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The Military of the United States

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The military of the United States of America, officially known as the United States of America Armed Forces, consists of five of the seven federal uniform services: the United States Army, the United States Marine Corps, the United States Navy, the United States Air Force, and the United States Coast Guard. Approximately 1.4 million personnel are currently on active duty in the military, with an additional 1,359,000 personnel in the seven reserve components. The Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military is the President of the United States. With a strength of 2.26 million personnel, including reserves, the United States Armed Forces are the second-largest in the world, after the People's Liberation Army of China, and have troops deployed around the globe. As in most militaries, members of the U.S. Armed Forces hold a rank, either that of officer or enlisted, and can be promoted.

State Defense Forces are militia units operating under the sole authority of a state government or governor, and are distinct from the National Guard in that they are not federal military forces. Authorized by state and federal law, State Defense Forces as a whole "may not be called, ordered, or drafted into the armed forces" (of the United States) under 32 U.S.C. § 109 however the subsection further states that individuals serving in the State Defense Forces are not exempt from conscription. Including Puerto Rico, approximately twenty-five states have active State Defense Forces that can be called upon during emergency management and homeland security missions.

United States Department of Defense Seal.svg

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) is the Cabinet organization that controls the U.S. military, headquartered at the Pentagon. The Secretary of Defense also oversees the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, and civilian agencies such as the Inspector General, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency. The DoD is the largest employer in the United States.

Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze, MMA-NYC, 1851.jpg

The military history of the United States spans a period of over two centuries, during which the United States grew from an alliance of thirteen British colonies without a professional military, to the world's sole remaining military superpower as of 2012.

The history of the United States military begins in civilian frontiersmen, armed for hunting and basic survival in the wilderness that were organized into local militias for small military operations, mostly against Native American tribes but also to resist possible raids by the small military forces of neighboring European colonies.

U.S. military news

The Black Beret and ACU uniform

Uniform changes by Army uniform board

After polling Army personnel for input, the Army's uniform board has instituted several changes to the Army's attire. First and foremost, the Black Beret will be relegated to the Army's service dress uniform. Velcro is also being made optional for some closures. Soldiers will be provided the chance to sew patches to their uniform.

The beret has been the standard headgear for the Army Combat Uniform since June 2001. The beret is worn on base and for ceremonies while the patrol cap is worn in the field. Soldiers disliked the beret for its nonexistent practical purpose and the redundancy of having to carry both a beret and hat at all times. “The [ACU] signifies a uniform that should be worn in combat or training for combat, yet a beret doesn’t even make the cut on the deployment packing list,” said one NCO. The Army will now issue only one beret to each soldier for a cost savings of $6.5 million over the lifecycle of the ACU.

Soldiers will still wear their berets with their Army Service Uniform. Soldiers are pleased overall with the appearance of the beret on the ASU. The change does not effect Special Forces soldiers such as the Army Special Forces who wear distinctive Green Berets.

Velcro replaced buttons on the digital ACU replacement for the BDU. Velcro was received as being too noisy, messy, and unprofessional looking by early users after the new ACU uniform was adopted by the Army. Soldiers voiced their opposition to velcro to the Army's Uniform board earlier this year prior to the decision.


Sources: AT:Beret going away?,AT:Army dumps Beret,ANS:Velcro optional, Patrol Cap default
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The F-35 Lightning II is a single-seat, single-engined military strike fighter, a multi-role aircraft that can perform close air support, tactical bombing, and air-to-air combat. It is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin and major partners BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman. Demonstrator aircraft flew in 2000; first flight of production models is expected in late 2006. The JSF evolved from a DARPA program to develop an STOVL Strike Fighter (SSF) for the US Marine Corps. In 1992 the Marines and US Air Force agreed to jointly develop a Common, Lightweight Strike Fighter, based on the SSF.

The primary customers and financial backers are the United States and the United Kingdom. Eight other nations are also funding the aircraft's development and will decide in 2006 whether or not to purchase it. Total program development costs, less procurement, are estimated at over US$40 billion, of which the bulk has been underwritten by the United States.

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US Navy 030407-N-9977R-001 An AV-8B Harrier from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24th MEU) Air Combat Element (ACE).jpg

The Boeing/BAE Systems AV-8B Harrier II is a family of second-generation vertical/short takeoff and landing or V/STOL jet mullti-role aircraft of the late 20th century. Developed from the earlier Hawker Siddeley Harriers, it is primarily used for light attack or multi-role tasks, typically operated from small aircraft carriers.

The Harrier II is notable as an example of US-UK cooperation and of Cold War defense achievements. Of note is the U.S aid funding early development of the Hawker P.1127 under the Mutual Weapons Development Program, and the salvaging of what was left of the AV-16A Advanced Harrier Program by McDonnell Douglas, making the second-generation family possible.

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Selected biography

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Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940), nicknamed "The Fighting Quaker" and "Old Gimlet Eye," was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps and, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. Butler was awarded the Medal of Honor twice during his career. He was noted for his outspoken non-interventionist views and his book War Is a Racket, one of the first works describing the military–industrial complex. Butler came forward to the U.S. Congress in 1934 to report that a proposed coup had been plotted by wealthy industrialists to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Butler was twice wounded during the Boxer Rebellion. Amid the Battle of Tientsin on July 13, 1900, Butler climbed out of a trench to retrieve a wounded officer for medical attention, whereupon he was shot in the thigh.

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