army organization

United States Army

The United States Army is a military organization whose primary mission is to "provide necessary forces and capabilities ... in support of the National Security and Defense Strategies.

It is the largest and oldest established branch of the armed forces of the United States and is one of seven uniformed services. Like all armies, it has the primary responsibility for land-based military operations. The modern Army has its roots in the Continental Army which was formed on June 14, 1775, before the establishment of the United States, to meet the demands of the American Revolutionary War. Congress created the United States Army on June 14, 1784 after the end of the war to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The Army considers itself to be descended from the Continental Army, and thus dates its inception from the origins of that force. Control and operation of the Army is administered by the Department of the Army, one of the three service departments of the Department of Defense. The civilian head is the Secretary of the Army and the highest ranking military officer in the department is the Chief of Staff, unless the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are Army officers. As of July 31, 2008, the Regular Army reported a strength of 538,128 soldiers. The Army National Guard (ARNG) reported 350,000 and the United States Army Reserve (USAR) reported 189,000, putting the approximate combined component strength total around 1,077,000 soldiers.


The United States Army is made up of three components: the active component, the Regular Army; 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 or Unit Training Assemblies (UTAs), 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. The U.S. Army Chief of Staff is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a body composed of the service chiefs from each service who advise the President and Secretary of Defense on military matters under the guidance of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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 2013. When it is finished, there will be six geographical commands which will line up with the five geographical Unified Combatant Commands (COCOM).

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 48, 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 or tank 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.
  • Regiment: The Army, for the most part is no longer organized by Regiments. Rather, Battalions and Squadrons maintain Regimental Affiliations in that they are called (for example), 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry (Regiment is implied) and is written 1-8 Inf. In this case, there is no Regimental Commander and the Battalion is organized as part of a Brigade for combat. The exceptions are those units, such as Armored Cavalry Regiments which remain organized, and fight, as a Regiment and have a Regimental Commander. The written designation is easy to distinguish and commonly misused. A "/" separates levels of command. 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment is written 1/3 ACR whereas the 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery (again, Regiment is implied) is written 1-6 FA.
  • Brigade (or group): Composed of two or more battalions, 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 soldiers.
  • Battalion (or Cavalry Squadron): Normally composed of two to five (occasionally as many as eight) companies, troops or batteries and led by a Battalion/Squadron Commander, usually a Lieutenant Colonel supported by a staff in a Headquarters and Headquarters Company/Battery. 300-1000 soldiers.
  • Company (or artillery battery/cavalry troop): Designated A thru C (plus HQ or support companies/batteries/troops) when in a 3 company/battery battalion or A thru D when organized in a 4 company/battery battalion. Regimental Troops are designated A thru T, depending on the number of Troops. The Troops are then divided into their like Squadrons. Each company/battery/troop is composed of three to four platoons and led by a Company/Battery/Troop 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 as low as a PFC in rare cases), 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.

Army components

During The First World War, the "National Army" was organized to fight the conflict. It was demobilized at the end of World War I, and was replaced by the Regular Army, the Organized Reserve Corps, and the State Militias. In the 1920s and 1930s, the "career" soldiers were known as the "Regular Army" with the "Enlisted Reserve Corps" and "Officer Reserve Corps" augmented to fill vacancies when needed.

In 1941, the "Army of the United States" was founded to fight the Second World War. The Regular Army, Army of the United States, the National Guard, and Officer/Enlisted Reserve Corps (ORC and ERC) existed simultaneously. After World War II, the ORC and ERC were combined into the United States Army Reserve. The Army of the United States was re-established for the Korean War and Vietnam War and was demobilized upon the suspension of the Draft.

Currently, the Army is divided into the Regular Army, the Army Reserve, and the United States National Guard. Prior to 1903 members of the National Guard were considered state soldiers unless federalized by the President. Since the Militia Act of 1903 all National Guard soldiers have held dual status: as National Guardsmen under the authority of the governor of their state and as a reserve of the U.S. Army under the authority of the President. Since the adoption of the total force policy, in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, reserve component soldiers have taken a more active role in U.S. military operations. Reserve and Guard units took part in the Gulf War, peacekeeping in Kosovo, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Various State Defense Forces also exist, sometimes known as State Militias, which are sponsored by individual state governments and serve as an auxiliary to the National Guard. Except in times of extreme national emergency, such as a mainland invasion of the United States, State Militias are operated independently from the U.S. Army and are seen as state government agencies rather than a component of the military.

Although the present-day Army exists as an all volunteer force, augmented by Reserve and National Guard forces, measures exist for emergency expansion in the event of a catastrophic occurrence, such as a large scale attack against the U.S. or the outbreak of a major global war.

