The Army is the largest military branch in the United States. Its job is to protect the country and its citizens. In this section, you’ll learn about the history of the Army, and about some common terms that you’ll hear often as you explore your career options.
On 14 June 1775, The Second Continental Congress formed the Continental Army as a means for the 13 unified American colonies to fight the forces of Britain. George Washington was unanimously elected Commander-In-Chief of the fledgling Army, and he would lead the colonies to victory and independence.
Today, the Army is made up of more than 700,000 Soldiers, including active duty and Army Reserve personnel.
Army Soldiers fill many roles. They are doctors, lawyers, and engineers; they are electricians, computer programmers and helicopter pilots; they are police officers, logistics experts and civil affairs representatives. The Army’s constant need for a diverse range of individual Soldiers, each with his or her own expertise is what sets it apart from other military branches.
STRUCTURE AND ORGANIZATION
The Army is a large organization, made up of many different branches and groups. Here are some important terms you should understand as you consider a future in the military.
What it means: You are a Soldier who serves full time. You will generally live on a base, either within the United States or in a foreign country. While on active duty, you will earn a full salary and you will receive health and retirement benefits.
What it means: You are a part-time Soldier, and unlike active duty status, you are required to train and report for duty just one weekend a month and two weeks a year. Serving in the Army Reserve allows you to live where you want, attend school and work a civilian job. You will still earn many benefits, including health care and retirement, and you will also earn part-time duty pay in addition to the income from your civilian job.
What they do: Enlisted Soldiers are the most important part of the Army. Like the employees of a company,enlisted Soldiers are responsible for carrying out a mission or task. As an enlisted Soldier, you could serve either on active duty, or in the Army Reserve.
What they do: Officers are the leaders of the Army. Like the managers of a company, they are responsible for taking charge of enlisted Soldiers, issuing orders, and planning missions. As an Officer, you could serve either on active duty, or the Army Reserve.
Learn more about Officers and Enlisted Soldiers.
In the Army, your rank not only indicates your pay grade, but also the amount of responsibility you hold. Corporals, for example, may be responsible for a small team of Soldiers, while a Major General could hold command of anywhere between 10,000-15,000 Soldiers.
While the amount of time spent in each rank is based on averages, you can often accelerate the promotion process by taking advantage of additional training and schooling opportunities.
|Anniston Army Depot||Redstone Arsenal|
|Fort Rucker||Fort McClellan|
|Fort Greely||Fort Wainwright|
|Fort Huachuca||Yuma Proving Ground|
|Electronic Proving Ground|
|Pine Bluff Arsenal|
|Fort Irwin||Sierra Army Depot|
|Presidio of Monterey|
|Fort Carson||Rocky Mountain Arsenal|
|Pueblo Chemical Depot|
|DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA|
|Fort McNair||Walter Reed Army Med. Ctr.|
|Fort Benning*||Fort Stewart|
|Fort Gordon||Hunter Army Airfield|
|Fort Gillem||Lawson Army Airfield|
|Fort Shafter||Schofield Barracks|
|Pohakuloa Training Area||Wheeler Army Air Field|
|Rock Island Arsenal|
|Fort Leavenworth||Fort Riley|
|U.S. Army Disciplinary Barracks|
|Fort Campbell||Fort Knox|
|Blue Grass Army Depot|
|Aberdeen Proving Ground||Fort Meade|
|Soldier Systems Center|
|Fort Leonard Wood*|
|Fort Dix||Picatinny Arsenal|
|White Sands Missile Range|
|Fort Drum||U.S. Military Academy|
|Fort Hamilton||Watervliet Arsenal|
|Fort Bragg||Simmons Army Airfield|
|Umatilla Army Depot|
|Carlisle Barracks||Tobyhanna Army Depot|
|Letterkenny Army Depot|
|Biggs Army Airfield||Fort Hood|
|Corpus Christi Army Depot||Fort Sam Houston|
|Fort Bliss||Red River Army Depot|
|Deseret Chemical Depot||Tooele Army Depot|
|Dugway Proving Ground|
|Fort A.P. Hill||Fort Monroe|
|Fort Belvoir||Fort Myer|
|Fort Eustis||Fort Story|
|TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO|
|UNITED ARAB EMIRATES|