Tuesday, November 10, 2009



An M16 riflehttp://www.topnews.in/files/US-Army.jpg

The Army employs various individual weapons to provide light firepower at short ranges.

The M16 series assault rifle[23] and its compact variant, the M4 carbine,[24] which is slowly replacing selected M16 series rifles in some units and is primarily used by infantry, Ranger, and Special Operations forces.[25] Soldiers whose duties require a more compact weapon, such as combat vehicle crew members, staff officers, and military police, are issued a sidearm in lieu of a rifle. The most common sidearm in the U.S. Army is the 9 mm M9 pistol[26] which is issued to the majority of combat and support units.

Many combat units' arsenals are supplemented with a variety of specialized weapons, including the M249 light machine-gun, to provide suppressive fire at the fire-team level,[27] the M1014 Joint Service Combat Shotgun or the Mossberg 590 Shotgun for door breaching and close-quarters combat, the M14 rifle for long-range marksmen, and the M107 Long Range Sniper Rifle, the M24 Sniper Weapon System, or the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle for snipers. Hand grenades, such as the M67 fragmentation grenade and M18 smoke grenade, are also used by combat troops.

The Army employs various crew-served weapons to provide heavy firepower at ranges exceeding that of individual weapons.

The M249 is the Army's standard light machine gun. The M240 is the Army's standard medium machine gun.]. The 12.7 mm M2 heavy machine gun is used as an anti-material and anti-personnel machine gun. The M2 is also the primary weapon on most Stryker variants and the secondary weapon system on the M1 Abrams. The 40 mm MK 19 grenade machine gun is mainly used by motorized units.[ It is commonly employed in a complementary role to the M2.

The Army uses three types of mortar for indirect fire support when heavier artillery may not be appropriate or available. The smallest of these is the 60 mm M224, normally assigned at the infantry company level. At the next higher echelon, infantry battalions are typically supported by a section of 81 mm M252 mortars. The largest mortar in the Army's inventory is the 120 mm M120/M121, usually employed by mechanized battalions, Stryker units, and cavalry troops because its size and weight require it to be transported in a tracked carrier or towed behind a truck.

Fire support for light infantry units is provided by towed howitzers, including the 105 mm M119A1[33] and the 155 mm M777 (which will replace the M198).[34]



The U.S. Army spends a sizable portion of its military budget to maintain a diverse inventory of vehicles.

The Army's most common vehicle is the HMMWV, which is capable of serving as a cargo/troop carrier, weapons platform, and ambulance, among many other roles.[35] The M1A2 Abrams is the Army's primary main battle tank,[36] while the M2A3 Bradley is the standard infantry fighting vehicle.[37] Other vehicles include the M3A3 cavalry fighting vehicle, the Stryker,[38] and the M113 armored personnel carrier,[39] and multiple types of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.

The U.S. Army's principal artillery weapons are the AN/TWQ-1 Avenger, LAV-AD and the M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer[ and the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS),[41] both mounted on tracked platforms and assigned to heavy mechanized units.

While the U.S. Army operates a few fixed-wing aircraft, it mainly operates several types of rotary-wing aircraft. These include the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter,[42] the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed reconnaissance/light attack helicopter,[the UH-60 Black Hawk utility tactical transport helicopter, and the CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift transport helicopter.



Two soldiers wearing the ACU, as well as ACU-patterned patrol cap (left) and boonie hat (right).

The Army Combat Uniform (ACU), which features a digital camouflage pattern and is designed for use in woodland, desert, and urban environments.

The standard garrison service uniform is known as "Army Greens" or "Class-As" and has been worn by all officers and enlisted personnel since its introduction in 1956 when it replaced earlier olive drab (OD) and khaki (and tan worsted or TW) uniforms worn between the 1980s and 1985. The "Army Blue" uniform, dating back to the mid-19th century, is currently the Army's formal dress uniform, but in 2009, it will replace the Army Green and the Army White uniforms (a uniform similar to the Army Green uniform, but worn in tropical postings) and will become the "new" Army Service Uniform, which will function as both a garrison uniform (when worn with a white shirt and necktie) and a dress uniform (when worn with a white shirt and either a necktie for parades or a bow tie for "after six" or "black tie" events). The beret will continue to be worn with the new ACU for garrison duty and with the Army Service Uniform for non-ceremonial functions. The Army Blue Service Cap, formerly allowed for wear by all enlisted personnel, are now only allowed for wear by any soldier ranked CPL or above at the discretion of the commander.

