The American army is a branch of the larger United States Armed Forces. This is the largest in terms of size and numbers and oldest established branch of the United States military. Its originality comes from the continental army that was formed on 14th June 1775 before United States was established. It deals with on land based military activities and it main responsibility is to ensure peace and security on land for all the American citizens.
The United States Army has gone through tremendous changes and alterations over the years. Having been established officially on the 3rd of June 1784, the army has fought many wars and battles, some won but some lost. In its early stages it used the Britain methods of power control and war tactics, but with time and assimilation of the French into the Army most of its strategies and war tactics changed. Changes were also brought about with the advancement of technology and the need to maintain world peace.
Currently the army is one of the most powerful and influential armies in the world. This is because under the presidency of His Excellency Barrack Obama, the army was able to capture and kill the leader of Alcaeda, Osama bin Laden and finally restore peace to the world and mostly to United States. Alcaeda was famous for the 9/11 bomb and death of many innocent citizens.
The United States army was also involved in the fight against the Alshabab, in Somalia. This was the militia group that was responsible for bombing the American Embassy in Kenya in 1998. This bomb blast almost killed the then Ambassador Bushnell. This militia group was also believed to be connected to the Alcaeda group.
The army has been structure in the most efficient way and this is very obvious from the following;
The organization of troops
This is the structure and set up of the troops while at war or on ground. It involves the power sharing within the Army and the control from the outside forces. It is the chain of command that exists in the army. When it was first founded in 1784, after the revolutionary war, it borrowed a lot from the former continental army that has been disbanded by the treaty of Paris. It consisted of thirteen troops from thirteen states. The criteria behind the adoption into the continental army is that one had to be male, sixteen years of age and have parental consent. After it was dismantled, the United States army was formed and it assimilated most the British war tactics. This is because most of the soldiers were from the British army. With time other troops from different countries like France and Canada also joined in and this led to the adaptation of different mechanisms of structuring the army.
The army has divisions that are divided into three eras;
- The first ear is from 1911- 1917, the divisions are listed from the first attempt to modernize the army. It includes the Manoeuvre division, first, second and third divisions are also in this era.
- The second era is from 1917- 1941, it lists the very first permanent divisions from before the specialization of the divisions. The fifth to the sixteenth division are in this era. The cavalry divisions are also in this era.
- The third era is from 1941- to date and it lists all the divisions listed and authorise in the army since then. The air bone and air assault divisions are in this era as well.
Currently, the army is divided into the Regular Army, the Army Reserve, and the Army National Guard. The army is also divided into major branches such as Air, Infantry, and Signal Corps. All these divisions play different roles in the peace keeping mission of the army.
Currently the troop is organized from small groups to large groups, there is a leader at each stage and power and commands flow downwards from the leader with the most power to the one handling the smallest group. The powers are clearly outlined and in the army a one takes orders from the leader who is immediately above him and no one else. This goes without saying that orders are given to the leader immediately below one and no one else. This is to avoid collusions and to create transparency and accountability. Each leader is to control the group under him and any mistake they make is taken as the leaders’ mistake and he is held responsible.
The army is divided in the following groups from the smallest to the largest; the fire team that is composed of four soldiers, this is followed by the squad, it consists of eight to thirteen soldiers and is headed by the squad leader, next is the platoon that is made up of twenty six to sixty four people. It is headed by a platoon leader, then there is the company that is made up of between eighty and two hundred and twenty five soldiers, this one is headed by the captain or the major.
The chain of command is the power and authority sequence that is strictly followed, the captain takes orders from the brigade commander, who is the head of a brigade. The brigade commander takes orders from the division commander who takes orders from the corps commander. The corps commander takes orders from the theatre commander. Then the army chief of staff is above the theatre commander. The chief of staff takes orders from the chairman joint chief of staff who takes orders from the commander in chief.
The war tactics that are used by the Army are also organized. During a war there is a particular group that will be the control centre. This identifies a target or an enemy from a far. This helps the rest of the troop to prepare for war. Then there is the force concentration, these are the ones that are properly armed soldiers who go out there and fight the war. These troops mostly attack when the enemy is most vulnerable for instance during bad weather conditions that hinder detection like during a fog or mist. They also attack during heavy storms and also at night when the enemy is asleep. Then there is the force protection these are the ones that remain behind and are dispatched on a second, third or fourth round. They mostly go to carry back the wounded and hurt during the war.
Progression of weapons and equipments-
During the revolutionary war of, there was use of weapons such as swords, muskets, cannons, the soldiers then rode horses for long distances and had to carry food for themselves and for the horses which was quite bulky. Some of the weapons were hard to operate like the cannon that required at least fourteen people just to work. There was the use of the pistol but at that time it was considered as highly in accurate and was for personal protection of one individual. There was the use of bows and poison arrows that were considered very accurate and could aim at targets that were very far. These weapons slowly started being eradicated from most of the wars. This is because there was need to detect the enemies and defeat them even more. This has lead to changes and innovations in the type of weapons used.
