The United States military consists of five separate services. The U.S. Army is by far the largest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Navy deals with seaborne missions, the Air Force is responsible for most aerial operations, the U.S. Marines deploy forces where needed and the Coast Guard is the smallest branch, however it's a vital part of homeland defense and receives its operational orders from the Secretary of Homeland Security.
The president is the commander in chief of the United States Armed Forces and helps create military policy, however the United States Department of Defense, a federal executive department, is the primary organ by which military policy is carried out. The Department of Defense oversees equipment distribution and training for the military branches.
Millitary Employment - Employer Reviews
- Department of the Army Careers
- Navy Careers
- Northrup Grummon Careers
- United States Navy Careers
- US Army Careers
- USAF Careers
- United States military expenditure in 2010: 698 billion (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI))
- Military expenditure as percent of GDP in 2010 was 4.8 percent (SIPRI)
- The United States spends more on the military than any country in the world (SIPRI)
- The United States military expenditures accounts for 43 percent of the world's total military expenditures(SIPRI)
- 39 percent of US 2010 taxes were used for current military spending and cost of past wars (Friends Committee on National Legislation)
Military Employment Background
Most jobs in the Armed Services have a direct civilian counterpart. Military careers are available for every education and skill level. The military also has career opportunities for those who have already received specialized training and have work experience.
The United States military offers a wide array of career paths. Of all the branches of the Armed Forces, the Army offers the most career opportunities, with nearly two hundred career paths. The United States Navy has the highest rate of job satisfaction in the armed forces. The Navy provides many travel opportunities. The United States Air Force has a large contingency of ground support; most of the Air Force personnel work on the ground. The Air Force also has a large number of health care workers.
The military offers a wide array of careers. The military offers careers such as doctor, professional musician, machine operator, technician, lawyer, engineer, nurse, computer scientist, pilot, mechanic and health care worker. Other careers in the military are construction worker, support services officer, protective services officer, policeman, transportation officer, administrative worker, medical technician, combat speciality person and more.
Military Employment Statistics
- The U.S. has over 2.4 million Armed Forces personnel, more than 1.4 million were on active duty in 2009 (Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS))
- In 2009: More than 1.0 million people served in their Reserve components (BLS)
- In 2009: 57,251 administrative personnel in the Armed Forces (U.S. Department of Defense)
- In 2009: 141,064 electronic and electrical repair occupations in the Armed Forces (U.S. Department of Defense)
- In 2009: Engineering, science and technical occupations in the Armed Forces: 151,028 (U.S. Department of Defense)
- In 2009: 72,097 health care personnel in the Armed Forces (U.S. Department of Defense)
- In 2009: 171,576 vehicle machinery mechanic personnel in the Armed Forces (U.S. Department of Defense)
- Many military personnel retire with a pension after 20 years of service (BLS)
Military Employment Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states opportunities should be excellent for qualified people in all branches of the Armed Forces through 2018. Approximately 184,000 people must be recruited every year to replace personnel who have completed their commitment or retire. In a good economy it's more difficult for the branches of the armed forces to meet their recruitment quotas. In a bad economy recruits may have more competition for various occupational specialties. Educational requirements will continue to rise as military jobs become more complex and technical.