Body armor in all units is the Improved Outer Tactical Vest, which is now being supplemented with a lightweight Modular Body Armor Vest.



These are the U.S. Army ranks and their equivalent NATO designations.

Commissioned Officers:[20]

There are several paths to becoming a commissioned officer including Army ROTC, the United States Military Academy at West Point or the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, and Officer Candidate School. Certain professionals, physicians, nurses, lawyers, and chaplains are commissioned directly into the Army. But no matter what road an officer takes, the insignia are the same.

The highest officer rank is the five-star general (General of the Army) and the lowest is the second lieutenant.

Address all personnel with the rank of general as "General (last name)" regardless of the number of stars. Likewise, address both colonels and lieutenant colonels as "Colonel (last name)" and first and second lieutenants as "Lieutenant (last name)."

US DoD Pay Grade O-1 O-2 O-3 O-4 O-5 O-6 O-7 O-8 O-9 O-10 Special¹ Special
Insignia US-OF1B.svg US-OF1A.svg US-O3 insignia.svg US-O4 insignia.svg US-O5 insignia.svg US-O6 insignia.svg US-O7 insignia.svg US-O8 insignia.svg US-O9 insignia.svg US-O10 insignia.svg US-O11 insignia.svg
Pershing's insignia
Conjectural Design for General of the Armies
Title Second Lieutenant First Lieutenant Captain Major Lieutenant Colonel Colonel Brigadier General Major General Lieutenant General General General of the Army General of the Armies
NATO Code OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6 OF-7 OF-8 OF-9 OF-10
¹ Conferred only in times of Congressionally declared war to selected Generals.

Warrant Officers:

Warrant Officers are single track, specialty officers with subject matter expertise in a particular area. They are initially appointed as warrant officers (in the rank of WO1) by the Secretary of the Army, but receive their commission upon promotion to Chief Warrant Officer Two (CW2).

Technically, warrant officers are to be addressed as "Mr. (last name)" or "Ms. (last name)." However, many personnel do not use those terms, but instead say "Sir", "Ma'am", or most commonly, "Chief".

US DoD Pay Grade W-1 W-2 W-3 W-4 W-5
Insignia US-Army-WO1.png US-Army-CW2.png US-Army-CW3.png US-Army-CW4.png US-Army-CW5.png
Title Warrant Officer 1 Chief Warrant Officer 2 Chief Warrant Officer 3 Chief Warrant Officer 4 Chief Warrant Officer 5
Abbreviation WO1 CW2 CW3 CW4 CW5
NATO Code WO-1 WO-2 WO-3 WO-4 WO-5

Enlisted Personnel:

Sergeants are referred to as NCOs, short for non-commissioned officers. Corporals are also non-commisioned officers, and serve as the base of the non-commissioned Officer (NCO) ranks. Corporals are also called "hard stripes", in recognition of their leadership position. This distinguishes them from specialists who might have the same pay grade, but not the leadership responsibilities.

Address privates (E1 and E2) and privates first class (E3) as "Private (last name)." Address specialists as "Specialist (last name)." Address sergeants, staff sergeants, and sergeants first class as "Sergeant (last name)." Address higher ranking sergeants by their full ranks in conjunction with their names.

All Sergeant ranks from E-5 SGT to E-8 MSG are simply referred to as "Sergeant (last name)". First Sergeant as "First Sergeant (last name)", Sergeant Major, Command Sergeant Major, and Sergeant Major of the Army as "Sergeant Major (last name)". Privates are usually referred to simply by their last names.

US DoD Pay grade E-1 E-2 E-3 E-4 E-5 E-6 E-7 E-8 E-9
Insignia No Insignia US Army E-2.svg US Army E-3.svg US Army E-4 SPC.svg US Army E-4.svg US Army E-5.svg US Army E-6.svg US Army E-7.svg US Army E-8 MSG.svg US Army E-8 1SG.svg US Army E-9 SGM.svg US Army E-9 CSM.svg US Army E-9 SMA.svg
Title Private Private Private First Class Specialist Corporal Sergeant Staff Sergeant Sergeant First Class Master Sergeant First Sergeant Sergeant Major Command Sergeant Major Sergeant Major of the Army
NATO Code OR-1 OR-2 OR-3 OR-4 OR-4 OR-5 OR-6 OR-7 OR-8 OR-8 OR-9 OR-9 OR-9
¹ PVT is also used as an abbreviation for both Private ranks when pay grade need not be distinguished
² SP4 is sometimes encountered in lieu of SPC for Specialist. This is a holdover from when there were additional specialist ranks at higher pay grades.