During the civil war in America, there was the introduction of the hawken rifle, handguns, the early grenades and the machine gun that has just been discovered and was being used as an experimental weapon at that time. During the civil war there was mass production of the war equipments and materials. During the civil war the advancement in technology has also brought about the use of new types of medicines that were more effective, the communication industry had also improved, especially on the use of telegrams, which were used to send coded information from one area to another and enhanced the efficiency of the army.
During the Second World War the weapons had advanced by a large magnitude, this is because there was the use of grenades, sub machine guns, machine guns, hand guns and the famous AK 47 gun that had speed and was easily portable ( Perri, 2013). During the Second World War was when the United States military forces planted the nuclear bomb in Hiroshima in Japan. This led to massive destruction and some of the effects of that bomb are still felt up to date. This is why the use and production of nuclear weapons was abolished for all the countries.
During the war against the Alcaeda, the equipments were even more advanced. There was the use of laser beams to mark the target that would be shot at by the use of helicopters; there was use of advanced sensory equipments that can detect the presence of nuclear weapons. Sensors that would go off if the enemy was near were used as well.
Proper training on how to use these weapons is done. This is by an open fire session at a target; this perfects the aiming of the soldiers and their precision at war. This training involves getting used to hard times and what to do when someone gets injured while out there in the battle field. The use of camouflage uniforms that resemble the plants and the colour of soil also help in getting around without detection. These uniforms were first won in the Second World War and they assisted the soldiers to identify each other with ease. The wearing of the uniform also plays an important role because in times of war, the citizens can know who to run to for help and assistance.
Introduction of women into the army
The Largest and worst battle was the World War II was the largest and the worst battle ever fought by the American soldiers. Its implications were immense and made an impact in all of our lives in all facets be it social, political or economical up to date. This is what led to women playing an official role in the army; they had always played a subordinate role in all wars by the army. This showed men the importance of women in the army.
The army has traditionally been known as a place for men. This is due to the harshness of the conditions that people have to endure during training and in times of war. During the revolutionary and civil war, women were not allowed at the frontline of the war, but they used to be cooks, nurses and doctors who would be far from the area of war and were always protected. The frontline of the army was male dominated. But with industrialisation taking place in the first decades of the 20th century, feminism movement rose to power and discrimination on women based on gender was abolished. This saw women joining in careers that were male dominated.
Feminists argue that even before women were fully accepted in the army, they played a big role in the war, especially in times when they were really needed. Giving examples of some of the brave women who dared to join the war, they argue that it doesn’t matter the gender but the will and the ability to deliver. Margaret Corbin is one of the very courageous women. In 1776, during the attack on fort Washington, She handled ammunition for cannon after her husband had been fatally wounded and could not do it. She handled it just like she had seen her husband do, until she herself got wounded during the cross fire (Lieberman, 1999). Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, nicknamed Molly Pitcher, replaced her husband William Hays in the battlefield by carrying water to the wounded soldiers in 1778. The most famous and courageous woman of all who took the most active role was Ann Simpson Davis. She was a spy and a messenger during the war zone. She was a well trained horse rider who rode her horse for miles while hiding messages in her bags of wheat or in her clothes and would even cross the areas that were full of the British army. This she did for the passion that she had for her country and because she had the will.
These women proof that being a woman does not mean that one cannot participate in the army and fight for their country. Due to this the United States army in 1976 officially opened the enrolment into the training to become soldiers in the army. This is what all the women wanted, a chance for the women also to be part and parcel of defending the country.
The United States is the worlds’ superpower country and strives to make its army the best so that it can set a good example to all the other countries. This is why it has adopted the most transparent and unbiased method of organizing its troops. There is a properly and clearly outlined chain of command that ensures orders flow without any hindrances or barriers.
The adoption of technology and improved weapons is also key to the United States Army. This is because it increases the efficiency of the army and reduces the amount of risks that the soldiers are exposed to. The army offers the best conditions for training and the country hopes that all the other countries follow suit.
The inclusion of women in the army is a great step that the army took. These were the days when feminism as a movement deserved some recognition in its impact felt and the Army answered by responding appropriate (Lindsay, 2013). Every citizen has the right to choose without fear of discrimination based on gender. Currently there are more 50,000 women who have joined the army. They are either fighting on land or flying high in the sky as pilots and are called Sergeants.
Building the American Army: An Annotated Bibliography
Cole, D. (2007). Survey of U.S. Army Uniforms, Weapons and Accoutrements. Retrieved from http://www.history.army.mil/html/museums/uniforms/survey_uwa.pdf.