The final stage of Army mobilization, known as "activation of the unorganized militia" would effectively place all able bodied males in the service of the U.S. Army. The last time an approximation of this occurred was during the American Civil War when the Confederate States of America activated the "Home Guard" in 1865, drafting all males, regardless of age or health, into the Confederate Army.

Force Structure and Unit History Branch

Force Structure Support

  • Select TOE units for activation/retention, and release Historic Unit Identification Codes
  • Determine official Army unit designations
  • Maintain the official rolls of the Army Document unit status changes and update HQDA databases
  • Maintain historical information on Army Structure
  • Issue directives on behalf of the Secretary of the Army authorizing changes in the status of units
  • Assist Army TOE and force developers

Organizational History

  • Provide unit historical reference support on Army TOE units to the Army Staff, White House, Congress and other Federal Agencies
  • Determine the Lineage and Honors for active TOE Army units
  • Certifiy unit entitlements to organizational property, awards and campaign streamers
  • Provide input for HQDA review of recommendations for unit awards and campaign participation credit
  • Approve requests for official recognition of unit days and Special Designations
  • Maintain accountability for retired unit organizational history files

The functions of these two programs overlap in the preparation and publication of the Army Lineage Series. For the hierarchy of land forces organizations, see military organization.

Combat maneuver organizations

The U.S. Army currently consists of 10 divisions as well as several independent units. The force is in the process of growth, with four additional brigades scheduled to activate by 2013, with a total increase of 74,200 soldiers from January 2007. Each division will have four ground maneuver brigades, and will also include at least one aviation brigade as well as a fires brigade and a service support brigade. Additional brigades can be assigned or attached to a division headquarters based on its mission.



The Continental Army was created on June 14, 1775 by the Continental Congress as a unified army for the states to fight Great Britain, with George Washington appointed as its commander. George Washington made use of the Fabian strategy and used hit-and-run tactics, hitting where the enemy was weakest, to wear down the British forces and their Hessian mercenary allies. Washington led victories against the British at Trenton and Princeton, then turned south. With a decisive victory at Yorktown, and the help of French, Spanish and the Dutch, the Continental Army prevailed against the British, and with the Treaty of Paris, the independence of the United States was acknowledged.

After the war, though, the Continental Army was quickly disbanded as part of the Americans' distrust of standing armies, and irregular state militias became the new nation's sole ground army, with the exception of 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 first of these, the Legion of the United States, was established in 1791.


The War of 1812 (1812-1815), the second and last American war against the British, was less successful than the Revolution had been. An invasion of Canada failed, and U.S. troops were unable to stop the British from burning the new capital of Washington, D.C.. However, the Regular Army, under Generals Winfield Scott and Jacob Brown, proved they were professional and capable of defeating a British army in the Niagara Campaign of 1814. Two weeks after a treaty was signed, though, Andrew Jackson defeated the British invasion of New Orleans. However this had little effect, as per the treaty both sides returned to the status quo.

Between 1815 and 1860, a spirit of Manifest Destiny struck the United States, and as settlers moved west the U.S. Army engaged in a long series of skirmishes and battles with American Indians the colonists uprooted. The U.S. Army also fought the short Mexican–American War, which was a victory for the United States and resulted in territory which became all or parts of the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming and New Mexico.

The Civil War (1861-1865) was the most costly war for the United States. After most states in the South seceded to form the Confederate States of America, CSA troops opened fire on the U.S. fort Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, starting the war. For the first two years Confederate forces solidly defeated the U.S. Army, but after the decisive battles of Gettysburg in the East and Vicksburg in the West, combined with superior industrial might and numbers, Union troops fought a brutal campaign through Confederate territory and the war ended with a Confederate surrender at Appomatox Courthouse in April 1865. Based on 1860 census figures, 8% of all white males aged 13 to 43 died in the war, including 6% in the North and an extraordinary 18% in the South.

Following the Civil War, the U.S. Army fought a long battle with American Indians, who resisted U.S. expansion into the center of the continent. But by the 1890s the U.S. saw itself as a potential player internationally. U.S. victories in the Spanish-American War (1898) and the controversial and less well known Philippine-American War (1898-1913), as well as U.S. intervention in Latin America and the Boxer Rebellion, gained America more land and international prestige.


The United States joined World War I (1914-1918) in 1917 on the side of Russia, Britain and France. U.S. troops were sent to the front and were involved in the push that finally broke through the German lines. With victory on November 11, 1918, the Army once again decreased its forces.