Training in the United States Army is generally divided into two categories – individual and collective.

Basic training consists of 9 weeks for most recruits followed by AIT (Advanced Individualized Training) where they receive training for their MOS with the length of AIT school varying by the MOS. Individuals who have the MOS 11B (infantry) go to 14 weeks of OSUT (One Station Unit Training) at Fort Benning, Georgia. OSUT counts as basic and AIT for infantry soldiers. Individual training for enlisted soldiers usually consists of 14 weeks for those who hope to hold the Military Occupational Specialty for infantryman, MOS 11B. Other combat MOSs consist of similar training length. Support and other MOS hopefuls attend nine weeks of Basic Combat Training followed by Advanced Individual Training in their primary (MOS) at any of the numerous MOS training facilities around the country. The length of time spent in AIT depends on the MOS of the soldier. Depending on the needs of the Army BCT is conducted at a number of locations, but two of the longest running are the Armor School at Fort Knox, Kentucky and the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. For officers this training includes pre-commissioning training either at USMA, ROTC, or OCS. After commissioning, officers undergo six weeks of training at the Basic Officer Leaders Course, Phase II at Ft. Benning or Ft. Sill, followed by their branch specific training at the Basic Officer Leaders Course, Phase III (formerly called Officer Basic Course) which varies in time and location based on their future jobs.

Collective training takes place both at the unit's assigned station, but the most intensive collective training takes place at the three Combat Training Centers (CTC); the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California, the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and the Joint Multinational Training Center (JMRC) at the Hohenfels Training Area in Hohenfels, Germany.

Six Sigma Training

The largest business transformation attempted to date was by the United States Army and its 1.3 million employees. Six Sigma first found its way into the Army in 2002 in the Army Material Command division, which is responsible for purchasing virtually everything in the army, from cornmeal to aircraft. Efficiencies from Six Sigma achieved in this department, a few others, as well as an increasingly disproportional amount of demands compared to funds post 9/11, led to an army wide implementation of the program in late 2005.

After careful consideration, the army decided to implement the program the way the army does everything: centrally plan and de-centrally execute. Army generals and members of the government went behind closed doors for two days, learning their responsibilities of the implementation and the benefits they will achieve. Army employees with leadership roles were asked to define areas their departments were experiencing problems in as well as identify key personnel they felt were capable of learning Six Sigma. Eventually, the lowest ranking employees were asked to define the largest problems they faced on a day to day basis, and the answers were sent to the Army generals who, with the help of Six Sigma, strategically developed and proposed proper solutions.

Army employees were trained in Six Sigma through the use of experts. Since training began in June 2006, they have trained 1,240 Green Belts, 446 Black Belts, and 15 Master Black Belts; completed 1,069 projects; and managed to save nearly two billion dollars to date. The army realized such huge savings by implementing new, more efficient methods, eliminating waste as well as the elimination of non-value adding activities.

Many improvements in the Army’s business processes should be credited to the vast improvements in efficiency. In particular, the dramatic effect Six Sigma has had on eliminating redundancies in efforts and resources has resulted in savings nearly a quarter of their cost. Productivity has increased and costs have decreased because of such eliminations, resulting in a more financially secure Army. New software uncovered that the Army was paying to provide foreign language instruction to a substantial number of non army personnel; this discovery, followed by the restructuring of the program, saved the Army $400 million the following year. Other Six Sigma improvements, saving the Army millions, include streamlining the recruiting process, preventing food waste at West Point, and improving foreign military sales. Such successes enjoyed by the Army have recently lead to the full implementation of Six Sigma by both the Air Force and Navy, as well as initiating talks with the Secretary of Defense to incorporate lean Six Sigma throughout the entire department.


