The right place to ask for this info.

JaegerWolf08 said:
USMC is NOT a branch of its own. It falls under the Dept. of the Navy. The US Coast Guard is not a branch of its own. It falls under Dept. of Homeland Security. National Guard is a reserve component of the US Army,
Good info Jaeger. I would also add that there are Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve, as well as Army Reserve units.
well to put in the Air Force two cents...

the easiest way we teach recruits to remember the command structure of the Air Force is to memorise this saying: How many new airmen will get sore feet eventually? or

H = Headquarters Air Force - The Boss of Bosses. the air staff, and a whole bunch of other interesting things. Group That defines the Mission responsibility Currently responsible for the actions of 359,000 Active duty, 168,762 Civillian, and 230,830 Reserve personnel.

Major Command. These are the groups that specialise in acomplishment of a major mission, such as air defense, Strategic force, Logistics, personnel movement, and territorial defense. These are organizations like Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, et all, and can have up to 90,000 personnel.

Numbered Air Force: This is the level of command that are tactical echelons to provide operational leadership and supervision in the accomplishment of a mission. They support the following:

Air Division: this is an old administrative designator that comes and goes. Mostly used in wartime. 10,000 personnel

Wing - The highest command unit of the Air Force that can accomplish a mission by itself. Can be an Operational wing, Air base Wing (administrative) or Special Wing. composed of 1000 - 5000 personnel

Group - Usally two or more groups make a wing. At least a 1000 people.

Squadron - Basic unit of command in the Air Force that supports the accomplishment of a mission. Usally you have three or more squadrons to make a group. 100-300 personnel each.

Flight - Lowest level of operational organization that can accomplish a mission objective without outside support. 10-50 personnel.

Element - lowest group that can accomplish a mission objective in the Air Force. 1-10 personnel. This is the equivelant of a squad in the Army.

Notice how everything is wrapped around a mission? go to and learn all about the Air Force Mission.

Being an ex-Coastie and former Coast Guard brat, I should probably put in my two cents about my original service --

The Coast Guard is the only branch of the US Military (and yes, it IS a full-fledged "sister service" of the other military branches) not to be part of the Department of Defense. This is due to the missions that it performs, which include civilian law enforcement duties that would otherwise violate the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 (restricting the use of military forces within the United States) if it were part of the Department of Defense.

Until recently, the Coast Guard was part of the Department of Transportation; it was given to the Department of Homeland Security in order to better fulfill its missions.

In time of war, roughly 95% of the Coast Guard's assets are transferred to the Navy, becoming "as every Coast Guard recruit learns by heart) "that small nucleus of highly-trained personnel about which the navy gathers in time of trouble". The Coasties provide (among other things) landing craft crews, beachhead and port security forces, rescue crews for distressed aviators and sailors, and light patrol boats for convoy escorts.

Coast Guard ranks are the same as those in the Navy. Coasties have served with distinction in every American conflict since the War of 1812. In WWII, Douglas Monroe became the only Coast Guardsman to ever receive the Medal of Honor -- and it was awarded posthumously. A Coast Guardsman was recently killed in action in Iraq, the first to be killed by enemy action since VietNam. Another Coast Guardsman was recently awarded a Purple Heart.
i have heard about that story, but i though it was just another story that they told us in the Marines for us to feel more proud of what we do.[/img]