The U.S. joined World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. On the European front, U.S. Army troops made up large portions of the forces that captured North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. On D-Day and in the subsequent liberation of Europe and defeat of Germany, the millions of U.S. Army troops played a central role. In the Pacific, Army soldiers participated alongside U.S. Marines in the "island hopping" campaign that wrested the Pacific islands from Japanese control. Following the Axis surrenders in May and September of 1945, Army troops were deployed to Japan and Germany to occupy the two nations. Two years after World War II, the Army Air Forces separated from the Army to become the United States Air Force on September 18, 1947 after decades of attempting to separate.

However, the end of World War II set the stage for the West-East confrontation known as the Cold War (late 1940s to late 1980s/early 1990s). Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops remained stationed in West Germany and across Europe until the 1990s in anticipation of Soviet attack.

During the Cold War, American troops and their allies fought Communist forces in Korea and Vietnam. (See Domino Theory.) The Korean War began in 1950. Under a United Nations umbrella, hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops fought to prevent the takeover of South Korea by North Korea, and later, to invade the northern nation. After repeated advances and retreats by both sides, and the Peoples' Republic of China's entry into the war, a cease-fire returned the peninsula to the status quo in 1953.

The Vietnam War is often regarded as a low point in the Army's record. While American forces had been stationed in the Republic of Vietnam since 1959, they did not deploy in large numbers until 1965, after the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. American forces struggled to counter the guerrilla tactics of the communist Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army until 1973, when domestic political opposition to the war finally forced a US withdrawal. Two years later, the country was unified under a communist government.

The 1980s was mostly a decade of reorganization. The Army converted to an all-volunteer force with greater emphasis on training and technology. The Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 created Unified Combatant Commands bringing the Army together with the other four U.S. Armed Forces under unified, geographically organized command structures. The Army also played a role in the invasions of Grenada in 1983 (Operation Urgent Fury) and Panama in 1989 (Operation Just Cause).

By 1991 Germany was reunited and the Soviet Union was near collapse. The Cold War was, effectively, over. In 1990 Iraq invaded its smaller neighbor, Kuwait. In January 1991 Operation Desert Storm commenced, a U.S.-led coalition which deployed over 500,000 troops, the bulk of them from U.S. Army formations, to drive out Iraqi forces. The campaign ended in total victory for the Army, as western coalition forces routed an Iraqi Army organized along Soviet lines in just one hundred hours.

After Desert Storm, the Army did not see major combat operations for the remainder of the 1990s. Army units did participate in a number of peacekeeping activities, such as the UN peacekeeping mission in Somalia in 1993, where the abortive Operation Gothic Serpent led to the deaths of eighteen American soldiers and the withdrawal of international forces. The Army also contributed troops to a NATO peacekeeping force in former Yugoslavia in the middle of the decade.

21st century

After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and as part of the Global War on Terror, U.S. and NATO combined arms (i.e., Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, Special Operations) forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001, replacing the Taliban government.

U.S. and allied forces invaded Iraq in 2003. Elements of the U.S. Army, British Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and other land forces, as well as air and naval components, defeated the regular military of Saddam Hussein.

In the following years the mission changed from conflict between regular militaries to counterinsurgency. with large numbers of suicide bomb attacks, and the loss of over 4,000 U.S. servicemen (as of March 2008) and thousands more injured. The lack of stability in the theater of operations has led to longer deployments for Regular Army as well as Reserve and Guard troops.

Rank structure

These are the U.S. 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)."

US DoD Pay Grade Special¹ O-10 O-9 O-8 O-7 O-6 O-5 O-4 O-3 O-2 O-1


General of the Army


Lieutenant General

Major General

Brigadier General


Lieutenant Colonel



First Lieutenant

Second Lieutenant










O-2 O-1
¹ Awarded only in times of Congressionally declared war.
Warrant Officers:

US DoD Pay Grade W-5 W-4 W-3 W-2 W-1


Chief Warrant Officer 5

Chief Warrant Officer 4

Chief Warrant Officer 3

Chief Warrant Officer 2

Warrant Officer 1
Abbreviation CW5 CW4 CW3 CW2 WO1




WO-2 WO-1

Enlisted Personnel:

U.S. DoD Pay Grade E-9 E-8 E-7 E-6 E-5 E-4 E-3 E-2 E-1

No Insignia

Sergeant Major of the Army

Command Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major

First Sergeant

Master Sergeant

Sergeant First Class

Staff Sergeant




Private First Class


NATO Code OR-9 OR-9 OR-9 OR-8 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
¹ PVT is also used as an abbreviation for both Private ranks when pay grade need not be distinguished
² SP4 is sometimes encountered as an abbreviation for Specialist. This is a holdover from when there were additional specialist ranks at higher pay grades.