The United States Army is made up of three components: the active component, the Regular Army; and two reserve components, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve. Both reserve components are primarily composed of part-time soldiers who train once a month, known as Battle Assembly or Unit Training Assemblies (UTAs), and conduct two to three weeks of annual training each year. Both the Regular Army and the Army Reserve are organized under Title 10 of the United States Code, while the National Guard is organized under Title 32. While the Army National Guard is organized, trained and equipped as a component of the U.S. Army, when it is not in federal service it is under the command of individual state and territorial governors, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia. However the National Guard can be federalized by presidential order and against the governor's wishes.[19]

HHC, U.S. Army shoulder sleeve insignia

The U.S. Army is led by a civilian Secretary of the Army, who reports to the Secretary of Defense, and serves as civilian oversight for the U.S. Army Chief of Staff. The Army Chief of Staff is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a body composed of the service chiefs from each service who advise the President and Secretary of Defense on military matters under the guidance of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In 1986, the Goldwater-Nichols Act mandated that operational control of the services follows a chain of command from the President to the Secretary of Defense directly to the Unified Combatant Commanders, who have control of all armed forces units in their geographic or function area of responsibility. Thus, the Chief of Staff of each service only has the responsibility to organize, train and equip his own service component. The services provide trained forces to the Combatant Commanders for use as they see fit.

Through 2013, the Army is shifting to six geographical commands that will line up with the six geographical Unified Combatant Commands (COCOM):

  • United States Army Central headquartered at Fort McPherson, Georgia
  • United States Army North headquartered at Fort Sam Houston, Texas
  • United States Army South headquartered at Fort Sam Houston, Texas
  • United States Army Europe headquartered at Heidelberg, Germany
  • United States Army Pacific headquartered at Fort Shafter, Hawaii (eventually to be merged with the Eighth Army).
  • Southern European Task Force (Army component of USAFRICOM) headquartered at Vicenza, Italy

Each command will receive a numbered army as operational command, except U.S. Army Pacific, which will have a numbered army for U.S. Army forces in the Republic of Korea.

The Army is also changing its base unit from divisions to brigades. When finished, the active army will have increased its combat brigades from 33 to 48, with similar increases in the National Guard and Reserve forces. Division lineage will be retained, but the divisional HQs will be able to command any brigades, not just brigades that carry their divisional lineage. The central part of this plan is that each brigade will be modular, i.e. all brigades of the same type will be exactly the same, and thus any brigade can be commanded by any division. There will be three major types of ground combat brigades:

  • Heavy brigades will have about 3,700 troops and be equivalent to a mechanized infantry or tank brigade.
  • Stryker brigades will have around 3,900 troops and be based around the Stryker family of vehicles.
  • Infantry brigades will have around 3,300 troops and be equivalent to a light infantry or airborne brigade.

In addition, there will be combat support and service support modular brigades. Combat support brigades include Aviation brigades, which will come in heavy and light varieties, Fires (artillery) brigades, and Battlefield Surveillance Brigades. Combat service support brigades include Sustainment brigades and come in several varieties and serve the standard support role in an army.

Regular combat maneuver organizations

1st Cavalry Division Fort Hood TX at the 2007 Rose Parade

3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment soldiers on patrol in Iraq.

The U.S. Army currently consists of 10 active divisions as well as several independent units. The force is in the process of growth, with four additional brigades scheduled to activate by 2013, with a total increase of 74,200 soldiers from January 2007. Each division will have four ground maneuver brigades, and will also include at least one aviation brigade as well as a fires brigade and a service support brigade. Additional brigades can be assigned or attached to a division headquarters based on its mission.

Within the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve there are a further six divisions, over fifteen maneuver brigades, additional combat support and combat service support brigades, and independent cavalry, infantry, artillery, aviation, engineer, and support battalion. The Army Reserve in particular provide virtually all psychological operations and civil affairs units.

