The US Army is a branch of the United States armed forces and it is mainly
responsible for carrying out land-based military
operations. The army came into existence on June 14, 1775, prior to the formation
of the United States, to handle the crisis of the American Revolutionary War.
In the Financial Year 2002, the US Army had 480,000 soldiers
on active duty and 555,000 in reserve (350,000 in ARNG and 205,000 in USAR).
The US Army has two broad divisions - the Regulars and the
Reserves. The United States National Guard is the regular armed force under
the command of state governments. Since the Vietnam War, the use of both the
Army Reserve and the National Guard has increased significantly.
A member of the US Army is officially called a ‘Soldier’, with
the letter ‘S’ in capital. The Army has the following structure-
1. Field Army: usually four-star level.
2. Corps: consists of two or more divisions and organic support brigades. Commanders
are at three-star level.
3. Division: commanders are generally two-star level.
4. Brigade or group: usually consists of three or more brigades commanded by
5. Battalion or squadron: units are organized into battalions. Cavalry units
are organized into squadrons. A Lieutenant Colonel commands a battalion-sized
unit. A Command Sergeant Major provides supports.
6. Company or battery or troop: artillery units are arranged into batteries
and cavalry units are formed into troops. A Captain leads a company-sized unit.
A First Sergeant provides support.
7. Platoon: a lieutenant leads a platoon. A Sergeant First Class provides support.
8. Section: Staff Sergeants direct the sections.
9. Squad: Sergeants lead the squads.
10. Fire team: four Soldiers form a fire team. Usually Corporals lead the fire
This structure in the US Army is based on the differences
in functions. The active combat forces in army are Armor, Infantry, Cavalry
and Special Forces. The support forces include Artillery, Aviation, Intelligence
Corps, Corps of Engineers, Quartermaster Corps, Medical Corps, Transportation
Corps, Judge Advocate General's Corps, Ordnance Corps, Adjutant General's Corps
and Signal Corps.