, but instead
say Sir, Ma'am, or most commonly, Chief.
Enlisted Personnel:
Sergeants are referred to as NCOs, short for noncommissioned officers.
Corporals are also called hard stripes, in recognition of their leadership
position. This distinguishes them from specialists who might have the same
pay grade, but not the leadership responsibilities.
Address privates (E1 and E2) and privates first class (E3) as Private (last
name). Address specialists as Specialist (last name). Address sergeants, staff
sergeants, sergeants first class, and master sergeants as Sergeant (last name).
Address higher ranking sergeants by their full ranks in conjunction with their


Individual weapons
The primary individual weapons of the Army are the M 16 series assault
rifle and its compact variant, the M 4 carbine, which is slowly replacing
selected M 16 series rifles in some units and is primarily used by infantry,
Ranger, and Special Operations forces. Optionally the M 9 bayonet can be
attached to either variant for close-quarters fighting. The 40 mm M 203
grenade launcher can also be attached for additional firepower. Some
soldiers whose duties require a more compact weapon, such as combat
vehicle crew members, staff officers, and military police, are issued a
sidearm in lieu of (or in addition to) a rifle. The most common sidearm in
the U.S. Army is the 9 mm M 9 pistol which is issued to the majority of
combat and support units. Other, less commonly issued sidearms include the
M11, used by Special Agents of the CID, and the MK 23, used by some
Army Special Forces units.
In addition to these basic rifles and sidearms, many combat units'
arsenals are supplemented with a variety of specialized weapons, including
the M 249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) light machine-gun, to provide
suppressive fire at the fire-team level, the M 1014 Joint Service Combat
Shotgun or the Mossberg 590 Shotgun for door-breaching and close-quarters
combat, the M 14 Rifle for long-range marksmen, and the M 107 Long
Range Sniper Rifle, the M 24 Sniper Weapon System, or the M 110 Semi-
Automatic Sniper Rifle for snipers. Hand grenades, such as the M 67
fragmentation grenade and M 18 smoke grenade, are also used by combat

Crew-served weapon systems
The Army employs various crew-served weapons (so named because
they are operated by two or more soldiers in order to transport items such as
spare barrels, tripods, base plates, and extra ammunition) to provide heavy
firepower at ranges exceeding that of individual weapons. The M240 is the
Army's standard medium general-purpose machine gun. The M240 (left-
hand feed) and M 240C (right-hand feed) variants are used as coaxial
machine guns on the M1 Abrams tank and the M 2 Bradley IFV,
respectively; the M 240 B is the infantry variant and can be fired from a
bipod or tripod if carried by hand, or employed from a pintle mount atop a
vehicle. The M 2.50 caliber heavy machine gun has been in use since 1932
in a variety of roles, from infantry support to air defense. The M2 is also the
primary weapon on most Stryker ACV variants and the secondary weapon
system on the M1 Abrams tank. The MK 19 40 mm grenade machine gun is
mainly used by motorized units, such as Stryker Brigades, HMMWV-
mounted cavalry scouts, and Military Police. It is commonly employed in a
complementary role to the M 2.
The Army uses three types of mortar for indirect fire support when
heavier artillery may not be appropriate or available. The smallest of these is
the 60 mm M 224, normally assigned at the infantry company level. At the
next higher echelon, infantry battalions are typically supported by a section
of 81 mm M 252 mortars. The largest mortar in the Army's inventory is the
120 mm M 120/M 121, usually employed by mechanized battalions, Stryker
units, and cavalry troops because its size and weight require it to be
transported in a tracked carrier or towed behind a truck.

The U.S. Army spends a sizable portion of its military budget to
maintain a diverse inventory of vehicles. The U.S. Army maintains the
highest vehicle-to-soldier ratio in the world.
The Army's most common vehicle is the HMMWV (High Mobility
Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle), which is capable of serving as a
cargo/troop carrier, weapons platform, and ambulance, among many other
roles. The M 1A2 Abrams is the Army's primary main battle tank, while the
M 2 A 3 Bradley is the standard infantry fighting vehicle. Other vehicles
include the M 3 A 3 cavalry fighting vehicle, the Stryker, and the M 113
armored personnel carrier.
The U.S. Army's principal artillery weapons are the M 109A6 Paladin
self-propelled howitzer and the M 270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System
(MLRS), both mounted on tracked platforms and assigned to heavy
mechanized units. Fire support for light infantry units is provided by towed
howitzers, including the 105 mm M 119A1and the 155 mm M 777 (which
will replace the M198).
While the U.S. Army operates a few fixed-wing aircraft, it mainly
operates several types of rotary-wing aircraft. These include the AH-64
Apache attack helicopter, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed
reconnaissance/light attack helicopter, the UH-60 Black Hawk utility tactical
transport helicopter, and the CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift transport helicopter.
In addition, the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment operates
the MH-6/AH-6 small assault/attack helicopters, as well as highly-modified

versions of the Black Hawk and Chinook, primarily in support of US Army
Special Operations Forces, but also those of the other US armed forces.


In the mid - to late 1990s, the Army officially adopted what have come
to be known as The 7 Army Core Values. The Army began to teach these
values as basic warrior traits. The seven Army Core Values are as follows:
Loyalty - Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army,
your unit, and fellow Soldiers.
Duty - Fulfill your obligations.
Respect - Treat others as they should be treated.
Selfless Service - Put the welfare of the nation, the Army, and your
subordinates before your own.
Honor - Live the Army Values.
Integrity - Do what's right, both legally and morally.
Personal Courage - Face fear, danger, or adversity, both physical and


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