Name Headquarters Subunits
1st US Armored Division SSI.png 1st Armored Division Fort Bliss, Texas Four heavy brigade combat teams and one aviation brigade at Fort Bliss and WSMR.
1 Cav Shoulder Insignia.svg 1st Cavalry Division Fort Hood, Texas Four heavy brigade combat teams and one aviation brigade at Fort Hood.
1st US Infantry Division.svg 1st Infantry Division Fort Riley, Kansas Two heavy brigade combat teams, one infantry brigade combat team and one aviation brigade at Fort Riley, and one infantry brigade combat team at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
2 Infantry Div SSI.svg 2nd Infantry Division Camp Red Cloud, South Korea One heavy brigade combat team and one aviation brigade at Camp Hovey and Camp Casey, South Korea, and three Stryker brigade combat teams (SBCTs) at Fort Lewis, Washington.
3 Infantry Div SSI.svg 3rd Infantry Division Fort Stewart, Georgia Two heavy brigade combat teams and one infantry brigade combat team at Fort Stewart, Georgia, one heavy brigade combat team at Fort Benning, Georgia, and one aviation brigade at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia.
4 Infantry Division SSI.svg 4th Infantry Division Fort Carson, Colorado Three heavy brigade combat teams and one infantry brigade combat team at Fort Carson, Colorado.
10th Mountain Division SSI.svg 10th Mountain Division Fort Drum, New York Three infantry brigade combat teams and one aviation brigade at Fort Drum and one infantry brigade combat team at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
25th Infantry Division SSI.svg 25th Infantry Division Schofield Barracks, Hawaii Two brigade combat teams and one aviation brigade at Schofield Barracks (one infantry and one Stryker), one Stryker brigade combat team at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, and one airborne infantry brigade combat team at Fort Richardson, Alaska.
82 ABD SSI.svg 82nd Airborne Division Fort Bragg, North Carolina Four airborne infantry brigade combat teams and one aviation brigade at Fort Bragg.
US 101st Airborne Division patch.svg 101st Airborne Division Fort Campbell, Kentucky Four infantry brigade combat teams (air assault) and two aviation brigades at Fort Campbell.
170ibct.JPG 170th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) Baumholder, Germany activated July 2009.
172nd Infantry Brigade SSI.svg 172nd Infantry Brigade Grafenwöhr, Germany Two mechanized infantry battalions, one M1A1 Abrams battalion, one self-propelled 155mm field artillery battalion, one combat engineer battalion.
173Airborne Brigade Shoulder Patch.png 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Vicenza, Italy Two airborne infantry battalions, one cavalry squadron, one airborne field artillery battalion, one special troops battalion, and one support battalion.
US 2nd Cavalry Regiment SSI.jpg 2nd Cavalry Regiment Vilseck, Germany 6 subordinate Squadrons: 1st (Stryker Infantry), 2nd (Stryker Infantry), 3rd (Stryker Infantry), 4th (Recon, Surveillance, Target Acquisition), Fires (6x3 155mm Towed Arty), & RSS (Logistical Support); 5 Separate Troops/Companies: Regimental Headquarters Troop, Military Intelligence Troop, Signal Troop, 84th Engineer Company, and Anti-Tank Troop.
3dACRSSI.PNG 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Fort Hood, Texas Three tank squadrons, one aviation squadron, and one support squadron.
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment SSI.gif 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Fort Irwin, California Serves as the Opposing Force (OPFOR) at the National Training Center (NTC). Multi-compo HBCT.

[edit] Special Operations Forces

US Army Special Operations Command SSI.png US Army Special Operations Command (Airborne):

Name Headquarters Structure and purpose
US Army Special Forces.Airborne patch.jpg Special Forces (Green Berets) Fort Bragg, North Carolina Seven groups capable of unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, and counter-terrorism.
75 Ranger Regiment Shoulder Sleeve Insignia.svg 75th Ranger Regiment (Rangers) Fort Benning, Georgia Three battalions of elite light airborne infantry.
160th SOAR Distinctive Unit Insignia.png 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Night Stalkers) Fort Campbell, Kentucky Four battalions, providing helicopter aviation support for general purpose forces and Special Operations Forces.
4psyopgp.gif 4th Psychological Operations Group Fort Bragg, North Carolina Psychological operations unit, six battalions.
95CivilAffairsBdeSSI.jpg 95th Civil Affairs Brigade Fort Bragg, North Carolina Civil affairs brigade.
Soscom crest.gif 528th Sustainment Brigade (Special Operations) (Airborne) Fort Bragg, North Carolina
US Army Special Operations Command SSI.png 1st SFOD-D (Delta Force) Fort Bragg, North Carolina Elite special operations and counter-terrorism unit. Its operators are chosen carefully from the best soldiers of the Army Special Operations Forces and other SOCOM units. Most information about the unit is classified. Based on the B