|Uniformed services of the United States|
The emblems of the eight U.S. uniformed services
|Founded||14 June 1775|
|Federal department heads|
|Military age||17 with parental consent, 18 for voluntary service.|
|Conscription||Male only (inactive since 1973)|
|17 million , age 18–25 (2016)|
|2 million (2016)|
|Active personnel||1,374,125 (ranked 3rd)|
|Budget||US$721.5 billion (2020) (ranked 1st)|
|Percent of GDP||3.42% (2019)|
|History||Military history of the United States|
The United States has eight federal uniformed services that commission officers as defined by Title 10 and subsequently structured and organized by Title 10, Title 14, Title 32 and Title 42 of the U.S. Code.
The uniformed services are, in order of precedence, when in formations:
Each of the uniformed services is administratively headed by a federal executive department and its corresponding civilian Cabinet leader.
Department of the Army (DA)
Department of the Navy (DON)
Department of the Air Force (DAF)
The order of precedence within the U.S. Department of Defense is set by DoD Directive 1005.8 and is not dependent on the date of creation by the U.S. Congress.
Prior to 1967, the U.S. Coast Guard was a part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In 1967 it became a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 2002, it was placed under the Department of Homeland Security. During times of war, it may be transferred to the Department of the Navy, under the Department of Defense.
The Corps is headed by the Surgeon General of the United States.
The NOAA Corps was created as the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Corps, a component of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, on 22 May 1917. It was removed from the Coast and Geodetic Survey and became a component of the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA) as the Environmental Science Services Administration Corps (ESSA Corps) upon the establishment of ESSA on 13 July 1965. The ESSA Corps became the NOAA Corps as a component of NOAA when ESSA was abolished and NOAA simultaneously was created on 3 October 1970. Under all three names, the Corps has been an element of the Department of Commerce throughout its existence.
The eight uniformed services are defined by:
The term "uniformed services" means—
(A) the armed forces;
(B) the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and
(C) the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service.
The six uniformed services that make up the United States Armed Forces are defined in the previous clause:
The term "armed forces" means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force, and Coast Guard.
All eight uniformed services are subject to the provisions of 10 USC 1408, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA).
Six of the uniformed services make up the U.S. Armed Forces, five of which are within the U.S. Department of Defense. The Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security and has both military and law enforcement duties. Title 14 states that the Coast Guard is part of the armed forces at all times, making it the only branch of the military outside the Department of Defense. During a declared state of war, however, the President or Congress may direct that the Coast Guard operate as part of the Department of the Navy.The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, along with the NOAA Commissioned Corps, operate under military rules with the exception of the applicability of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, to which they are subject only when militarized by executive order or while detailed to any component of the armed forces.
Reserve components of the United States Armed Forces are all members of the military who serve in a reserve capacity. The National Guard is an additional reserve military component of the Army and Air Force, respectively, and is composed of National Guard units, which operate under Title 32 and under state authority as the Army National Guard and Air National Guard. The militia that later became the National Guard was first formed in the Colony of Virginia in 1607 and is the oldest uniformed military force founded in the New World. The National Guard can also be mobilized by the President to operate under Federal authority through Title 10. When acting under federal direction, the National Guard is managed by the National Guard Bureau, which is a joint Army and Air Force activity under the Department of Defense,with a 4-star general from the Army or Air Force appointed as its top leader. However, in Federal service command and control of National Guard organizations will fall under the designated Geographic or Functional Combatant Commander. The National Guard of the United States serves as a reserve component for both the Army and the Air Force and can be called up for federal active duty in times of war or national emergencies.
Commissioned officers of NOAA and PHS wear uniforms that are derived from U.S. Navy and Coast Guard uniforms, except that the commissioning devices, buttons, and insignia reflect their specific service. Uniformed officers of NOAA and PHS are paid on the same scale as members of the armed services with respective rank and time-in-grade. Additionally, PHS Officers are covered by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (formerly the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act).
PHS and NOAA consist of commissioned officers only and have no warrant officer ranks or enlisted ranks. Commissioned officers of the PHS and NOAA may be militarized by the President.Because they are commissioned officers, they can be classified as prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions, if captured by a belligerent entity. The United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (USC&GS), a predecessor to NOAA, originally began commissioning its officers so that if captured while engaged in battlefield surveying, they would be protected under the Law of Armed Conflict and could not be tried or executed as spies. The USC&GS Commissioned Officer Corps became the Environmental Science Services Administration Corps (ESSA Corps), upon the creation of the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA) on 13 July 1965, then became the NOAA Corps upon the creation of NOAA on 3 October 1970. The PHS traces its origins to a system of marine hospitals created by "An Act for the relief of sick and disabled seamen", passed by Congress in 1798; it adopted a military model of organization in 1871.
