US Armed Forces
February 4, 2005 2:33 PM Subscribe
I would like to know about the rationale behind the splitting of the US Armed Forces into its four major branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines. [more inside, soldier]
posted by Dr. Wu to law & government (28 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
To refine the question: What I mean is that (as I understand it, which is, admittedly, minimally) all of the branches have, for instance, significant air capabilities: air-based attacks are not the sole domain of the Air Force. Do, for instance, Army pilots and Navy pilots perform significantly different tasks? Is the training different? Are different branches called into military action for different reasons and occasions?
I'm not suggesting that it doesn't make sense that there's not just one big TEAM AMERICA, comprised of all four branches and then some. I appreciate that each branch has its own history, and were initially designed for specific purposes (i.e., Navy for sea battles, Air Force for air battles, etc). And I realize that the immense bureaucracy of the military-industrial complex militates (ha!) against this possibility, anyway. The thrust of my question is: what are the different responsibilities of these branches? How and why do they overlap and/or interact, and to what degree are they entirely separate entities?
I realize this is a large and complicated question, and I ask it for no other reason than to satisfy a recent curiosity. (And I wasn't sure which search terms to use in Google.) Thanks in advance for your answers.