This study provides a reference that identifies the basic uniform, accoutrements and small arms used by the American Soldier. It describes information regarding Soldiers uniforms and gear from the late 18th century, Revolutionary War timeframe, through the early 21st century. Pictures are also shown to help as a visual aid in seeing the vast changes as the uniforms and equipment of Army Soldiers has progressed.
Durham, J.L. (n.d.). Outfitting an American Revolutionary Soldier. Retrieved from http://ncpedia.org/history/usrevolution/soldiers.
This website describes the perils faced of how to supply American troops without adequate funding and the distance of travel that was needed. They discuss the different weapons troops used such as muskets, rifles, small arms and artillery. Equipment of the Continental Army Soldier and the Militiamen is also differentiated.
Harvey, A. D. (2012). Was the American Civil War the First Modern War?. History, 97(326), 272-280. doi:10.1111/j.1468-229X.2012.00552.x
The article describes the equipment used during the Civil War era that the military described as modernizing, such as torpedoes, landmines, submarines, and telegraphs. It mentions that rockets, grenades and other booby traps were also added to the list of modern military equipment in 1932.
Lieberman, J. (1999). Amid the demoralizing loss of Fort Washington, Margaret Corbin emerged as America's first wartime heroine. Military History, 15(6), 12.
The article profiles Margaret Cochran Corbin, a nurse during the Revolutionary War who was allowed to accompany her husband’s unit as a camp follower. When her husband was shot and killed, Margaret did not hesitate to pick up his small-bore cannon and begin to return fire on the enemy. On July 6, 1779, she received an official uniform and a Soldier’s half-pay for life as a disability pension.
Lindsay, D. (2013). Why Not Send Women to War?. MHQ: Quarterly Journal Of Military History, 25(3), 50-61.
The article profiles female contributions to the military, particularly in combat situations, during World War II. Within a year of Pearl Harbor, Congress had approved auxiliary corps for each branch of the military; these eventually enlisted more than 350,000 women to work in some 400 military specialties. Women pilots flew military aircraft to transport supplies as well as flew radar and smoke-screening missions. It also touches on the newly dropped ban on gender restrictions on 14,000 combat-related jobs that the Department of Defense announced last year.
McGrath, R. D. (2010). The American Rifleman in the Revolutionary War. New American (08856540), 26(18), 34.
The article focuses on the history of the American rifleman and frontiersmen during the Revolutionary War. It mentions that every frontiersman used the Kentucky rifle which is a muzzle-loader that features a rifled barrel. It describes the Kentucky rifle as the best weapon at that time. It had a barrel of 3-4 feet long and this long length gave the black powder more time to burn which increased the muzzle velocity. This overall provided greater accuracy. However, if dampness or fouling of the powder charge in the pan occurred, it would cause hang fire and misfire which meant the weapon only fired appropriately about three quarters of the time.
Perri, T. J. (2013). The Evolution of Military Conscription in the United States. Independent Review, 17(3), 429-439.
The article provides information on the evolution of military conscription (enrollment or draft) in the U.S. The author states that conscription starts with colonial militia. During the late 1770s, militia drafts were used by the states in order to maintain the Continental Army. The Militia Act of 1862 and the Enrollment Act of 1863 completed the transition to federal control of recruitment in order to sustain appropriate numbers of the Army by using drafts in some districts. Proposals for conscription in the War of 1812 are discussed. The development of the U.S. Conscription in the 20th Century, particularly during the World War I, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War, is discussed.
Women In The U.S. Army. (n.d.). ARMY.MIL FEATURES. Retrieved from http://www.army.mil/women/history.html.
This website provides several sections, such as Early Soldiers, Nurses, Pilots, WAAC/WAC, and the New Era that describes the various roles that women have played in the United States Army throughout the years dating back to the Revolutionary War. The Early Soldiers section touches on the roles that Margaret Corbin, Molly Pitcher and Ann Simpson Davis played to assist the men during the Revolutionary War. An interactive timeline is also provided as a quick guide to key events that pertained to women of the Army.
Bellafaire, Judith A. (1972).The Women's Army Corps: A Commemoration of World War II Service. Washington, DC: United States Army Center of Military History.CMH Publication 72-15.
This talks about women’s history in the army, the how, who and when the joining of the army came to be. The people who played a role in ensuring that women get a place in the army, how they did it the places they had to go and the limitations they underwent.
Holm, Jeanne (1994). Women in the Military: An Unfinished Revolution. Presidio Press. ISBN 0-89141-450-9., popular history
This is an article that generally talks about women and how they came to join the army. It talks about how women are in the army yet people still feel they are out of place and how they have fought.