The U.S. Army in Korea Strategic Landpower at the Forward Edge of Freedom

August 4, 2014

The United States Army has maintained a constant presence in the Asia–Pacific theater for more than 100 years. Strategic landpower—Army, Marines and special operations forces—is the most tangible and enduring measure of America’s commitment to defend its vital interests, protect its friends and defeat its enemies. Security and war are fundamentally about people, culture and decisions—the human domain of conflict—and strategic landpower exists to shape this domain and prevail throughout it. Since 1950, the United States’ alliance with South Korea has been evolving to meet the mutual security interests of both nations. The relationship continues to grow— standing as a critical deterrent to the dynamic North Korean threat, supporting regional engagement with partners and enhancing responsiveness to contingencies through rotational deployments and multinational training exercises.

U.S. Forces Korea (USFK)—a subunified command under U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM)— supports the United Nations Command and the United States–Republic of Korea (ROK) Combined Forces Command as the joint headquarters through which U.S. combat forces are provided to the theater. Eighth Army is an integral part of USFK, the alliance and the United States’ national security strategy. Constituting the largest U.S. military contribution to the alliance, Eighth Army provides 22,000 of the 28,500 American servicemembers stationed in South Korea. America’s only field army, it is forward deployed to promote regional security and deter North Korean aggression. Investment in Eighth Army demonstrates support for the alliance and long-term resolve to protect the nation’s interests now and in the future.