As of fiscal year '08, or 1 October 2007, the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) and Desert Combat Uniform (DCU) have been phased out of normal wear in garrison and in combat zones by the Army. The BDU and DCU have been replaced with the Army Combat Uniform (ACU), which features a digital camouflage pattern and is designed for use in woodland, desert, and urban environments.

The Army plans to deploy the Future Force Warrior system starting in 2010, with upgrades in subsystems deployed every two years following. Designed as a fully integrated infantryman combat system, initial versions are to be simple in operation with basic electronics; final versions (2032) involve such technologies as a powered armor system and various nanotechnologies.

The standard garrison service uniform is known as "Army Greens" or "Class As" and has been worn by all officers and enlisted personnel since its introduction in 1956 when it replaced earlier olive drab (OD) and khaki (and tan worsted or TW) uniforms worn between the 1890s and 1985. The "Army Blue" uniform, dating back to the mid-19th century, is currently the Army's formal dress uniform, but in 2009, it will replace the Army Green and the Army White uniforms (a uniform similar to the Army Green uniform, but worn in tropical postings) and will become the "new" Army Service Uniform, which will function as both a garrison uniform (when worn with a white shirt and necktie) and a dress uniform (when worn with a white shirt and either a necktie for parades or a bow tie for "after six" or "black tie" events). The beret, adopted Army-wide in 2001, will continue to be worn with the new ACU for garrison duty and with the Army Service Uniform for non-ceremonial functions.

Body armor in all units is the Improved Outer Tactical Vest.


Individual weapons

The primary individual weapons of the Army are the M16 series assault rifle and its compact variant, the M4 carbine, which is slowly replacing selected M16 series rifles in some units and is primarily used by infantry, Ranger, and Special Operations forces. Optionally the M9 bayonet can be attached to either variant for close-quarters fighting. The 40 mm M203 grenade launcher can also be attached for additional firepower. 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 M9 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 MK23, 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 M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) light machine-gun, to provide suppressive fire at the fire-team level, the M1014 Joint Service Combat Shotgun or the Mossberg 590 Shotgun for door breaching and close-quarters combat, the M14 Rifle for long-range marksmen, and the M107 Long Range Sniper Rifle, the M24 Sniper Weapon System, or the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle for snipers. Hand grenades, such as the M67 fragmentation grenade and M18 smoke grenade, are also used by combat troops.

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 M240C (right-hand feed) variants are used as coaxial machine guns on the M1 Abrams tank and the M2 Bradley IFV, respectively; the M240B 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 M2 .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 M2.

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 M224, normally assigned at the infantry company level. At the next higher echelon, infantry battalions are typically supported by a section of 81 mm M252 mortars. The largest mortar in the Army's inventory is the 120 mm M120/M121, 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, which is capable of serving as a cargo/troop carrier, weapons platform, and ambulance, among many other roles. The M1A2 Abrams is the Army's primary main battle tank, while the M2A3 Bradley is the standard infantry fighting vehicle. Other vehicles include the M3A3 cavalry fighting vehicle, the Stryker, and the M113 armored personnel carrier.

Artillery The U.S. Army's principal artillery weapons are the M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer and the M270A1 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 M119A1 and the 155 mm M777 (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.

The Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, also known as the "Nightstalkers", 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 U.S. Army Special Operations Forces, but also those of the other U.S. armed forces.


Training in the United States Army is generally divided into two categories - individual and collective.

Individual training for enlisted soldiers usually consists of 14 weeks for those who hope to hold the Military Occupational Specialty for infantryman, MOS 11B. Other combat MOSs consist of similar training length. Support and other MOS hopefuls attend nine weeks of Basic Combat Training followed by Advanced Individual Training in their primary (MOS) at any of the numerous MOS training facilities around the country. The length of time spent in AIT depends on the MOS of the soldier. Depending on the needs of the Army BCT is conducted at a number of locations, but two of the longest running are the Armor School at Fort Knox, Kentucky and the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. For officers this training includes pre-commissioning training either at USMA, ROTC, or OCS. After commissioning, officers undergo six weeks of training at the Basic Officer Leaders Course, Phase II at Ft. Benning or Ft. Sill, followed by their branch specific training at the Basic Officer Leaders Course, Phase III (formerly called Officer Basic Course) which varies in time and location based on their future jobs.

Collective training takes place both at the unit's assigned station, but the most intensive collective training takes place at the three Combat Training Centers (CTC); the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California, the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and the Combined Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) at the Hohenfels Training Area in Hohenfels, Germany.

