U.S. Military Organizations

The vast U.S. Military has a huge presence on the Internet, starting with the home pages of the separate service branches given below. A good place to get an overview of news and information is the Pentagon Channel where they provide a daily video news briefing on line. Another good starting point is the DefenseLink web site where you can search for news bulletins, announcements, and photos.

The Joint Service Color Guard advances the colors during the retirement ceremony of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Henry H. Shelton, at Fort Myer, VA, 2 October 2001
The Joint Service Color Guard advances the colors during the retirement ceremony of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Henry H. Shelton, at Fort Myer, VA, 2 October 2001.

Today in WW II: 18 Jan 1942 German-Japanese-Italian military alliance and cooperation agreement signed in Berlin.  More 
18 Jan 1942 US Marines arrive at Pago Pago, American Samoa, supported by aircraft from the USS Enterprise.
18 Jan 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising against Germans captors begins [18 Jan-16 May].
18 Jan 1943 Red Army takes German fortifications south of Lake Ladoga [Operation Spark], opening a corridor to Leningrad, partially lifting the siege.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

U.S. Military Services

The Organization of the U.S. Army is discussed on the linked page. The U.S. military services' official web sites are located at these links:

You can go here to locate U.S. Military Bases.

America Supports You!

AmericaSupportsYou.mil spotlights what Americans are doing to support the U.S. military. You can check what's going on in your local area and get ideas on what you can do to help. There website also provides a form for you to send a message to the troops.

MyArmyLifeToo.com (to be renamed Army OneSource by 2009) provides one single portal of Army services and programs for all Army Soldiers and Families.

US Military Recruiting Pages

US Army Recruiting home page.

Navy.com provides a comprehensive look at the jobs and careers in today's US Navy. This recruiting site features career opportunities, training, travel and other aspects of Navy life.

US Marine Corps is a recruiting site for the Marines. It covers what it takes to become a Marine and the education, travel and career opportunities available.

Other US Army Sites

Olive-Drab.com has links to a large number of unit association web sites listed in the Military History - Unit Associations page.

The U.S. Army has a complete web look up services called United States Army A-Z with hundreds of bases and organizations listed alphabeticaly.

Ft. Benning, Home of the Infantry. The United States Infantry Center at Ft. Benning, Georgia. "I am the Infantry! Follow Me!" And Ft. Benning is the home of the Ranger Training Brigade. As of late 2009, Armor School is being relocated to Fort Benning from Ft. Knox because of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) recommendations.

The Ft. Bliss, TX is the home of the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School. Their web site covers the history, mission, current units and much more on this comprehensive web site.

Ft. Bragg MWR keeps the Army ready to fight.

Fort Eustis and Fort Story (Virginia) are the home of the U.S. Army Transportation Center, Army Transportation School, NCO Academy, Army Aviation Logistics School, 8th Transportation Brigade and 7th Transportation Group (Composite). Here, officers and enlisted soldiers receive education and on-the-job training in all modes of transportation, aviation maintenance, logistics and deployment doctrine and research.

Fort Gordon, Georgia, is home of the U.S. Army Signal Center.

Ft. Hood, Texas, Home of the III Armored Corps. III Corps major units comprise the 1st Cavalry Division and 4th Infantry Division; as well as the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, the III Corps Artillery; and the 13th Corps Support Command.

Fort Huachuca, Arizona is home of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and other commands and guest organizations.

The US Army National Training Center is located at Ft. Irwin, CA. The Opposing Forces (OPFOR) is considered the best trained Army any American will ever face in battle.

Ft. Knox, Kentucky. United States Army Armor Center and the Home of Mounted Warfare. As of late 2009, Armor School is being relocated to Fort Benning from Ft. Knox because of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) recommendations.

Fort Leavenworth, KS was established in 1827 and today is the home of the Army Command and General Staff College.

Fort Lewis, WA is part of Forces Command, the home of I Corps. It is one of 15 US power projection platforms, with primary focus the Pacific Rim.

