U.S. Military Organization (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Organization is what differentiates the military from an armed mob. The many levels within the military enable its millions of members to perform complex and often dangerous duties at the command of the president of the United States. Organization allows each member of the military to know his or her duties.
The U.S. Constitution places the president of the United States as commander in chief of the military. General George Washington began the tradition of unquestioning obedience to civilian authority within the military during the American Revolution (1775-1783). The president appoints a civilian secretary of defense as the cabinet member charged with overseeing the military. Assisting the secretary are the joint chiefs of staff, made up of the military leaders of each service branch, with a chairman. The chairman may come from any branch and serves as the president’s top military adviser.
The military establishment of the United States is divided into three departments, Army, Navy, and Air Force, each with a civilian secretary as its head. The Navy department includes the Navy and the Marine Corps. The Coast Guard, part of the Department of Transportation, falls under the Navy during wartime.
The military is further divided between the active components,...
(The entire section is 1491 words.)
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