Six Sigma Training

The largest business transformation attempted to date was by the United States Army and its 1.3 million employees. Six Sigma first found its way into the Army in 2002 in the Army Material Command division, which is responsible for purchasing virtually everything in the army, from cornmeal to aircraft. Efficiencies from Six Sigma achieved in this department, a few others, as well as an increasingly disproportional amount of demands compared to funds post 9/11, led to an army wide implementation of the program in late 2005.

After careful consideration, the army decided to implement the program the way the army does everything: centrally plan and de-centrally execute. Army generals and members of the government went behind closed doors for two days, learning their responsibilities of the implementation and the benefits they will achieve. Army employees with leadership roles were asked to define areas their departments were experiencing problems in as well as identify key personnel they felt were capable of learning Six Sigma. Eventually, the lowest ranking employees were asked to define the largest problems they faced on a day to day basis, and the answers were sent to the Army generals who, with the help of Six Sigma, strategically developed and proposed proper solutions.

Army employees were trained in Six Sigma through the use of experts. Since training began in June 2006, they have trained 1,240 Green Belts, 446 Black Belts, and 15 Master Black Belts; completed 1,069 projects; and managed to save nearly two billion dollars to date. The army realized such huge savings by implementing new, more efficient methods, eliminating waste as well as the elimination of non-value adding activities.

Many improvements in the Army’s business processes should be credited to the vast improvements in efficiency. In particular, the dramatic effect Six Sigma has had on eliminating redundancies in efforts and resources has resulted in savings nearly a quarter of their cost. Productivity has increased and costs have decreased because of such eliminations, resulting in a more financially secure Army. New software uncovered that the Army was paying to provide foreign language instruction to a substantial number of non army personnel; this discovery, followed by the restructuring of the program, saved the Army $400 million the following year. Other Six Sigma improvements, saving the Army millions, include streamlining the recruiting process, preventing food waste at West Point, and improving foreign military sales. Such successes enjoyed by the Army have recently lead to the full implementation of Six Sigma by both the Air Force and Navy, as well as initiating talks with the Secretary of Defense to incorporate lean Six Sigma throughout the entire department.


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:

  1. Loyalty - Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and fellow Soldiers.
  2. Duty - Fulfill your obligations.
  3. Respect - Treat others as they should be treated.
  4. Selfless Service - Put the welfare of the nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own.
  5. Honor - Live the Army Values.
  6. Integrity - Do what's right, both legally and morally.
  7. Personal Courage - Face fear, danger, or adversity, both physical and moral.

The values were arranged to form the acronym LDRSHIP (leadership).

Army Commands and Army Service Component Commands

Army Command Current Commander Location of Headquarters
United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) GEN Charles C. Cambell Fort McPherson, Georgia
United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) GEN William S. Wallace Fort Monroe, Virginia
United States Army Materiel Command (AMC) GEN Benjamin S. Griffin Fort Belvoir, Virginia
Army Service Component Command Current Commander Location of Headquarters
United States Army Central (USARCENT) LTG Jim Lovelace Fort McPherson, Georgia
United States Army North (USANORTH) LTG Thomas R. Turner II Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas
United States Army South (USARSO) MG Keith M. Huber Fort Sam Houston, Texas
United States Army Europe (USAREUR) GEN Carter F. Ham Campbell Barracks, Heidelberg, Germany
United States Army Pacific (USARPAC) LTG Benjamin R. Mixon Fort Shafter, Hawaii
Eighth United States Army (EUSA) LTG Joseph F. Fil, Jr. Yongsan Army Garrison, Seoul
United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) LTG Robert W. Wagner Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) BG James L. Hodge Fort Eustis, Virginia
United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Strategic Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) LTG Kevin T. Campbell Redstone Arsenal, Alabama
Direct Reporting Units Current Commander Location of Headquarters
United States Army Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Signal Command (NETCOM/9thSC(A)) BG Susan Lawrence Fort Huachuca, Arizona
United States Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) LTG Eric Schoomaker Fort Sam Houston, Texas
United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) MG John DeFreitas III Fort Belvoir, Virginia
United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC) BG Rodney L. Johnson Fort Belvoir, Virginia
United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) LTG Robert Van Antwerp Jr. Washington, D.C.
United States Army Military District of Washington (MDW) MG Richard J. Rowe Jr. Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Army Test & Evaluation Command (ATEC) MG Roger A. Nadeau Alexandria, Virginia
United States Military Academy (USMA) LTG Franklin Hagenbeck West Point, New York
United States Army Reserve Command (USARC) LTG Jack C. Stultz Fort McPherson, Georgia
United States Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) Mr. Craig A. Spisak Fort Belvoir, Virginia
United States Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM) LG Robert Wilson Arlington, Virginia

Source: U.S. Army organization

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