The U.S. military was established in 1775, when the Continental Congress created the continental army and appointed George Washington as its commander. In 1789, after the Revolutionary War, the new Constitution named the president as commander in chief of the armed forces.Continue Reading
Today, the U.S. military consists of several branches, including Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The Department of Defense, or DoD, is the organization in charge of the armed forces, with the exception of the Coast Guard, which is under the control of the Department of Homeland Security. The DoD is the largest company in the world, employing 2 million civilians and military personnel. As the Commander-in-Chief, the president of the United States is responsible for all final military decisions. His authority is exercised through the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who are responsible for overseeing combat operations.
Each branch of the military has its own mission. The Air Force is responsible for flying planes, helicopters and satellites, while the purpose of the Army is to secure territory or guard U.S. property around the world. The Coast guard primarily patrols domestic waterways, while the Navy operates in international waters. Marines act as a quick-deploying force, and are trained to be the first respondents in combat situations.Learn more about Military