The United States of America has seven federal uniformed services that commission officers as defined by Title 10, and subsequently structured and organized by Title 10, Title 14, Title 33 and Title 42 of the United States Code.

Uniformed services

The seven uniformed services are, in order of precedence by ceremonial formation:[1]

  1. United States Army
  2. United States Marine Corps
  3. United States Navy
  4. United States Air Force
  5. United States Coast Guard
  6. United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
  7. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps

Each of the uniformed services is administratively headed by a federal executive department and its corresponding civilian Cabinet leader.

Federal executive departments

United States Department of Defense (DOD)

Note: 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.

United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Note: The U.S. Coast Guard was a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation from 1967 to 2002. Prior to 1967, it was a part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

  • United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC): January 4, 1889

United States Department of Commerce (DOC)

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps (NOAA Corps): May 22, 1917
The term "armed forces" means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

Armed forces

Five of the uniformed services make up the U.S. armed forces, four 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 military 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 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.[2]

Reserve components of the United States armed forces are all members of the military. The National Guard is a reserve military force composed of state National Guard militia units, which operate under Title 32 and under state authority. 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 be mobilized by the President to operate under Federal authority through Title 10. When acting under federal direction, the National Guard of the United States is managed by the National Guard Bureau, which is a joint activity under the Department of Defense,[3][4][5] with a general[3][4] in the Army or Air Force as its top leader. 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.[3][4]

See also


This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.