Ft. Sill in Lawton, OK is the U.S. Army Field Artillery Center. Fort Sill is the only remaining active Army installation of all the forts on the South Plains built during the Indian wars.

Fort Story (Virginia) is a unique training facility that is primarily used as the Army’s only installation conducting Logistics-Over-The-Shore or LOTS training.

The US Army Europe homepage is the source of news and information about USAREUR its staff and community..

The US Army Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) exists to collect and analyze data from a variety of current and historical sources, including Army operations and training events, and to produce information serving as lessons for military commanders, staff, and students.

Redstone Arsenal. AMCOM, the U.S. Army Aviation and Missle Command, is the Army’s 21st Century leader in equipping and sustaining technologically dominant aviation and missile systems.

The U.S. Army Military Police School is a unique multi-service training facility that provides instruction to more than 14,000 Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine, civilian, and allied students each year. It contains outstanding facilities and is recognized as the premier law enforcement training facility in our Nation.

White Sands Missle Range, New Mexico, is "America's Range for the 21st Century".

Soldiers, the official US Army magazine, has its home page on this site.

US Army War College and Carlisle Barracks . War College, Center for Strategic Leadership, Army Physical Fitness Research Institute, Strategic Studies Institute and other organizations sited at Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

United States Military Acadamy (West Point). Provides extensive information about the way officers are educated to enter the service, and background, history and supporting information and services. Many photos and links.

The Institute of Heraldry is a part of The Adjutant General Directorate, U.S. Total Army Personnel Command. They furnish heraldic services (research, design, development, standardization, quality control) to the armed forces and other United States government organizations. Their web site includes many illustrations of the insignia of various branches and units of the armed forces.

U. S. Army Training Support Center (ATSC) at Fort Eustis, VA. Among the other attractions at this site is a large collection of Army documents on-line. Go to the Army Doctrine and Training Digital Library (ADTDL) to search and download this vast resource.

The U.S. Army Sergeant's Major Academy (Ft. Bliss, TX), the home of Army NCO professional education, offers many services including a list of links, Army and un-official, of interest to NCOs and their families.

The U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) mission is to seed scientific and far reaching technological discoveries that enhance Army capabilities. Basic research proposals from educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and private industry are competitively selected and funded. ARO's research mission represents the most long-range Army view for changes in its technology.

U.S. Army Materiel Command. The Army's principal materiel developer. Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMC accomplishes its mission through 9 major subordinate commands that direct the activities of numerous depots, arsenals, ammunition plants, laboratories, test activities and procurement operations.

U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) is comprised of ten business organizations located at sites in three different states: Michigan, New Jersey, and Illinois. Perhaps the most interesting is the TACOM-Armament and Chemical Acquisition and Logistics Activity, the home to the life cycle management of armament systems and chemical defensive equipment.

U.S. Army Picatinny Arsenal, home of Army Firepower, is located in northern New Jersey 28 miles northwest of New York City. The air at Picatinny Arsenal is often punctuated with the staccato bursts of submachine gun fire, the booms of large caliber guns, and the hum of an M1A1 tank turbine engine.

U.S. Army Publishing Directorate is the Army's leader in publishing and distributing information products, employing advanced technologies to ensure responsive support worldwide.

U.S. Army Watervliet Arsenal is the nation's oldest and, in many ways, newest, manufacturing arsenal. It is America's sole manufacturing facility for large caliber cannon in volume. From recoilless rifles and mortars to howitzers and M1A1 Abrams tank guns, the arsenal is recognized as the premier cannon maker.

Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC), at Ft. Polk, LA is the U.S. Army's premier training center for light infantry and special operations units. They are "Forging the Warrior Spirit"! This site covers JRTC itself, the Ft. Polk community, and the units assigned including JRTC Operations Group, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Warrior Brigade, and the 519th Military Police Battalion.

Army Forces Command is located at Fort McPherson, Georgia in the heart of the city of Atlanta. Among other services, they provide this FAQ page regarding personnel matters of interest to military personnel and their relatives. Learn how to locate individuals, documents, burial sites, unit histories, determine award and promotion status, and more.

U.S Army Human Resources Command is your source for information on selection boards, promotions, training, pay, and other personnel management topics. The site also includes a large links page to other Army sites.

US Navy Sites

U.S. Navy Fact File. Up to date info on Navy aircraft, missles, ships, submarines, personnel and more.

The Blue Angels are the legendary Navy flying team which performs its magic all over the world. A Blue Angel flight demonstration exhibits the choreographed refinements of Navy-trained flying skills. It presents the graceful, aerobatic maneuvers of the four-plane "diamond" and fast-paced high performance maneuvers of the solo pilots in the number five and six jets. All six jets then perform together in the renown delta formation. This web site covers the history and mission of the Blue Angels, bios of the flyers, and show locations and schedules.

Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC). NSWC's Carderock Division is a major element of the technical capability within the Naval Sea Systems Command.

U.S. Navy Underwater Construction Team One is a component command of the Naval Construction Force, the SEEBEEs.

The U.S. Naval Observatory performs an essential scientific role for the Navy, for the Department of Defense and for the United States. Its mission is to determine the positions and motions of celestial objects, to provide astronomical data, to measure the Earth's rotation and to maintain the Master Clock for the United States.

NEX: Navy Exchange is headquarters for the worldwide Navy Exchange System.

US Air Force Sites

Air Force Library Fact Sheets. Produced by the Air Force News Service with information provided by Air Force major commands. Fact Sheets contain information on various Air Force aircraft, weapons, organizations and selected high-interest subjects.

The Air Force History Support Office (AFHSO) at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C. is responsible for writing books, monographs, studies, and reports to preserve the history of the U.S. Air Force. The AFHSO also provides historical information, analysis, and perspective to Air Force leaders and their staffs to support planning, policy development, and decision making.

The US Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency has a varied site with history of various Air Force Engineering activities (back to days when it was part of the Army Signal Corps) up to todays mission building and maintaining complex facilities supporting the USAF primary mission.

Air War College Internet Resources Gateway. The Air War College provides this portal to military information of all kinds: strategy, doctrine, history, education, and much more.

Air University is the center for advanced education in the Air Force, and provides this through its professional and specialized education programs, research and doctrinal studies, and baccalaureate programs at civilian educational institutions.

Air Chronicals Contrails is where you'll find a mixed bag of interesting items. Need the latest news and weather? Want info on an upcoming military symposium? This is the place to start your journey!

Air Force Research Laboratory. The mission of AFRL is to discover, develop, integrate and deliver affordable technologies for improved warfighting capabilities to keepthe USAF the best in the world.

Edwards Air Force Base is the home of the USAF Flight Test Center and the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. Tours are offered and there is an annual air show.

US Marine Corps Sites

U.S. Marine Corps' Aircraft, Vehicles and Equipment are listed on this page with links to a full page description, with photos, of each item.

USMC Music. Marine Corps musicians have been entertaining people for over 100 years with music that signifies honor, courage, and dignity and above all, dedication to God, Corps, and Country.

Camp Pendleton is the site of the Corps' largest amphibious assault training facility, encompassing 17 miles of Southern California coastline and 125,000 acres with a population of nearly 40,000 Marines and Sailors. Web site will answer many of the questions you may have about the Marine Corps and Camp Pendleton.

US Merchant Marine Sites

This site is dedicated to the Mariners of the U.S. Merchant Marine and the U.S. Maritime Service who died in service of their country during all Wars, including Revolutionary War, World War II, Vietnam; and their U.S. Naval Armed Guard shipmates. As one vet reminded me, "Do you think those soldiers walked or swam to the war?"

Here the American Merchant Marine Veterans remind us that during WW II 820 merchant ships were sunk or damaged, with a loss of over 6.700 brave mariners, and another 700 were taken as POW's. Those brave acts and losses are documented here along with many links to other related resources.

Other US Department of Defense Sites

DoD Web Sites is DefenseLINK's portal to the Department of Defense on the World Wide Web. This page offers direct links to some of the most important and most popular DoD Web Sites.

JCSLink is your electronic link to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Joint Staff, and America's combatant commands. Its goal is to provide up-to-date, factual information on the people, organizations, and activities that unify and employ the military forces of the United States.

One of the nine Unified Combatant Commands in the Department of Defense, the United States European Command is responsible for all U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Special Forces activities in more than 13 million square miles of Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The National Security Agency is the Nation's cryptologic organization. It coordinates, directs, and performs highly specialized activities to protect U.S. information systems and produce foreign intelligence information. A high technology organization, NSA is on the frontiers of communications and data processing. It is also one of the most important centers of foreign language analysis and research within the Government.

The Defense Intelligence Agency is a Combat Support Agency of the Department of Defense with the mission to provide timely, objective and cogent military intelligence to the warfighters--soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines--and to the decisionmakers and policymakers of the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Government.

Defense Logistics Agency is a logistics combat support agency whose primary role is to provide supplies and services to America's military forces worldwide. Part of the Defense Logistics Agency, the Defense Logistics Support Command includes supply centers, service centers, and a distribution center. The Defense Logistics Support Command procures, manages, stores, and distributes 4.1 million items for U.S. military customers, other U.S. federal agencies, and allied forces throughout the world. The Directorate of Clothing & Textiles (C&T) is located at the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia where they buy over 5,000 different clothing and equipment items to outfit U.S. troops and civilian customers. Items range from uniforms, footwear, and undergarments, to individual equipment, flags, and tents. The C&T website has searchable lists of all the items with NSN, description, costs and many photos. (Thanks to Robert Haas for suggesting the C&T site.)

Defense Supply Center Richmond. On line catalog and ordering from this DLA center offering, "The Best In Weapon Systems Support".

Defense Security Service, formerly the Defense Investigative Service (DIS). The new name reflects its broader security mission within the Department of Defense. The new DSS includes the DoD Polygraph Institute, the Personnel Security Research Center and the DoD Security Institute in support of the overall DIS mission of providing security services for the Department of Defense. (Thanks to Russell C. Lowrey for this suggestion.)

The Defense Technical Information Center. A key element of the DoD Scientific and Technical Information Program, DTIC is the central Department of Defense facility for providing access to and facilitating the exchange of scientific and technical information. DTIC offers a wide variety of products and services which are designed to assist our users in obtaining the information they need easily and quickly. DTIC is part of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

The Defense Language Institute -- Foreign Language Center serves as the Defense Department’s primary foreign language teaching and resource center. In order to meet language requirements worldwide, the Institute educates linguists throughout their careers, assesses their skills and capabilities, and provides related services, including contingency requirements. Located at the Presidio of Monterey, California.

Todays Military. This website is the leading career information resource for the military world of work. It gives you details on 152 enlisted and officer occupations, one by one. You can search the site to get a list of military occupations that match your interests, or you may browse occupations by category. Each occupation is color-coded to indicate enlisted or officer category.

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences prepares outstanding scientists and health care practitioners for careers in the U.S. military services. The programs of study are related directly to force health protection, tropical diseases, disaster medicine, military and public health medical readiness and adaptation to extreme environments. 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814. 800-515-5257

The White House Communications Agency is an obscure group of soldiers whose main job is keeping the commander in chief linked to his troops. Founded during World War II, WHCA has more than 850 electronics experts who hook up wires, code messages and carry out other tasks to maintain a secret communications system.

The Selective Service System has the mission to provide manpower to the armed forces in an emergency. Their web site describes the agency and its work and has a form for on-line registration.

Be sure to check the Army Technology Links Page for more defense organizations and armies.

National Guard

In the United States, the National Guard is organized within the individual states. Each state organization has a dual role within the national defense structure. For their federal mission, they are trained and equipped to join the active military forces in time of war or national emergency. For their state mission, they respond to the orders of the Governor, protecting lives and property during natural and man-made disasters.

Each of the fifty states has an office in the Executive Branch, reporting to the Governor of the state, named the Department of Military Affairs (or something similar). For example, here are a few links:

There may be a separate office for Veterans, Naval forces or the Air Guard or they may be within the same organization. Use any Internet search engine to find the state organizations -- there are many histories, photos, museums and other interesting information provided there. Individual units within the state Guard increasingly have their own web sites (see below for a few examples of the thousands out there.)

Each state then has its Army National Guard and Air National Guard, and most of these have a main web site which may be the same as the above or separate. Here are examples of each:

Army National Guard Air Natonal Guard Combined Web Site
The Mississippi Army National Guard Website has individual pages for each facility and unit within their organization as well as employment assistance and other services for Guard members. Kansas Air National Guard is comprised of two Flying Wings (the 184th Bomb Wing flying 12 B-1Bs in Wichita and the 190th Air Refueling Wing flying 9 KC-135Es in Topeka) and Specialized Units (the 127th Weather Flight in Topeka, the 134th Air Control Squadron in Wichita, and Smoky Hill ANG Range in Salina) all detailed on this web site. Illinois National Guard consists of both Army and Air Force units. This web site has pages for all of the units plus links to other interesting military sites.
The Ohio Army National Guard has recruitment information, Frequently Asked Questions, job descriptions, and other career information on their web site. They also provide links to all of the units within the Ohio Army NG. The New York Air National Guard web site lists all the individual units by location and by name, provides a guide to the aircraft flown, and links to all units and higher HQs. California National Guard has Army and Air Force units ready to serve at the direction of the President of the United States and the Governor of California.

"The National Guard is the most ready reserve force in the world.We are led, trained and equipped to meet any assigned task. From national security and military objectives to domestic support here at home, the Guard is always ready to serve." This DoD web site provides information about the National Guard Bureau, the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard and National Guard sponsored organizations and events.

The Army National Guard is one component of The Army (which consists of the Active Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserves.) The Army National Guard is composed primarily of traditional Guardsmen -- civilians who serve their country, state and community on a part-time basis (usually one weekend each month and two weeks during the summer.) Each state, territory and the District of Columbia has its own National Guard, as provided for by the Constitution of the United States.

The Air National Guard Home Page provides Air Guard history, a personnel locator, recruiting information, publications and forms, as well as other help and guidance. This USAF Fact Sheet gives more information about the Air Guard, its role, and relationship to the USAF.

The National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) is a nonpartisan organization representing tens of thousands of current and former Army and Air National Guard officers.

State Guards

The State Guard Association of the United States, Inc. is the national association for the organized state militia, often known as State Defense Force, State Guard, or State Military Reserve. These state military forces are the official "well regulated" Militia of their respective states. The SGAUS does not support private groups who may call themselves "militia," but who are not officially recognized, unless the group is bona fide and seeking such official state recognition. These state military forces are in addition to and separate from the National Guard of the respective states, although both organizations are under the command of the Governor and are assigned to the state's Adjutant General or Military Department. The State Guards are a valuable state asset and force multiplier -- New York, for example, makes great use of its state military forces in response to natural disasters.

Each state of the United States has a State Guard organization. Links to the web sites for the individual states are provided on this SGAUS page. (Thanks to LTC Kevin M. Lynch, NYG for this information.)

Other US Government Sites

The US Central Intelligence Agency has a wealth of published information available on the CIA Publications website. There is much on-line material including yearbooks, almanacs, maps, and guides. While this is mostly political and economic in nature, there is also a lot of background material relevant to events in war zones such as Iraq, Bosnia, Albania and the Persian Gulf.