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard. The president of the United States is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and forms military policy with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out. All six armed services are among the eight uniformed services of the United States.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, known informally as the NOAA Corps, is one of eight federal uniformed services of the United States, and operates under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a scientific agency overseen by the Department of Commerce. The NOAA Corps is made up of scientifically and technically trained officers. It is one of only two U.S. uniformed services – the other being the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps – that consists only of commissioned officers, with no enlisted or warrant officer ranks. The NOAA Corps primary mission is to monitor oceanic conditions, support major waterways, and monitor atmospheric conditions.
Lieutenant , commonly abbreviated as LTJG or, historically, Lt. (j.g.), is a junior commissioned officer rank of the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps. LTJG has a US military pay grade of O-2, and a NATO rank code of OF-1a. The rank is also used in the United States Maritime Service. The NOAA Corps's predecessors, the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Corps (1917–1965) and the Environmental Science Services Administration Corps or ESSA Corps (1965–1970), also used the rank.
The United States service academies, also known as the United States military academies, are federal academies for the undergraduate education and training of commissioned officers for the United States Armed Forces.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice is the foundation of military law in the United States. It was established by the United States Congress in accordance with the authority given by the United States Constitution in Article I, Section 8, which provides that "The Congress shall have Power....To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval forces".
The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC), also referred to as the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service, is the federal uniformed service of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. The commissioned corps' primary mission is the protection, promotion, and advancement of health and safety of the general public.
A Sea Service Ribbon is an award of the United States Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army, and the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps which recognizes those service members who have performed military duty while stationed on a United States Navy, Coast Guard, Army, or NOAA vessel at sea and/or members of the Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard who have been forward-deployed with their home unit.
A 5⁄16 Inch Star (9.7mm) is a miniature gold or silver five-pointed star that is authorized by the United States Armed Forces as a ribbon device to denote subsequent awards for specific decorations of the Department of the Navy, Coast Guard, Public Health Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A gold star indicates a second or subsequent decoration, while a silver star is worn in lieu of five gold stars.
The National Geodetic Survey (NGS), formerly the United States Survey of the Coast (1807–1836), United States Coast Survey (1836–1878), and United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (USC&GS) (1878–1970), is a United States federal agency that defines and manages a national coordinate system, providing the foundation for transportation and communication; mapping and charting; and a large number of applications of science and engineering. Since its foundation in its present form in 1970, it has been part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), of the United States Department of Commerce.
The diver insignia are qualification badges of the uniformed services of the United States which are awarded to servicemen qualified as divers. Originally, the diver insignia was a cloth patch decoration worn by United States Navy divers in the upper-portion of the enlisted service uniform's left sleeve during the first part of World War II, when the rating insignia was worn on the right sleeve. When enlisted rating insignia were shifted to the left sleeve in late World War II, the patch shifted to the upper right sleeve. The diving patch was created during World War II, and became a breast insignia in the late 1960s.
Pay grades are used by the eight uniformed services of the United States to determine wages and benefits based on the corresponding military rank of a member of the services. While different titles or ranks may be used among the eight uniformed services, pay grades are uniform and equivalent between the services and can be used to quickly determine seniority among a group of members from different services. They are also essential when determining a member's entitlements such as basic pay and allowances.
In the United States uniformed services, captain is a commissioned-officer rank. In keeping with the traditions of the militaries of most nations, the rank varies between the services, being a senior rank in the naval services and a junior rank in the ground and air forces. Many fire departments and police departments in the United States also use the rank of Captain as an officer in a specific unit.
A direct commission officer (DCO) is a United States uniformed officer who has received an appointed commission without the typical prerequisites for achieving a commission, such as attending a four-year service academy, a four-year or two-year college ROTC program, or one of the officer candidate school or officer training school programs, the latter OCS/OTS programs typically slightly over three months in length.
The Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA) was a United States Federal executive agency created in 1965 as part of a reorganization of the United States Department of Commerce. Its mission was to unify and oversee the meteorological, climatological, hydrographic, and geodetic operations of the United States. It operated until 1970, when it was replaced by the new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
A rear admiral in the U.S. uniformed services is either of two different ranks of commissioned officers: one-star flag officers and two-star flag officers. By contrast, in most nations, the term "rear admiral" refers to an officer of two-star rank.
Lieutenant commander (LCDR) is a mid-ranking officer rank in the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, with the pay grade of O-4 and NATO rank code OF-3. The predecessors of the NOAA Corps, the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Corps (1917–1965) and the Environmental Science Services Administration Corps (1965–1970), also used the lieutenant commander rank, and the rank is also used in the United States Maritime Service and the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps. Lieutenant commanders rank above lieutenants and below commanders, and rank is equivalent to a major in the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps.
An officer is a member of an armed forces or uniformed service who holds a position of authority.
In the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, captain is the senior-most commissioned officer rank below that of flag officer. The equivalent rank is colonel in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
The military rank of lieutenant, in the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA-COO), and United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHS-CC), the rank of lieutenant is divided between:
Rear Admiral James C. Tison Jr. was an officer in the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Corps and Environmental Science Services Administration Corps, both predecessors of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps. He served simultaneously as the first Director of the ESSA Corps, one of only two people to hold the position, and as the sixth Director of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey.